Lynda Erkiletian, who has the distinction of starring in the only U.S. “Real Housewives” franchise not to make it past Season 1, still thinks Washington could make it to the big time. Although some argue that Washington will never be more than a political town, Erkiletian isn’t buying it. Thirty-three years after opening the Artist Agency, her D.C.-based talent firm, the onetime reality star continues to push Washington into the limelight.
What was your experience like on “Housewives”?
When I started doing the show, I had already been in business 26 years, so I had my tribe of industry people who knew who I was. But it was wonderful to have the platform of Bravo and be able to showcase our industry across the nation and, in some cases, across the world.
Overall, was the experience a positive or a negative?
I won’t say it was all a bed of roses. It certainly was not. As you probably know, we had our White House crashers, and the FBI — which [“Housewives” executive producer] Andy Cohen just recently talked about — came in and seized all the film and footage. It was very uncomfortable. We were the first “Housewives” show that didn’t go forward for a second season. We knew that [before they told us] because they stopped filming, and we knew the FBI requested all the footage because they had to make sure that Bravo didn’t have anything to do with it. That’s a monster breathing down your back when you’re trying to do a reality show.
Did you have any idea that was going to happen?
Oh, no. I didn’t really film with the Salahis with the exception of being at other people’s parties, because that was part of my contract. I had done business with them in the past, and I didn’t want the association. We had done her [Michaele’s] polo event before for the fashion show, and, unfortunately, it wasn’t a very good business arrangement. We had to sue them to get our money. So, I really didn’t want to pretend that I liked who they were. But I think the “Housewives of D.C.” was certainly worth doing it. I have no regrets as far as that goes.
How do you feel about “The Real Housewives of Potomac”?
I haven’t seen this season, but I do have favorites. I think it’s great to have a reality show in D.C. I used to live in Potomac. It’s a fantastic city. It’s wonderful that they’re doing it. We need something to showcase our city on a national level. If that’s what it takes, I’m all for it.