“The Real Housewives of Miami” returns today after an 8-year hiatus, with this season featuring the first-ever openly gay woman who is married to a woman in the main cast.
The year’s cast features Julia Lemigova, a former model and the wife of tennis star Martina Navratilova. The prolific “Housewives” franchise has featured lesbians before, including Robin Levy in “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” and Braunwyn Windham-Brooke of “The Real Housewives of Orange County,” who came out as lesbian in 2020. However, Lemigova will be the first “housewife” married to a woman at the time of her appearance on the show.
In an email to NBC News, Lemigova shared that “Being a visible part of our LGBTQ community is quite new to me and I would not even try to pretend I am a spokesperson for it,” adding, “What I am happy to be is a spokesperson for myself and my family and hope that as a family we represent our LGBTQ community well.”
The first episode features both Lemigova and Navratilova, NBC reports. During the episode, Lemigova reveals that she and Navratilova first met in 2000 at the French Open, although didn’t reconnect for another eight years.
Lemigova also opens up about “the stigma” associated with being gay during a confessional in the first episode, NBC reports. She recalls her refusal to hold Navratilova’s hand in public, saying, “‘We can’t. People are watching. You can’t do that.’”
“The Real Housewives of Miami” Season 4 premieres December 16 on Peacock streaming. Subsequent episodes will be available each Thursday.