Dorit Kemsley gained fame for her role as one of the most polarizing cast members on Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” series. Since joining the cast — which also includes Kyle Richards, Lisa Rinna, and Erika Jayne — in 2016 for season 7, according to Bravo, Dorit has always been one to stir the pot and help fuel the season’s drama and feuds.
Before she was a housewife and celebrity, Dorit was a globe trotter and designer. Dorit, who’s last name was Lemel at the time, had her own swimwear line called Dorit International. Audiences even saw her re-launch her design career on the show to great success. Now, Dorit is known as the owner and designer for her Beverly Beach swimwear line as well, as other undisclosed businesses, a “Real Housewife” castmate, and one of the most fashionable women on the show. But who was Dorit before audiences knew her? Read on to find out more about her transformation!
Born Dorit Lemel, the future Housewife graduated high school in 1994
Before we all knew her as Dorit Kemsley and a “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” cast member, she was Dorit Lemel. Dorit was born and raised in Woodbridge, Connecticut. There, she attended Amity Regional High School, according to the Daily Mail. While in high school, Dorit sported naturally curly locks and participated in extracurricular activities. Dorit was a member of her high school’s business board in 1993, and played on the girls’ soccer team while she was a junior, according to Radar Online.
Once she graduated from high school in June 1994, which she shared on Instagram, Dorit headed to college at Quinnipiac University for a bachelor’s degree in marketing, design, and communication. Soon after, she was off to Italy thanks to her desire to travel the world. While there, she worked for a global swimwear company for more than 10 years before returning to the east coast. Dorit settled in New York City, where she ultimately launched her very own swimwear line called Dorit International in 2009, according to Bravo.
Dorit Kemsley becomes a 'Real Housewife'
The 2010s were big for Dorit Kemsley in that they were life-changing. Not only had she just founded her swimwear company called Dorit International, but she had also just met the love of her life, Paul “PK” Kemsley, in 2011. “We had had a few things in common, so we went out as a group,” she told the Daily Dish. “And in that time it was very clear — it was a lot of banter between him and I. And it was a very clear chemistry.” The rest is history, as the pair got married in a 1920s-themed wedding at New York City’s Rainbow Room in 2015, reported Wedding Style Magazine. And the couple’s two kids, Jagger and Phoenix, soon followed.
A year later, Bravo audiences around the world met the luxurious ball of energy that is Dorit Kemsley. She took the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” cast by storm with her designer yet super trendy wardrobe, 10,000-square-foot home (per Romper), and an interesting accent that’s definitely not from Connecticut.
Dorit Kemsley and Erika Jayne feud over 'Pantygate' claims
One of the most talked about storylines in all of “Real Housewives” franchise history is pantygate. After Erika Jayne’s short skirt revealed her lack of underwear, Dorit Kemsley questioned whether the wardrobe malfunction was an intentional decision to flash her husband, PK, and spurred a season-long issue between herself and the “XXpen$ive” singer. But to this day, Dorit realizes that the whole situation was absolutely a mistake on her part.
While discussing 25 things that no one knows about her with Us Weekly, Kemsley said “my biggest ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ regret is definitely pantygate with Erika [Gerardi].” When asked whether pantygate with Dorit is over, Erika told People NOW, “I mean, for me, it has been, for sure … we’ve been able to move on, which is nice.” Today, the two ladies are two of the closest women in the show’s cast, but their relationship was definitely on the rocks for a bit after the panty controversy.
Dorit Kemsley launches Beverly Beach
In the midst of the chaotic, season-long controversy that was “Pantygate,” Dorit Kemsley was making some business moves with the help of her “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” visibility. After taking a hiatus to have her two children, Jagger and Phoenix, Dorit returned to her designing roots a year after joining the show. She relaunched her Dorit International swimwear company with a new line tailored to her more recent move and chapter in life — Beverly Beach by Dorit, per Bravo. Dorit celebrated the 2017 release of Beverly Beach with a fashion show that her “Real Housewives” cast mates attended.
Two years later, Dorit expanded Beverly Beach into more of a lifestyle brand with both kids’ swimwear and athleisure wear. Of course, all of the ladies of the “Beverly Hills” cast came out to support Dorit’s latest venture with all the fanfare that’s worthy of a designer’s latest collection.
The Kemsleys had some money troubles
Even with all of her perceived success, it seems that it has not been all positive vibes for Dorit Kemsley and her husband, Paul “PK” Kemsley. The couple was involved in a series of legal battles involving their various businesses, like Beverly Beach and PK’s management company, Nixxi Entertainment, where he works with singer Boy George. According to Us Weekly, Dorit faced lawsuits against her former business partner for her swimwear company, while PK had his own issues over a loan that had amounted to more than $1 million in debt that he had used to start his management business years before.
But through the strife, Dorit and PK have stayed strong and their marriage has endured. “PK and I are super tight. We’re super strong and most of it, it’s just really blown out of proportion,” she said. “So you learn to be numb to it and you just carry on with life. And our life is a pretty fabulous bubble, you know, with our two beautiful kids and I’ve got a great husband and it’s easy to stay strong.”
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