There’s only one mess John Mahdessian, the owner of New York’s swankiest specialty dry cleaning concern, Madame Paulette, won’t touch. “That [Real Housewives] reunion is so dirty that even me, the cleaner to the stars, couldn’t clean that mess up.”
Mahdessian is the boyfriend of New York housewife Dorinda Medley, who joined the Bravo franchise in 2015 with John in tow. He quickly became a divisive presence among Medley’s co-stars, who criticized him for what they felt was his unceasing sales-y schtick, for his partying, for being too sweaty. The bad feelings are mutual; of his paramour’s castmates he says, “I’d need to bring the FDNY and the NYPD, let one fight the crime, one fight all the mess, and I’ll take out the grime, and maybe we’ll clean up that crew.”
In an interview with Racked, Mahdessian talked about how he turned a family business into the dry cleaner to the stars, his brush with reality TV fame, and what’s next for Madame Paulette.
Let’s begin with the matter of Bethenny Frankel’s moths. When the star of the New York City version of the Housewives franchise found her Manhattan apartment besieged by moths, she called Mahdessian in a panic.
If one is lucky enough to have New York City’s premiere specialty cleaner on speed-dial, the time to call is when moths invade your $4.2 million lower Manhattan home. But it takes a brass set to call in a favor from a man you’ve called a cow to his face, and described on television by saying he’s “shady,” turns people off,” and “never misses the opportunity to do the wrong thing,” even going so far as to say his girlfriend “knows what he is, and it makes her self-conscious.”
But call Mahdessian Bethenny did. “Guess the nice guy who came to her rescue? It was me. Her entire wardrobe, her entire home.” (A rep for Frankel declined to comment on the call.) He demurs when asked how, exactly, he eradicated the Skinnygirl founder’s winged invaders. But he makes it clear that he takes his job seriously, regardless of whether he’s called upon to remove a red wine stains or a fleet of insects from someone’s home. “Our team is geared up like the Black Ops. You go in, every different terrain, and the enemy is gonna pose different threats and you got to be ready to take out your enemy.”