So remember that thing in our most recent “Princesses: Long Island” recap about Amanda Bertonicini’s ridiculous Drink Hanky photo shoot? You know, the one in which a model, toting a beer bottle clad in one of Amanda’s high-fashion signature Drink Hankies, poses with a statue of a firefighter?
Well, it turns out we missed something. This wasn’t just any statue of a firefighter, but a memorial statue of a fallen 9/11 firefighter from Great Neck named Jonathon Ielpi. Amanda, apparently, made the same mistake.
During the shoot Amanda and her friend Ilton encourage the model to kiss the statue and put her beer to his mouth. It was difficult to watch without understanding the context. Needless to say, people are less than thrilled.
“It was a slap to the people of Great Neck,” Lee Ielpi, father of the 29-year-old FDNY firefighter, told the New York Daily News. “It was a slap to the fire department of Great Neck and it was a slap to all of the people that were lost on 9/11.”
Bravo has agreed to remove all footage from any future airings. “We are extremely sorry for any distress we caused the family of Jonathan Ielpi and other firefighters,” the rep said.
Amanda has also issued an apologetic statement of her own, proclaiming she was unaware of the statue’s “sentimental value.”
“I never meant to hurt or offend anyone when I was doing my photo shoot for the Drink Hanky,” she said. Because there’s never a bad time to plug your line of “beverage couture.”