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Real Housewives' Countess Separating From Husband

USMagazine, Tuesday, March 31, 2009, 5:37am (PDT)

The Real Housewives of New York City star Countess Luann de Lesseps has split from her husband, Count de Lesseps.

According to the New York Post, they decided to separate after she "got wind he was seeing somebody and he didn't answer her when she called. He finally sent her an e-mail saying he was with an Ethiopian woman in Geneva and he was serious with her."

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What's more, sources tell the Post the pair -- who have two children -- just celebrated their 16th anniversary on March 16.

"Luann was blindsided. She was just devastated," the Post quotes a pal as saying. "They have basically lived apart for many years -- he lives in Europe and comes and goes as he pleases, but she never thought this would happen."

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"It has been very rough for her and the children [Victoria and Noel], but she's taking the high road and will remain friends with him," adds the source. "She has no intention of making it bitter or becoming angry. She's just trying to come to terms with [the separation and impending divorce]. She feels this is the ultimate test for her to handle this with dignity and grace."

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Luann -- whose releases her book, Class With the Countess next month -- has told friends that, no matter what, "I will always be the countess," according to the Post.

Says her rep, "It is obviously a very difficult time for the countess and count, but they plan to remain friends and their primary focus will be to do what is best for their two children."

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