It’s hard to believe that Selling Sunset first hit Netflix in March 2019. Since then, its stars have become household names, and that’s especially true of Christine Quinn. While Quinn quickly became known as The Oppenheim Group’s best dressed villain, not everything you see on reality TV is quite as it seems. And in her first book, How to Be a Boss B*tch, out now, Quinn gets candid about her life in the real world.
When ELLE.com catches up with Quinn, she’s recovering from COVID-19, a diagnosis that forced her to miss the juicy Selling Sunset season 5 reunion. Her absence caused a little online furor, but Quinn quickly dispels any drama. “Unfortunately, I tested positive for the reunion days before, so that was not exciting … and then I had a job, a really big campaign that I committed to months out,” she explains. “They rapid-tested me on the morning of the campaign and that came back negative, thank God. But I’m vaccinated and I’m good.”
From whether she’s leaving Selling Sunset to why she wrote How To Be a Boss B*tch, Christine Quinn tells all below.
I’m so excited to talk about How to Be a Boss B*tch. Why was it time to write a book and what do you think will surprise readers?
I went into the show and the number one thing that I wanted to do was just inspire people and be my authentic self. It was not an easy feat by any means from season 1 to getting death threats to being constantly berated in public to being harassed online. I had never had a social media account. I joined social media when I was 29 years old when the show came out, so it was really, really, really difficult. I realized there the world wasn’t ready for women to say how they feel and talk about their truth. And I was like, you know what, there’s a market for this and I need to talk about this.
On the receiving end, I was receiving a flood of messages that were really positive, and I thought it would be about my fashion, what I was wearing, my makeup, skincare regimen. But the number one question I was getting was about confidence. It was a theme that kept coming up. “How do you have the confidence to say how you really feel and tell people they’re wrong, or talk back to your boss or set boundaries?” And I felt it was my calling, my duty, my next empire move to explain to women and people over the world that we don’t have to sit back and fit in one box and fit in a mold when there really is in fact, no mold. It’s what you make of it.
That was why I was so inspired to write the book. I didn’t want it to be about me because I’m not claiming to be Oprah. I’m just like everyone else.
It was important for me to do the audio for my Audible book. First of all, it’s all about being inclusive, and I understand that there are people out there who may not be able to read a book. That was really fun for me because I got to show a side of myself that’s not edited, that’s not manipulated, that’s not staged. It’s an extremely grueling process. I did it for seven days. It’s seven straight hours in a little tiny booth all by yourself and you don’t have any lunch breaks or anything. I peed maybe once or twice. You just sit there by yourself. It’s like 50 hours of self-reflection talking to yourself.
In the book, you speak a lot about building up other women. But on the show, you’re sometimes portrayed as someone who does the opposite. What’s that like to deal with, and what’s the truth?
The fact of the matter is, first of all, I would never bully a group of women. I would never ever do that. I’ve never attacked someone for some reason that was really unprovoked. Also, I’ve never judged anyone based on who they’re friends with, for example. I try to get to know everyone, but I find in the group of women that I work with, if one person doesn’t like me, then de facto, that other person doesn’t like me.
I feel like everything that I’ve done has been justified, but you have to understand what you’re seeing. Reality [TV] is just an illusion, so what you see on the show is made to tell a story, is made to have people feel something and get them riled up. I am the villain and I do understand that. But there’s conversations behind the scenes, and I feel really justified in everything that I’ve said. A lot of it comes from a place of comedy, and I really think that the right people understand me. But the people that don’t have a sense of humor don’t, and they’re not my tribe. That’s okay.
Season 5 of Selling Sunset showed you in a much more vulnerable way. Hopefully people are starting to see that other side of you, if they didn’t before.
I really think the tides turned and people really opened their eyes and they’re like, “Okay, wow. I see she’s a multifaceted human being.” That wasn’t the case in season 1 and it wasn’t because my personality has changed. It was just because we evolved as a group. We evolved as a show. They got more creative. It’s not from me being any different. It’s just from me maybe opening up and being more vulnerable after I had a child, that might be part of it. Sometimes I get stuck in a position where I want to be strong for other people, but sometimes it’s hard because you just need to do what’s right for yourself.
In the book, you discuss your ADD diagnosis. I was actually diagnosed with ADHD last week. Watching your journey and looking at everything you’ve achieved has helped me so much. I wanted to ask what advice you had for other people dealing with similar diagnoses, and how you channel that into your life and work?
I was diagnosed at a young age and I remember they wanted to put me on medicine and my parents were like, “Absolutely not. She’s not being put on medicine.” I don’t know if it would’ve changed anything. But I feel like because of my ADD, it’s actually a blessing. People don’t realize that. I realized that I’m able to have 500 million thoughts going up inside of my head and I’m able to complete more projects. And yes, maybe I whoopsie doopsie on a deadline here or there … in terms of deadlines and being forgetful.
I was definitely really embarrassed for so many years of my life because I felt dumb, I felt unintelligent, I felt not worthy in school. It was something that was really shameful, but I didn’t realize the gift it brought to me until later in life.
I was not given any handouts. If anything, I had it working against me, especially when it came to being taken seriously in business and work of any nature. I have an eighth grade education and I didn’t graduate high school and I don’t even have a GED.
But it’s actually been a blessing in disguise because I’ve learned to embrace it. It’s contributed to me being a creative, because I’m able to brainstorm all these really crazy things and hold all these thoughts in my head. For me, it only contributed to my success, because I was able to do so many things at once.
I think once you learn to embrace yourself and love yourself, that’s when the possibilities just begin to flow in but you have to be in a place where you love yourself first.
You recently announced that you’ve started a business with your husband called RealOpen. How is that going? And what’s it like working with your husband, Christian Dumontet?
It’s been incredible. My husband and I have been working on this for over a year and a half. My husband was one of the pioneers in the crypto world. He had a company called Foodler, and he was the first to take Bitcoin as a form of cryptocurrency for payment in 2013, so he’s well versed in that. He’s a top tier engineer who worked at Sysco and he’s just incredible.
It was the first time that our worlds really collided. I found a hole in the market and there was a void that was not being fulfilled. I was being reached out to by so many buyers who are in the newfound crypto pool of wealth and weren’t able to facilitate and streamline home transactions. I said, “There’s got to be a way to do this.”
It’s so difficult to [buy real estate with cryptocurrency] right now. You’ve got to cash out your crypto. The ones that you read about in the news are one-off vanity projects. So I said, “You know what? Why don’t we come together and combine the best of both worlds to create this all encompassing platform that enables buyers, sellers and agents to work with us?” That’s what we did and it was the best decision that I ever made. We’ve been completely crushing it. We announced the company officially [on April 22, 2022] and we already have 102,000 users signed up.
I think the funny thing is people are so silly online or they say things like, “Oh, my gosh yes, I love it. She hated working with these people so she went to go start her own thing.” I’m like, “No, actually I hustle in silence and then I prove myself when the time is right.” The timing worked out very serendipitous and I’m grateful for that.
I’ve got to ask you, because everyone’s wondering if you’re leaving Selling Sunset. How do you feel about your future on the series?
I absolutely love the show and I’m so grateful for it in every aspect. I will never leave TV and I will have them as long as they want to have me. I love the show. I’m not going anywhere.
But let’s make one thing clear. I see a future beyond just the brokerage. So I hope that I can encourage everyone to embrace what I’m doing with crypto, and hopefully they can see how cool it is and want to work with me on that.
Would you be open to starring on your own reality show?
I’ll be honest with you. My favorite show in the whole entire world—I don’t care what anyone says to me, I don’t care, I’m going to say it, okay?—is The Kardashians on Hulu. It’s my favorite show.
I would love to be able to do that. I would love to have my own show. Absolutely. I think it gets hard when there are so many characters and so many cooks in the kitchen. And for me, I have so much to say and I have so much to show the world. But I would love a bigger platform for that. That’s something that definitely I would love.
Fashion is one of the reasons people watch Selling Sunset. I loved when someone complimented one of your outfits and said, “You look like a psycho Barbie.” And you were like, “Thank you.”
Of course, that’s exactly how I feel. Anytime anyone is complimenting me, I’m just like, “Thank you, thank you. Yes, that’s what I’m going for.” And that’s the thing about fashion that people don’t realize: Fashion is meant to disrupt the industry. It’s meant to disrupt things and that’s been the theme of my life. Disruption doesn’t have a negative connotation, it just means that you’re doing something different and innovative that other people aren’t doing or thinking of.
For my fashion on the show, my main goal was to just disrupt things and get people so excited, and just to give them a fashion hard-on. That was my main goal. I just wanted to make them wet. I’m sorry for being so graphic.
To wrap up, is there anything in particular that you want people to know about How To Be a Boss B*tch?
The main thing is, when I went to write this book I said, “This is not a vanity project. This is not a book about Christine Quinn.” I want people who don’t even know me to walk into a store in an airport and they’re about to board a long plane to London, Europe, wherever it may be, and see my book on the shelves and feel so inspired by the title and the messaging, that they’ll want to pick it up and buy it. That was my main goal when I wrote it. Even if you don’t know me, I have great advice, and I hope you learn amazing things.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
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