'Real Housewives of Miami' Gets Real with Lesbian Cast Member

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Thursday December 2, 2021

Julia Lemigova
Julia Lemigova  (Source:Associated Press)

It's been a long eight years since "The Real Housewives of Miami" graced TV screens, but now the reality show is back — and better than ever with a lesbian cast member, The Hill reported.

"Julia Lemigova, a former Russian model who was crowned Miss USSR in 1990, will join the cast as the first lesbian housewife," the article said. "She's married to the former professional tennis player Martina Navratilova, who is widely considered to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time."

Lemigova will join returning cast members Alexia Echevarria and Lisa Hochstein. Two other new cast members will also be on the show: Guerdy Abraira and Nicole Martin.

The Hill noted that "there have been other housewives who have come out during their time on the show," but "Lemigova is the first one to be out from the get-go."

Citing past criticism of a lack of diversity in the franchise, The Hill recalled that openly gay producer Andy Cohen "told 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' cast member Garcelle Beauvais on her podcast that Bravo had come close to casting 'several lesbians,' but it had just never worked out."

"He also said the network had toyed around with the idea of casting a gay man as its first gay housewife on 'Real Housewives of New Jersey' in the early 2000s," The Hill added. "We wound up just not doing it," Cohen said.

The new season of "The Real Housewives of Miami" will stream on Peacock beginning Dec. 16.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.