Leva Bonaparte is making history. After making guest appearances on the show over the years, Bonaparte is joining the cast of Southern Charm in season 7. Bonaparte is also the first person of color to be cast on the show. “It’ll be nice for viewers to see my version of Charleston,” Bonaparte told People.
Bonaparte, who is of Iranian descent, is excited to bring a new perspective to the show. “I’m no rookie to being the different person in the room on all levels,” she said. “So that’s nothing new to me. That’s just how I navigate through life regardless.”
Southern Charm‘s newest cast member grew up in Canada and South America, but fell in love with Charleston nearly 20 years ago after visiting the city on a work trip. “In my experience, Charleston has changed tremendously over the past 20 years,” she said. “But the way I walk through life in Charleston is definitely different than my white friends or my Black friends. I think it’ll be nice for viewers to see that there is a diverse group of people that are having some uncomfortable conversations, and that’s where all the good stuff and healing begins.”
Southern Charm's Leva Bonaparte is quite the businesswoman
Bonaparte is a successful businesswoman who is in business with her husband, Lamar Bonaparte. As noted by Distractify, Bonaparte and her husband tied the knot in 2013 and have one child together.
Bonaparte and her husband, a Charleston native, have become quite successful in the hospitality business. They have opened several clubs and restaurants in Charleston including Mesu, a Mexican and sushi fusion restaurant which they run with business partner Craig Conover, another Southern Charm star. Other businesses owned by the couple include Republic Garden & Lounge, and Bourbon N’ Bubbles. All of the Bonapartes’ businesses are located on Charleston’s famous King Street. The Bonapartes are also involved with the Republic Development and Management Group as well as marketing firm 26 Industries.
Bonaparte already has a substantial social media following with nearly 14,000 followers on Instagram, a number that’s bound to grow now that she’s a cast member of Southern Charm.
Leva Bonaparte isn't afraid of confrontation
Bonaparte is ready to shake things up on Southern Charm, something that was made quite apparent in the season 7 trailer in which she can be seen confronting castmate Kathryn Dennis. Dennis had used a monkey emoji in a text exchange with Black radio host Tamika Gadsden, leading to criticism.
“It just had to be addressed,” Bonaparte told People of the incident. “It was important because we were building a friendship, and I felt like I had been really gracious. Over the year, there were a few sort of grievances on my part against her, and I kept giving her grace. And at this point, I was just like, ‘Enough is enough, and I have to tell you how I feel about what you decided to write, say, do.'”
Bonaparte added that she doesn’t think Gadsden, who has apologized for the incident, had bad intentions. “I’d never seen anything like that from her,” she said. “So it was the decent thing to do, to hear her out and walk her through it.”
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