‘Real Housewives Of Dubai’ Star Taleen Marie Would Be Open To “Moving Forward” With Caroline Brooks If She Could “Apologize”: “We Need Couples’ Therapy”

Now in its second season, The Real Housewives of Dubai highlights the diverse and dynamic cast as the women share their friendships, their ambitions, their luxe lifestyles, and drama with Bravoholics everywhere. After four stellar episodes, critics and fans alike can safely say that Taleen Marie is the perfect addition to the franchise. Taleen has been happily married to Raffi Khanoyan since 2014.The couple live in UAE, have two beautiful daughters—Gigi and Sienna—and are surrounded by their large and much loved Armenian family.

Before married life, Marie was a professional singer who opened for such legends as Christina Aguilera and Sting and was even on Jamie Foxx’s label. While Marie doesn’t miss the politics of the music industry, she does miss her craft. “I just loved writing songs and creating something that wasn’t there before,” remembered Marie. However, Marie has developed a new passion after having her kids: fitness. “I unfortunately had a lot of miscarriages before I got pregnant, then had a very difficult pregnancy and then dealt with postpartum depression and anxiety,” revealed Marie. “Fitness helped me get through everything.” One of her goals is to hone an app to help women who have recently given birth get their “bodies” and “identities” back. Marie wants to help other women through “what can be a complicated time.”

A true girl’s girl, Marie has enjoyed bonding with her new cast mates like Caroline Stanbury and Chanel Ayan, much to the displeasure of her old friend, Caroline Brooks. Brooks, who was one of the first friends Marie made in Dubai, is not fond of Marie’s new friendship with Stanbury. “I felt like Brooks wanted me to be her sidekick,” confessed Marie. “Now, she says I’m not loyal because I’m getting to know people?” asked Marie incredulously. Talk about unfair! Still, Marie has hopes that the two can someday mend their friendship. “I do hope one day we can move past it because that’s the type of person I am,” said Marie. “We need Dr. Phil or something. We need couples’ therapy.”

Marie stopped by the Page Six studio to speak with DECIDER about her rookie season, her big, happy Armenian family and what she values most about Stanbury as a friend.

DECIDER: How are you feeling about being the newbie this season?

TALEEN MARIE: I’m so honored. It feels great. It’s a bit surreal, honestly. I’ll have moments when I have to pinch myself. I’m like, “wow, this is really happening,” but I’m loving it.

I am obsessed with your family. Their introduction was perfection. Raffi trying to find Sienna’s shoes, Gigi running around with your nipple pasties! Is that a typical day in your household?

It’s even worse. That was actually a calm day [laughs]. It’s a circus. It’s always a circus, and we are lucky enough to have help in the house. I can’t imagine if I didn’t have help. Raffi barely knows where their room is. He’s probably changed one diaper in his life, bless his heart, because he works his ass off. It’s upside down our house at all times. Never a dull moment with a five-year-old and a 2-year-old.

Taleen Marie, Real Housewives Of Dubai

It’s also nice to have another Armenian family on reality television. Is your mother, Slyva, ready to become the 7th housewife?

Well, she’s like Kris Jenner 2.0. She loves it [laughs]. My family has always been so supportive of everything. As the season progresses, you’re going to see a lot of ’em. My sister, who’s like my right hand, is hilarious. You’re going to see more of her as well. The Kardashians aren’t the only Armenian family on TV anymore. We have the Kalbians and Khanoyans now.

Before moving to Dubai, you were a professional singer. You opened for Christina Aguilera and Sting and were signed to Jamie Foxx’s label. What do you miss most about the music industry?

I loved the music part of it. It was the industry part I wasn’t a fan of. It was very cutthroat, even more cutthroat than some of the housewives I work with. I don’t miss that part of it, but I miss the creative aspect of it. You could put me in a studio for 10 hours, and it wouldn’t feel like work. I just love writing songs and creating something that wasn’t there before. You can do all that in Dubai, but it’s different. It’s not Los Angeles.

You found another creative outlet with your fitness platform, Tal Fitness. Can you give us an update on that project?

Yes! I working on a fitness app, specifically for women who’ve just had babies. I unfortunately had a lot of miscarriages before I got pregnant, then had a very difficult pregnancy, and then dealt with postpartum depression and anxiety. Fitness helped me get through everything and, ultimately, saved me. I got a little sidetracked from the app while I was running bootcamps in Dubai in addition to doing personal training and nutrition.

However, my mind would always go back to the app. After having a baby, women want to get their bodies back, but most importantly, their identities back. Pregnancy takes a huge toll emotionally as well as physically. In addition to the app, which will help women through my eight week transformation program, I’m also working on a protein shake that women can drink while they’re breastfeeding.

'Real Housewives of Dubai'
Photo: Bravo

It sounds like you’re going to help a lot of women with your app.

I have so many women that have come up to me and said: “Thank you for talking about the real deal, the good, the bad, and the ugly after birth.” It’s part of why I wanted to do RHODubai. I want to raise awareness of what women go through after birth and reveal how I plan to help them through what can be a complicated time.

Speaking of the show, which “V” debate are you tired of having and why: VIP vs. VVIP or the outrage surrounding Caroline Stanbury’s joke about seeing your vagina at the Beyonce concert?

[Laughs] Both. I’m over anything “V” related. I wasn’t even the one mad about Stanbury’s joke. It was just British banter, but it became like this telephone game that got more outrageous after each of the ladies’ heard the story. I’m so sick of hearing about it. It’s like that esophagus thing from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills this past season. That’s what it’s become. We just need to stop talking about it. Let’s talk about Beyonce. I’d rather talk about her!

You said on WWHL that you think the root of your issue with Caroline Brooks is that she wanted you to come on the show as her “lap dog” and “pawn,” which I tend to agree with. What could she do to mend your friendship?

For starters, apologize. I think hell would have to freeze over before I would ever get an apology from Brooks because she truly doesn’t think that she’s done anything wrong. Yes, she had my back regarding Stanbury’s comment, and I appreciate that. However, she was the one that just kept bringing it up. I realized it had nothing to do with me anymore. You know what I mean?

Brooks wanted me to be her sidekick, and I wanted to explore new friendships with the other girls. Now, she says I’m not loyal because I’m getting to know people? In her mind, she truly believes that she’s right. It makes me sad because we were good friends. I do hope one day we can move past it because that’s the type of person I am. I like moving forward. I just don’t know if she has it in her, but you never know. Never say never. We need Dr. Phil or something. We need therapy. Couples’ therapy.

Well, you have Andy Cohen.

We do have Andy Cohen. He’s a good voice of reason. Maybe he can fix it.

I loved that you tried to set up Sara Al Madani with your friend, Daniel. Are you disappointed that it didn’t work out or are you all in on Sara’s new friend, Akin?

As an Armenian, I love matchmaking. I’m actually working on a dating app right now [laughs]. I love an app! Hopefully, the app does better than the date Sara and Daniel went on. Daniel’s a great guy, but I didn’t realize that she might have been seeing Akin at the same time. So, I don’t think she was really open to Daniel, who is an incredible guy. However, I took one look at Akin and I was like, “all right, fine.” I wasn’t gonna fight her! Akin’s a 10. He’s a 10.

And what’s your personal stance on aliens? Do you believe in them like Sara?

Cuckoo [laughs]. Sorry. Some people believe in them, but I just don’t. I don’t even think Daniel believes in them. I think he was just trying to be nice to Sara.

Chanel Ayan, Caroline Stanbury, Taleen Marie, Real Housewives Of Dubai

Speaking of nice, I love watching you get to know Caroline Stanbury. What it is you value most about Caroline Stanbury as a friend?

We understand each other now. I love British humor. She’s very sarcastic like me. I feel like I can go to her with anything, and she’s not judgmental. She’s had so much experience, and she’s always willing to share that. That’s a true friend. She’s very honest. I mean, what you see is what you get. I base friendship on that. I’ve really enjoyed getting close to her and to Ayan as well.

Unlike Lesa Milan, I thought it was an incredibly classy move to pull Caroline Stanbury aside and away from the group to tell her what her husband Serigo Carrallo told Raffi and the other husbands at the men’s’ dinner about his feelings about her children diminishing him.

Even though we weren’t really friends at the time, I felt like that was the right way to handle things. That’s what I would’ve wanted done for me. I wasn’t looking for a moment. It was very personal. Sergio had mentioned it to Raffi a few times, and I knew if I brought it to the table, it would’ve just been everyone putting in their two cents.

It seems like Raffi could be a good influence on Sergio.

Yeah, he gave him a lot of good advice at that dinner. They’re getting much closer. The husbands have a great dynamic, which I love seeing because I feel like last season there was a bit of a rift. It’s nice. It’s nice to have our husbands get along with each other.

Why do you think Lesa Milan had such a bee in her bonnet about your private conversation with Stanbury?

Four b’s in her bonnet! I was not expecting that. We were at a Queen’s dinner, which was meant to lift everyone up. That’s why we went around and gave speeches to everyone saying what we liked about each other. It just really took a turn. I had never had an issue with Lesa before that moment. so I didn’t anticipate it. She did apologize to me after, which was classy. I was happy about that. Lesa moves on pretty quickly, like me, so I appreciated that. But yeah, I was not expecting that.

I’m glad that beef got squashed fairly quickly.

Another b!

What can you tease about the rest of the season?

Look, it’s a fun season. It reminds me of the older Housewives franchises. Nowadays, the drama gets a little bit too dark. Our shade is much lighter, even though there are some pretty big shifts in group dynamics. The friendships change. You’re going to see a lot of that. You also get to see a lot more of the men and meet our families. We take an awesome cast trip that I’m so excited about. It’s already such a strong season. Plus, you also see a lot more of Dubai, which is another character in and of itself . I love that.

The Real Housewives Of Dubai airs Tuesday nights at 9/8c on Bravo

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