Jenna Lyons Returning to “RHONY ”for Season 15“ ”Alongside Full Cast — but Says Girlfriend Will Be Kept Off Camera

Filming for the new season is starting — and the former J.Crew executive is back alongside Jessel Taank, Sai De Silva, Ubah Hussan, Erin Dana Lichy and Brynn Whitfield

<p>Bryan Bedder/WWD via Getty</p> Jenna Lyons

Bryan Bedder/WWD via Getty

Jenna Lyons

Jenna Lyons will be back for a second season of The Real Housewives of New York City, though she says she won't exactly be revealing all for the reality cameras.

In a fun video shared to social media Thursday, Bravo announced that the former J.Crew executive would be returning to the franchise in season 15, alongside costars Jessel TaankSai De SilvaUbah HussanErin Dana Lichy and Brynn Whitfield.

"It's there," the New York City Housewives say in the clip.

All six helped reboot the longtime franchise last summer when season 14 premiered. But since the season wrapped in October 2023, viewers have wondered whether Lyons would do the show again.

Perhaps unintentionally, Lyons, 55, fueled the speculation, making no secret of her discomfort with being on reality TV.

"I really thought I was going to have an easier time," she told RHONY executive producer Andy Cohen during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live  that month, calling "the whole show" her "thorn" of the season. "It was hard! It's shocking how, when the camera's actually on you ... I thought I could handle it and, you know, I couldn't."

Questions only continued during a November appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon when Lyons said her future on RHONY was still undecided. "I don't know, what do you think?" she asked host Jimmy Fallon. "I don't have an answer. I genuinely don't know."

Related: Jenna Lyons Skips BravoCon 2023 as Questions Rise Over Whether She'll Return to RHONY

Lyons then was the only RHONY housewife to be absent from BravoCon 2023 in Las Vegas. Asked why she missed it, she joked to Entertainment Tonight on the red carpet of the CFDA Fashion Awards, "I had some things to do; some really important things to do, like twiddle my thumbs."

<p>Michael Loccisano/Getty </p> Jenna Lyons

Michael Loccisano/Getty

Jenna Lyons

Though she's now signed on to film again, it appears Lyons is putting up boundaries. In an interview with The New York Times posted Thursday, she made it clear she's going to keep her loved ones — including girlfriend Cass Bird — off camera.

"I have a relationship, but I would like to not name her," Lyons said. "I want to keep her out of the press. That is my commitment to her. It’s off the table. I joined this process. She did not."

This isn't the first time Lyons has made that call. She was in a relationship her first season but never revealed her girlfriend's name or discussed their romance, explaining the woman was private and uncomfortable being in the public eye. The two later broke up.

She and Bird have been much more public, however. Lyons revealed she was dating the acclaimed photographer and filmmaker in a New York Times feature published in June 2023. Bird, 50, has since made appearances on Lyons' Instagram. In September 2023, Lyons even showed off a sparkling ring Bird gave her in a cozy snap of the two.

"My girlfriend, who I adore, kept telling me that I had to button my shirt, and I said, ‘If you want me to button my shirt, you have to put a ring on it,’ " Lyons explained of the ring, while chatting with Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live in October 2023. “We’re just really happy and she gave me the ring that I wanted.” 

<p>Photo by Ben Rosser/</p> Jenna Lyons and Cass Bird in September 2023

Photo by Ben Rosser/

Jenna Lyons and Cass Bird in September 2023

Related: Jenna Lyons Surprises Fans by Wearing Jeans to Real Housewives of New York Reunion: 'I Am Not Sorry'

It's understandable why Lyons would want to be cagey with her love life on TV. After all, she spoke on the show about the pain she felt when she was publicly outed in the press as a lesbian in 2011, while she was in the midst of her divorce from her then-husband, artist Vincent Mazeau (together, they have a 17-year-old son Beckett Lyons Mazeau, who Lyons told the Times will also be kept off the show).

Still, Housewives are typically expected to be transparent about their lives on the show — and those who don't are often called to task for it by their costars when they aren't.

Viewers will have to wait to see if that happened to Lyons. Last season, she did get flack from her fellow New York City Housewives for not opening up enough and for moving with what some perceived as an air of superiority.

Asked by the Times if she expects she'll get push-back from her costars again for not showing parts of her life, Lyons said, "Yeah, I do" — but added, "I don’t care what anybody else says."

Related: 'RHONY': The Women Turn on Jenna for Being a 'Diva' but She Explains the 'Insecurities' Holding Her Back

<p>Gavin Bond/Bravo via Getty Images</p> The cast of 'The Real Housewives of New York City' season 14

Gavin Bond/Bravo via Getty Images

The cast of 'The Real Housewives of New York City' season 14

For what it's worth, fans embraced Lyons for being so candid about her health and insecurities around her appearance. And the Loveseen Lashes founder — who has since become the chief editor at large of Coveteur, and the executive creative director of FundamentalCo — said she's grateful for the passionate Bravo fans she'd gained along the way.

"What is consistently surprising to me, and such a tender moment, is the number of people that either DM or come up to me on the street and are like, 'It’s amazing to see an openly gay woman on national television being themselves,' " she told the Times. "I know that seems trite. It’s not the reason I’m doing it, and I wouldn’t lie to you and say that it is. I don’t think I’m here to be the spokesperson. That has been a really nice side effect of the show."

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And as for those aforementioned boundaries, Lyons says producers have been "very amenable" and "very open to reducing that exposure."

"Testing the waters of what you can say 'no' to is just something you have to do," she said.

The Real Housewives of New York City can be streamed in full on Peacock.

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