'Real Housewives of Dubai' star Lesa Milan on Caroline Stanbury feud: 'I'm a leader, not a follower'

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Lesa Milan knows her way around reality TV cameras.

The Real Housewives of Dubai standout first dipped her toe in the world of unscripted television nearly a decade and a half ago, as a cast member on BET’s College Hill, a short-lived era that prepared her for world of Housewives. During the first half of this season of RHODubai, Bravo’s first official international edition of its flagship franchise, Milan has proven that she’s a force to be reckoned with. She’s willing to showcase her family, her business, her friendships and her tiffs with adversaries on the cast (namely, Caroline Stanbury, a former Ladies of London star).

In an interview on In The Know’s pop culture interview series, We Should Talk, Milan opened up about what it was like joining the show, what she thinks about the cast’s ongoing Twitter feuds as the show airs, why she and Stanbury can’t seem to get along, and what went into the recent expansion of her maternity clothing line, Mina Roe.

Listen to In The Know’s full interview with Real Housewives of Dubai star Lesa Milan below, and keep reading for highlights from the interview:

On clashing with Caroline Stanbury: We’re both type-A personalities, and it’s been like this since we’ve met. I’ve known her for quite some time now. I’m really outspoken, and I think she’s used to girls following behind her. I’m a leader, not a follower. I don’t follow behind anybody. If anything, she has to get in line. With that said, I feel like because I’m such a strong person, she naturally doesn’t take to me. Because I see what type of person she is, I naturally just don’t take to her, you know? We’ll see what happens in the future, but we’ve been like this for a while. What you guys are seeing on the show is just our real lives being played out, real friendships — I use that word loosely — playing out, and let’s just see.

On the cast’s Twitter drama: I actually am [surprised by it]. I’ve been friends with these ladies for many years, they know who I am, they know my heart, they know I’m never coming from a bad place, so when I do see things escalate — I’m new to Twitter, so I’m not into all of these Twitter beefs and weirdness, it’s so beneath me, really — and seeing them attacking me over some fun shade … although there’s a lot of truth to those shades and they know it, that’s why [my cast mates] are offended. They know there’s some truth to the shade. […] They need to learn how to understand the assignment.

On Chanel Ayan being her best friend on the cast: She started off as one of my models, and I didn’t really have a lot of friends when I moved here. She would always take me out, because no one even knew I owned Mina Roe. I’m just now letting the world know this. She’d be like, “Come! Let me introduce you to all these different people in the fashion industry!” We would start hanging out, and one thing led to another. She is the funniest human being on the face of this earth. To be honest, I call her every day, just because I know she’s going to say something that’s going to make me laugh. She’s naturally, authentically, unapologetically herself, and I’ve always loved her for that. She’s actually the person that brought me onto the show and put me forward to the casting directors. I love her and, yes, my loyalty is to her.

On the origins and expansion of her clothing company, Mina Roe: Mina Roe started when I was pregnant with my second son, and I couldn’t find anything nice to wear during my first pregnancy, so when I was pregnant the second time around, Mina Roe was about to be launched. As I grow as a mom, as a woman, I find different things that women need. For me, after not finding maternity wear, the next step was not finding clothes that weren’t forcing me to snap back. Everybody on Instagram was snapping back. I was like, this is a problem that needs to be fixed. We can’t fit into our pre-baby jeans right away. So many women are forced to try to get our bodies back immediately, because that’s what everybody else is doing. But that’s not realistic. The whole idea behind the brand has been: What’s the next step beyond maternity?

Watch In The Know’s full interview with Lesa Milan below, and tune into The Real Housewives of Dubai on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET only on Bravo:

If you enjoyed this story, check out In The Know’s recent interview with fellow “Real Housewives of Dubai” star Nina Ali here!

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