At 28, Kelly Cutrone signs record deal reading tarot cards in Venice Beach and London

For MTV-loving millennials, Kelly Cutrone needs no introduction. The PR maven, who has excelled on The Hills and its spin-off The City, has been rocking an all-black wardrobe and no-nonsense attitude lately . As the founder of fashion PR firm People's Revolution, where stars Lauren Conrad and Whitney Port worked as interns, Cutrone served as their foil , who is also their mentor. "My time on television has been very polarizing. But this is the first time [young viewers] have seen the inside of a fashion office, and certainly the inside of a publicity office," said Cutrone, who also stars on Bravo's "Kyle on Earth" Tell Bustle. "That led to a lot of young girls and gay kids going into PR because of watching that show. I feel like I really gave them permission."

By the time Cutrone, 57, entered the reality show era, she was already a real boss. But in her twenties, she was busy making a name for herself. She worked with famed publicist Susan Blond at SPIN magazine and then at her own agency, working with clients like Mark Ronson and Eartha Kitt . But after a series of setbacks in his personal life, Cutrone decided to quit the public relations world. "[In my early 20s] I was the 'it girl' in New York. I was one of the hottest, young, successful girls at the time," Cutrone said. "But deep down, my life was falling apart and my marriage was falling apart. So I broke up and moved to Los Angeles."

At 28, she was, as Cutrone puts it, "very, very, very wild." She lived in a hotel above a swingers restaurant, got addicted to drugs, then got sober and started reading tarot cards on Venice Beach. But after an unexpected record deal (more on that later), Cutrone began a journey back into public relations. "I do think I went too far. I was a little extreme," she said of her legacy. "But at the same time, I'm proud of myself for standing up for women and proud of myself for speaking my truth like I do."

Below, Catrone talks about receiving a $6,000 cashmere coat, her spiritual practice and making out with Jane Fonda.

Take me back to 1993, when you were 28 years old.

I was on a lot of medication at this point. I was drinking and drinking Coke. I was a mess. Then, just as you ask me, I had a major spiritual experience. It’s the whole thing – physically and emotionally. I went through a horrible detox and that was the last time I did drugs. Since then, there has never been a day when I didn’t practice. I also started reading tarot cards in Venice Beach.

How do you feel about your life and career?

I'm living the LA dream. I started a [tarot card] business and it was like a regular clientele that came back. [One day, I] was sitting there reading tarot cards, and these people I knew from New York showed up. This guy named Sean Dinsmore is from the ska band The Toasters. He said, "What the fuck is wrong with you, man? You're so different." So he called me later and said, "Hey, [my new band and I] are going to be in the studio. Do you think you can come over?" I want to play something for you." So I went to the studio and he played this beat. And he said, "We were thinking maybe you could just rap and we'll record you." I was like, "Okay. Am I going to get paid for this?" And I did that, and the song was It became "Conversations with a Groovy Girl."

Sean called me later and said, "Atlantic Records heard this record. They want to sign you ." I said, "I can't sing, what are you talking about?" He said, "You're going to get a record deal." ”

Are you that excited? Or do you think I just got into something?

There was a girl above me (in my apartment building) named Chantal who was a player . I got home and she asked me, "How was your day?" I said, "I think I got a record deal." She said, "What? You need to meet Richard Perry." Richard Perry produced "You're So Vain" for Carly Simon, and Chantal was dating his best friend, so I got in the studio with Richard, we made a demo, and we [started planning] to go to New York. The pity is that I don't even have a winter coat. My wardrobe only consists of two pairs of jeans, two tank tops, a leather jacket, and a hoodie. a coat. "He took me to Fred Segal and bought a really nice full-length cashmere jacket that cost $6,000. He said, 'You're going to look great.' "Then we went to [New York] and I signed with Atlantic Records.

When you got your record deal, did you splurge on anything with your own money?

I went to the bank, which was really interesting because I didn’t have a bank account. I tried to cash a check for $250,000. That’s what I signed for, a bunch of cash. Richard got 50%, but Richard was great. Towards the end of his life, he dated Jane Fonda, who also hosted the premiere of "Kyle on Earth." I actually made out with Jane Fonda.

What? !

Me and Richard Perry, Jane Fonda, Al Pacino and his girlfriend Lucinda (Camila Moreau’s mom), Robbie Robertson (I think Robbie’s wife ) and [producer] Nick Reed [Harris Reed’s father] for dinner. So we were having dinner and suddenly my record came on and Jane jumped up and down across the table and somehow ended up in my lap and we kissed. Jane Fonda is sexy. I'm here to tell you.

Will you continue to pursue music after the deal closes?

While I was recording, I was also doing PR. The people's revolution also began at that time. This was indeed a very dynamic and tumultuous time in my life.

Do you have any regrets at the age of 28?

I participated in behavior that was degrading and horrifying to me and others, but this is the reality I need to face. Do I want my daughter to behave like this? Absolutely not. But in order not to be rude to my family, I wouldn't leave my daughter in that situation for that long. My mom went to Al-Anon and read a book about tough love. So I would call them in the middle of the night and tell them I was dying, I was going to do drugs and it was all their fault. No one wants to hear this, I have to take responsibility for that part. But do I regret it? How many times did I shake my mother? Yes, I do regret disappointing my mom. But that's all it takes.

Was there a time in your life or career when you felt like you had made it?

No, but I feel like I mowed a nice lawn. I was the first poor girl in PR. Everyone in my world is super rich. I come from the middle of nowhere, I shared a bed with my sister and if we wanted to buy school uniforms my parents had to sell stuff. When I came to New York, I was very embarrassed about where I came from. Then as I got older, into my early thirties, I started to feel like this was something I should be proud of. To this day, I still get a lot of emails and DMs from people like, “I saw you on that show and then I moved to Toronto and now I own ten hair salons. I just faked it until I made it ."so cool.

You've also mentored or hired many people who have gone on to great careers after working with you. It is certainly part of your legacy.

Lots of fucking kids. Harris [Reed], I definitely raised the stakes. He used to come and live with me at my house in New York City and work for me at the People's Revolutionary Organization in the summer so that he wouldn't be bullied [at home]. I also had him take classes like fashion classes when he was growing up. I’ve been working on Rag & Bone with [co-founder] Nathan Bogle since day one. Tracy Romulus [KKW Brands chief brand officer] is a store clerk at Vivienne Westwood, and I go there all the time because I'm the publicist for [Vivienne's]. One day I started talking to Tracy and I said, "I need an assistant. Why don't you come work with me?" She became my assistant at People of New York. I mean there were a lot of them and even now I'm still directing.

What do you think of your current life at the age of 28?

For the first half of my life, I did what everyone wanted me to do, which was "be the best version of myself, be pretty, be smart, be polite." I spent a lot of time being "that girl." But as I grew up, the time came when I had to make a decision. Do you want to be this man's wife or do you want to have a people's revolution? So I [became] a lone wolf.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity .