Caroline Stanbury knows a thing or two about the world of reality TV. Having starred on Bravo’s Ladies of London a few years ago, and making an extended appearance on Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, Caroline is back in action with The Real Housewives of Dubai. And it's promising to be a drama-filled season. Still, Caroline knows exactly what she's getting into, and she's not holding back.
While the UK native had not yet seen the new show when she sat down with Women's Health, she opened up about her decision to return to the world of reality TV and how she's changed over the years. So, without further ado, let's catch up with Caroline Stanbury, a reformed Lady of London and new Dubai housewife.
Caroline got divorced since the last time she was on TV.
Since the 2014 season 1 debut of Ladies of London, life looks different for Caroline. She's queen of a new city, has a new husband, and has softened her edges a bit. “I probably have become a better person, nicer person,” she says, noting that her life was incredibly hectic while filming LOL all those years ago. “I think now I've got a little bit more time for myself,” she says. “I said I wouldn't do it again, but I'm now busier than ever and I'm becoming more successful than ever, which is really exciting.”
Caroline is hosting a podcast called "Divorced Not Dead," is a luxury brand ambassador, and recently launched a new shoe collection, per her Bravo bio.
Caroline says she now has a “new life” that she calls “a lot softer" and "a lot less regimented.” And she's focusing more on herself these days. “It's a lot less about everybody else and more about me," she explains.
Her second marriage is to a Real Madrid soccer player.
There's a handsome new man in Caroline's life! When everyone met her on LOL, Caroline was married to financier Cem Habib, with whom she has three children. They eventually got divorced in 2019, and she’s now married to former Real Madrid soccer player, Sergio Carrallo. And boy, are they still in the honeymoon phase! “Married life is amazing, really,” Caroline says.
Now, after wrapping filming for season 1, the love birds are busy nesting. “We just bought our first house together," Caroline tells WH. The couple had a near twenty-year age gap during filming (Sergio was 27 to Caroline's 45), and they've been diving head-first into their life together. "It's kind of like a do-over. I'm getting to, like, relive my youth again with him," Caroline says.
While Caroline is certainly not unique in making a home in Dubai as an expatriate, her age-defying love is. “There aren't many women in the Middle East married to a man that's 20 years younger. But there are a lot of men married to women that are 20 years younger. So, I'm definitely breaking a social norm.”
The couple was robbed while traveling with Caroline’s children in Greece.
The couple had been traveling in Greece with Caroline’s three children to celebrate Yasmine’s academic accomplishments. But the trip took a turn after a “nightmare" burglary, Caroline said on her Instagram story and in a tweet.
“Having set off on our holiday and landing within 3 hours we were robbed,” the RHODubai star explained. “We came home to the men still in our house.”
Thankfully, no one was harmed, and security was immediately hired. Caroline shared a photo of a broken lock in their Mykonos rental home.
stay safe … this would not have happened in dubai pic.twitter.com/7BF44n2ogC
— Caroline Stanbury (@C_Stanbury) June 26, 2022
Caroline said that the thieves took “so much” and showed her followers a video of their suitcases open and many miscellaneous items scattered and thrown around their rooms.
Sergio also posted about the incident: “It was so scary that I can’t express,” he said in a tweet. “Now is when I miss Dubai, how safe and secure it is,” he concluded.
Sergio really wants to have a baby with Caroline.
On last week's episode, Caroline talked about just how badly her new husband Sergio wants a baby.
“I'm very scared to do this again, but if I can't have the baby Sergio won’t stay, fact,” she said in a confessional interview at the show’s start.
The topic arose when the couple spotted the ‘baby room’ in the building plans of their new house. When she acknowledged the difficulty of having a child at her age, Sergio responded, “My parents have to be grandparents...The Carrallo generation has to keep going.”
He also turned down the surrogacy option: “I don't want someone else to carry it,” Sergio said.
Despite Caroline’s reassurance that 'it's exactly the same' as a traditional pregnancy, Sergio stood his ground: “I don't think so honey,” he said, adding, “A little baby girl has to happen,'’ The Daily Mail reported.
“This is definitely where I see the age difference because he is clueless,” Caroline admitted in her confessional. “He just thinks two people have sex and a baby comes out.”
— RealityStella (@realitystella) June 23, 2022
She's freezing her eggs.
Ahead of the premiere, Caroline opened up in an interview with Women’s Health about her decision to freeze her eggs. Without wanting to spoiling too much, she explained: “We just want to have options. I don't think Sergio’s grasped that I may look a bit younger, but inside isn't… It's not as easy as he would like it to be.”
She talks more about her egg freezing process on her podcast Divorced Not Dead.
And Caroline is apparently planning to start the process of trying to have a baby next year, which she discusses on the show. "When we froze our eggs, well, my eggs, he wasn't allowed to mix his sperm with them because we weren't married. Now you can do that before marriage," she said, per The Daily Mail.
Yasmine is not in support of another sibling: “You’re not allowed to have another one,”she told her mother in an earlier episode. “There’s no world where you could ever convince me to want another sibling,” Yasmine added, per Page Six.
Seems like Caroline might be in for some family drama...
Caroline's been accused of faking chemistry with Sergio.
And that claim was lobbed by Chanel Ayan, a fellow housewife. “I feel like Sergio and Stanbury—I don’t think they have any sexual existence,” Ayan said in her confessional during the show’s premiere last week, per Page Six. “I see it more like wannabe, made-up chemistry over sexual energies on their Instagram pages.” She even called it a “contract wedding.”
But the comments could’ve been made out of anger. After all, she wasn’t invited to Stanbury’s “hen party”—or in non-British person terms—her bachelorette party. Chanel found out because Lesa Milan ditched their shopping trip to Hermès in order to attend.
Despite Ayan’s comments, the couple was displaying major PDA, including making out and grinding on one another, during the party, which, of course, took place on a yacht.
All in all, it seems that there’s some bad blood brewing between Stanbury and Ayan. According to Ayan, their energy “did not match” despite meeting several times. Well, buckle up, because it’s my guess that we’re about to find out what’s really going on between these two castmates.
She hopes the housewives can reframe the way people think of Dubai.
When news first broke that the Housewives franchise would be making its way to Dubai, a few fans expressed concern over LGBTQ+ and gender equity issues in the city. (The UAE is very intolerant of the gay community, with the threat of jail time). Still, speaking generally, Caroline insists that Dubai is “very tolerant,” adding, “I'm a luxury brand ambassador, and I'm married to a young guy and I have a divorce. A few years ago, I couldn't have lived with him before we got married. Things are changing at such a speed that I think the Housewives of Dubai will re-educate people on what it actually looks like over here. We are not shackled and tied to camels in the desert. We’re living very cosmopolitan, cool lives.”
About 85 percent of the city is made up of expatriates living outside their home country, according to the World Population Review. “Dubai is very multicultural,” Caroline says. “It's such a melting pot of different people. Every sort of walk of life lives here. I mean, if you told me that there would be Jews and Muslims living in the same town here, you know, 10 years ago, everyone would have gone, ‘No way.’ You'll see how far it has come. Everyone is here.”
But there are different ‘rules’ of life in Dubai that the housewives have to navigate.
No wine tumblers at soccer games for these housewives. You can really only drink alcohol in Dubai if you're at home or at a licensed venue. “Each household has a license,” Caroline says. “You just have to think a little bit differently." And that also applies to her clothes and actions outside of the house.
"If I want to wear hot pants, I can wear them to the beach. I don't wear them in a mall, but out of respect, right?" she says. "I can't kiss in public and have a snug in public, but I don't particularly want to watch people snogging in public, so I'm fine.”
But, Caroline says, “I can lie in bed with all my windows open and put all my diamonds by the bed without the fear of having them stolen. I can lose my child in a public place and not have a complete meltdown, because he will be back." She called these trade-offs "priceless."
“If I have to think about ordering my alcohol legally, the right way, versus being, you know, robbed in my bed at gunpoint, it's a no brainer for me,” she says. “These rules are kind of here to protect you and then once you learn them, they're not that difficult." The housewives adjust to the rules, "but genuinely, we all live super well, super well," she added.
Caroline's an old pro at the whole reality TV thing.
Being on a reality show is like regular life with “an added layer," Caroline explains.
That means working on performing all your regular private routines naturally, even though someone is filming at all times, she says. Still, sometimes the camera doesn't capture the entire person. When asked about what the shows don't capture about her persona, Caroline says that "sometimes, maybe your softer side doesn't come out, or you're so militant because you're so busy."
Still, she explains that it's hard not to be authentic. "Life is so fast here that you don't really have time to hide anything. It's not like you can present yourself completely different. I mean, I certainly can’t—I can't talk for the other girls, but I can't be someone I'm not.”
When she watches herself back during an episode, she says she simply takes on the role of "viewer," enjoying the show like anyone else. Caroline learned long ago she wouldn't be able to control the camera to show all her best angles, but the newer girls may have more of an issue adjusting.
She thinks her friend Lindsay Lohan would make a 'Great Housewife'
But Caroline added that Lindsay, who also lives in Dubai, is probably too busy to join the cast of RHODubai.
“I actually spoke to her today," Caroline told Page Six. "She’s doing a new movie and is super happy and has got her [‘Lohdown’] podcast,” she elaborates. “I can’t imagine she’d be joining us but happy to have her if she wants to.”
She's also worth millions.
Caroline is not messing around. Celebrity Net Worth reports that she's worth about $30 million. As far as business ventures go, in 2008, she launched a luxury goods company called Gift Library, but that has since shut down.
She wouldn't be opposed to another RHODubai season... depending on how this one goes.
There’s no news yet on whether RHODubai will get greenlit for another season, but Caroline expects it will.
“I do feel that this show is so good that even if we lay down in the desert and did nothing, everyone would watch just because they’re fascinated,” she says. “If they asked me back, of course I’d absolutely love to come back."
But first, she says everyone needs to see how the first season goes. "Let's talk about it in a few months," Caroline adds.
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