Real Housewives of Jersey star Tessa Hartmann has shared her ‘isolating and uncomfortable experience’ while filming the second series, after being reduced to tears by her alleged unvaccinated co-stars.
Chatting to hosts Bobby Norris and Stephen Leng on Access All Areas, the 52-year-old revealed how filming the second season was dissimilar to the first: “This season was very different for me personally. I felt quite isolated, I wasn’t part of the gang and it felt uncomfortable at times.”
The mother to singer Tallia Storm explained that after one particular episode, her co-stars actually reduced her to tears: “I was crying, I’ll hold my hands up, episode two I was. I’ve never experienced an around the table with a group of women like that where things were said about me and my family, most of which weren’t shown. I lost it and I went home and cried like a baby.”
She continued: “That’s the first time I’ve done that in a long time. I’ve been in business for 30 years and I’ve never ever felt like that.”
Despite all being friends at the end of the first series, the Scottish Fashion Awards founder explained how the break in filming forged a rift between herself and the other women: “We came back 6 months later and I work full time and the other ladies had been socialising and formed a really tight knit friendship group […] I work, I’m a mum, I don’t have time to do that.”
She added: “You know that feeling when you go back to school after the holiday’s and they’ve all been mates and you’re not. And then there’s the inside jokes and the wee digs and there’s a lot of stuff that goes on and I just thought, you know what, I’m too old for that now. I just felt it was quite harsh and vitriolic and quite mean.”
The mum-of-four, who battled with breast cancer in 2017, revealed that she was relieved when shooting finished: “It was so uncomfortable that by the time it got to the end of the show I actually couldn’t wait to finish it because I am all about positivity. I’ve been through so much in my life and my family is everything.”
Filming for the popular franchise took place in the summer of 2021 in Jersey for ITVBe. Tessa was quick to defend the channel, and that the fault of her negative experience was with her fellow co-stars: “I don’t feel it’s anyone’s fault but the women themselves. It’s not ITV’s fault, it’s not the production company’s fault, it’s the women. We are responsible for our own behaviour.”
However, upon watching the final cut of the show, Tessa revealed that she felt let down by the way she’d been portrayed: “How the episodes evolved from one to nine I was true to myself and I stuck to my guns. But because so many bits were edited out you kinda think, ‘oh god she’s overreacting a wee bit why is she crying there?’”
“I felt a bit let down with the edit because I think if you’re going to have the drama you need to show the viewer warts and all. You need to show how these people behave if you’re gunna cut them and that’s a wee bit unfair.”
Later in the interview, Tessa added that another point of contention during the series was actually in relation to safety whilst filming in the midst of the pandemic: “Quite a lot of the wives aren’t vaccinated and they’re anti-vaxxers. That was another thing that bothered me. I was slightly irritated by that because I’m very much for science and following the rules.”
This particularly hit home after Tessa’s 17 year-old-son contracted the virus over the festive break and had to be hospitalised after developing serious symptoms. She added: “If you really feel that strongly about it then you shouldn’t want to put yourself in harm’s way for other people […] It’s unfair too, there’s lighting technicians, audio guys, producers… It’s not about me and the cast it’s about the team.”
When asked whether she’s still in touch with any of her fellow co-stars Tessa responded: “I see Mia [Ledbury] occasionally who actually I got on with really well [..] but the rest of them, no I don’t, because they weren’t nice to me or my family and when somebody comes for your family you just step back.”
“My rule of thumb to my kids is when people are nasty you don’t engage and that’s my position.”
The latest series of Housewives of Jersey is available to stream on ITV Hub.
Listen to the full episode of Access All Areas, also featuring Greg O’Shea and Summer Monteys-Fullam here.