Florida Judge Won’t Let ‘RHONY’ Countess Luann Close Assault Case From Rehab

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A Florida judge has decided that the drunken assault case of Real Housewives of New York star Luann de Lesseps cannot be resolved remotely, and she will have to appear in court, in person, in order to wrap up the case. The problem is that de Lesseps is back in rehab for her second stint, and so her lawyer attempted to appear in her place.

Page Six says that Palm Beach County Judge Glenn Kelley has set another date for August 29, and is insisting that de Lesseps make an appearance. This week, de Lesseps’ lawyer, Douglas Duncan, appeared in place of his client to see if she could take a “plea in absentia” and move forward.

Countess Luann’s legal team has negotiated a deal with the Palm Beach prosecutor for her to plead guilty to battery, trespassing, and disorderly intoxication charges as a misdemeanor rather than a felony in order to avoid jail time.

Luann de Lesseps went right to rehab after her arrest in December and checked back into a facility just before her hearing this week. De Lesseps is currently in the middle of a legal disagreement involving her ex-husband, Count Alexandre de Lesseps, and her two adult children over a trust account which was never established.

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Over Independence Day, de Lesseps posted photos with her ex-husband and children, Noel and Victoria, as if everything was fine, but the following week it was reported that her ex and their children were suing her for breach of contract.

At the time of their divorce in 2009, Luann was supposed to put half the value of her Sag Harbor home ($3.1 million) in a trust for Noel and Victoria, but that never happened. Instead, Luann reportedly kept the entirety of the property in her own name. The count heard that Luann was planning to sell her Hamptons home and buy herself another place in upstate New York, cutting the kids totally out of their trust. Count de Lesseps and the children want Luann to honor her part of the bargain.

After Luann was arrested in December, Count de Lesseps told friends he was disappointed that Luann had changed her last name back to his after her divorce from Tom D’Agostino.

“He told her she is ruining the family name and should drop it if she’s continuing to act like this… He is watching from abroad and is totally embarrassed.”

Luann apologized to her friends and family after making the decision to head to rehab the first time.