Dorinda Medley has been welcomed by viewers on the Real Housewives of New York City this year, but what about her boyfriend John Mahdessian?
Mahdessian is the owner of the Upper East Side’s high-end dry cleaner, Madame Paulette, which was opened in 1959 by his father’s uncle. His uncle wanted a local, fine dry cleaner to tend to the extravagant gowns of his wife, a French couturier named Madame Paulette. When his father became ill in 1987, the NYU graduate declined an offer from Wall Street in order to take over the family business.
Mahdessian grew up in Little Neck, Queens, and is now the couture cleaner for everyone from Anna Wintour to Lady Gaga!
There’s no doubt John has caused controversy on the show. He showed up at a nightclub without Medley and got too touchy-feely with some of Dorinda’s cast mates at a party.
How does he feel about the attention he’s received from the show? “It really doesn’t do anything for me because when I go to the Met Gala, the richest, most prominent people recognize me,” he tells the NY Post. “The higher up you go, the more I’m respected and recognized. In my own little world, being in the business for so many years and catering to the richest people, I’m used to that. It’s normal.”
So how did he meet Dorinda? In 2009, Medley and her second husband, Richard Medley, were invited to a Prince’s Trust dinner at Buckingham Palace. Medley had borrowed a $65,000 Roberto Cavalli gown, only to have someone spill a glass of red wine on it.
“She, of course, got upset and freaked out,” says Mahdessian, who thereafter became friendly with Medley and her husband. “One of her friends said, ‘Don’t worry about it, darling. Bring it to Madame Paulette and they’ll take excellent care of it.’ We made it look brand new.”
After Richard passed away in 2011, Medley and Mahdessian began dating. And Dorinda says the show has helped their relationship.
“I think it’s helped John to also be more self-aware. Maybe what he thinks is funny, the public doesn’t,” she says. “I know John and love John and I know he’s harmless. But sometimes he can be a little bit too playful, I guess.”
While Dorinda refused to discuss marriage, John was more open to the idea. “I need to get a ring,” he says. “I know that I would have to raise the price of every piece of dry cleaning by $1 to get the rock she deserves.”
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