Tinsley Mortimer Reemerges from the Darkness

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Economy got you down? Worried that things aren't getting any better? Well here, at long last, is a sign that things really are on their way back into the black. Beloved/reviled New York socialite Tinsley Mortimer is back on the scene! Yes, an honest-to-goodness socialite is preparing her American second act, which means we too will soon be Scrooge McDuck-style bathing in our own lost riches. Or, you know, it just means we're going to be reading a book by Tinsley Mortimer.

Mortimer's zenith was four or five years ago, back in Gawker's New York-centric heyday, when she became famous for going to parties, but also designed handbags, was big in Japan, and guested on Gossip Girl. But then, in 2010, she starred on The CW's reality show High Society, about a bunch of New York gadabouts, and it all went to hell. Everyone hated the show, Mortimer lost all her social standing, and, worst of all, the show chronicled her separation and eventual divorce from Robert "Topper" Mortimer, her true meal ticket into the stiff inner circle of Manhattan society (you see, Tinsley is from Virginia). Yes, Tinsley and Topper were no more and then so too was her reputation. All of a sudden Tinsley disappeared. Where to, nobody knows. But it doesn't matter anymore, because she's back!

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Yes, as detailed in a new profile in The New York Times, Mortimer readying her reemergence into society, now that she's having a roman à clef called Southern Charm, about a New York socialite from the South named Minty, published by Simon & Schuster. The book "follows Minty, a South Carolinian in New York, through hurtful feuds, a marriage gone awry and multiple costume changes." Though Mortimer insists that the book, which she wrote with a friend, is a work of pure fiction, the heroine, whose full name is Mary Randolph Mercer Davenport, "marries an old-money scion who proves unfaithful." So... that all sounds rather familiar! But ah well, there's nothing wrong with that. Mortimer's own story is the one people want her to tell. Of course, how many people actually want that remains to be seen.

Also to be seen will be Ms. Mortimer herself, who will use public appearances to build her personal brand — she's still designing handbags and jewelry, and wants to expand. "I know when I go out and wear a pretty dress and get photographed, I’m going to be in the press, which will help with my business," she tells The Times, meaning we can all look forward to a resurgence of the Tinz in the semi-public sphere. Just because she's soon to be a serious published author — a vital step in certain celebrities' career and image makeovers — it doesn't mean she will completely give up what she's best at, which is showing up to Manhattan parties and looking pretty. Someone's gotta do it, goddarn it. Someone has to remind us all of our faded wealth and prosperity, and all the frivolity it afforded us.

So we're happy about this. Welcome back, Tinz darling. We've missed you ever so much! And while we probably won't follow your trajectory too closely, it will still be nice to know that you're out there somewhere, posing regally for Patrick McMullan, touching champagne flutes with the city's Uptown elite, and giving us all hope that the golden years of our city, and really our country, lie not past the rubble and ruins behind us, but somewhere ahead, out there on the dazzling horizon.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.