Three years after Luann de Lesseps split from Tom D’Agostino, the Real Housewives of New York City star and “Viva La Diva” singer has found a new man. Meet Garth Wakeford, a tall, blonde fitness trainer from South Africa. Luann, 55, confirmed the romance on the Nov. 18 episode of the Ex Appeal podcast, telling hosts Jenn Lahmers and Julien Marlon that he’s “too good to be true.” Oh, he’s true, and here’s what you need to know about him.
1. Garth and Luann connected on Hinge. “We actually met on the dating app,” Luann said during the podcast. “He lives locally in the Hamptons.” Seeing a 6’6” tall, hunky, blonde guy on a dating app made Luann think, “Oh, he is too good to be true.” But, when they met for coffee – with their masks on – she realized he was the real deal. “I said, ‘Oh, my God! He’s exactly what he looks like on the app.’ He’s tall, he’s handsome, he looks like a viking.’”
In May, Luann – while speaking with HollywoodLife in an EXCLUSIVE interview – said she was giving the app a go. “For the moment, I’m just window shopping. I haven’t decided to take anybody out on a date yet. I’m just like checking it out. I’ve never dated online in my life. It’s not just the way I’ve met men before in the past, but you know, I’m trying new things. Lu and improved!”
Live workout on Instagram 9am tomorrow (Thursday) garth_wakeford pic.twitter.com/FpyFDMH4Cp
— Garth Wakeford (@WakefordGarth) April 29, 2020
2. Garth’s been active all his life. “While growing up, to be someone in South Africa was to be good at sports, and playing rugby was king,” Garth said in an interview on Urban Wellness Clinic’s blog. “I excelled at sports and dreamed of playing rugby at the highest level.” He said he got his “BA in human movement science and kinesiology from Rhodes University South Africa.” Garth also credits Pat Manocchia at La Palestra Center for Preventative Medicine to help him become the trainer he is today.
“Everything I learned before Pat I kicked to the curb. He was revolutionary, way before his time in creating a hybrid between personal training and the medical world. He created an integrated multi-disciplinary approach that you find today in NYC, but 20 years ago. I was blown away.” Garth went on to found Wakeford Fitness, according to a LinkedIn page attributed to him.
3. He’s also active online. @garth_wakeford appears to be his Instagram account, and it’s filled with videos of his clients in action, as well as videos of Garth giving workout tips. He also has pictures of dogs, including his (sadly) late bulldog Spanky, and his new dog, Cian.
He played professional rugby. After graduating with his BA, Garth said he pursued his sports dream and played rugby professionally. During the 1990s, Garth played for the Eastern Province and College Rovers in South Africa, London Scottish FC, and Bury St Edmunds RUFC in England (according to this unverified About.me page.)
He nearly died when he was a young teen. “I fell off a tractor when I was 13 years old, crushed my ribs, burst a lung, and fell into a coma for a week,” Garth said in the Urban Wellness Clinic interview. “Coming out of my coma, I entered freshman year in high school back of the pack. I was obsessed with what the tractor accident had taken away, and learned everything I could about the body to get stronger and fitter. I refined each piece of training from the physical therapists, osteopaths, and exercise physiologists to enhance my own healing process. An accident like that humbles you immensely but also teaches you how malleable your body can be if your mind is strong-willed.”