Tully started her run on My Antonio as the villain, but she ended up endearing herself to viewers (if the majority of comments on this blog can be believed) as the girl who was really, truly there for Antonio. It helps that they have a history that stretches back to the early ’90s, when they were married. Just a minor tidbit, that. Below, Tully talks about rekindling things with her ex in front of cameras, her feelings on Yvonne and her competitors, and whether her heart will go on after parting ways with Antonio yet again.
How have you been emotionally since shooting the show?
After coming home, going through a three-month recuperation for my injury took my mind off things a little bit. But then watching the show brought up every single emotion that I had during the experience. The final show was like ripping a scab off the wound.
What did you think of Antonio’s reasoning for letting you go: you make him feel like a kid, but he’s no longer a kid?
I don’t think of him as a kid. I felt like he was running again. I felt like he was running away from his emotions.
What do you think about his final two of Brooke and Miranda?
I love Miranda. I like Brooke. But no. Neither one of them is right for Antonio. His lifestyle is different from what they think. They look at him like fans, or they wonder what he can to for them, in one girl’s case. Antonio isn’t a partier. His kids come first. He needs someone who will completely accept the fact that he’s got an entire family that’s involved in his life. He’s not going to be out dancing or clubbing or drinking. He’s very quiet, and if they don’t like home life and just want the glitz and glamor, they’re going to be disappointed.
Tell me about your history with Antonio.
Antonio chased me from the time he was 17. I didn’t give in until he was 20, when he took me to a beach and said, “I’m serious. I want to marry you. It’s all I ever wanted. You’ve known that. I can’t do [General Hospital] without you. I need to know I have love and support at home.” We were in Vegas the next day, and that’s where we got married. He had lied and told me he was 21. I saw him filling out “20” on the form, and called him out on it. He said, “I knew you wouldn’t date me if you knew I was younger.” And he was right.
And you were married to him for how long?
Two years, two months, too long. We got married in May of ’92, and we were divorced in July ’94.
So about 15 years pass, and you’re carrying a torch for him the entire time?
I went on with my life. I was dating someone and I had a child during that time. But then I heard that Antonio was single again, and looking for love, and I thought, “Why not me?”
Were you apprehensive to give it another go in front of cameras?
I’m so used to cameras on me, they were easy to tune out. At the beginning it was more difficult, but as we moved deeper into it, I would forget that cameras were around.
But just the entire situation of having show challenges and restrictions and a house full of women you were living with must have made this very different from the first time you were romantically involved with Antonio.
It was completely different. To be around these women who were brutal to me and so wrong for Antonio, and watching him have to sort through them and taking a backseat to that and trust him, that was all difficult. But I had to prove to him that I was willing to take that role.
Now that you’ve attempted to find love with Antonio both in private and in front of cameras, do you think finding love on reality TV is possible?
It’s more difficult because of the cameras, but if two people come in there with honest intentions in their hearts, I would say that it is a possibility. If the motives are pure.
You talk about the girls being brutal, but you had some choice words for them as well.
If I ever said anything about someone, it was only because I was brutally attacked over and over and over again in the house. There’s a point where your back is so up against the wall that you feel like you have to defend yourself as a person, and not just be a punching bag. So every once in a while I would vocalize the truth.
What did you think of Christi’s betrayal?
I was clueless about that till I watched the show. She’d been brutal to me and she came up to me one day and said she wanted to be friends and we should talk. I’m so frickin’ na├»ve, that I was like, “OK! Yeah!” I think women, as a whole, should have each other’s backs completely. I took her at face value, and was shocked when I saw her intentions weren’t pure. And then I had this devastating injury where I had internal bleeding, and went into hypovolemic shock because I jumped off my horse to help her. And then to watch her come back and say, “Me me me me me,” had me floored. There was no general sympathy from her at all.
Yvonne had even less sympathy. She didn’t even think that you were injured.
It was almost funny that she was insisting I wasn’t even hurt. I was amazed that she could be so brutal.
Why does she resent you so much? I know you asked her that question, but do you have any theories?
Antonio loves me, and in her head, that’s always a concern. With other women, she can control him, but with me she can’t. He has this underlying, deep love for me, and I think her fear is that she’d lose control of her son if we were to fall in love and get back together again.
Do you hate her?
I don’t. I feel sorry for her, and I feel sorry for him. I feel sorry for her that she doesn’t have someone who she feels puts her first and she has to take all that from Antonio. And I feel sorry for him that he has a mother who won’t let go and puts so much pressure on him.
Do you at least appreciate her as a character on this show when you watch it?
When I can understand her. But I think a lot of women are appalled that a 37-year-old man lets his mother have so much say in his life. I understand that as a mom, my son will always be my baby boy, but there comes a time that you have to trust that you’ve given them skills that will allow them to fend for themselves and make decisions on their own. Your job as a parent is to love them and back them. It’s not to micromanage.
Your behavior was deemed “desperate” by your fellow contestants. What do you think of that?
I think that was Brooke’s word over and over again. I thought it was interesting that “desperate” was the word they came up with and not “loving” or “100 percent here for him” or “vulnerable.” To love a man and to open up completely show him that you love him, that’s desperate? I would not want a relationship where I couldn’t be open 100 percent.
You did take some extreme measures, though, like when you interrupted his date with Christi via Jet Ski.
All I can say about that is that I thought he was going to send me home, and I just wanted him to give me a chance.
What about the wedding dress?
Well, like you said in your blog, wasn’t everyone else in a wedding dress a few days ago? Why is it such a shock when Tully turns up in one? Antonio even said that he was sorry that he didn’t get to see me in a wedding dress.
Any thoughts on Antonio’s foot fetish?
Antonio loves my feet. He used to love cracking my toes, but he also liked sucking on them. A lot of people jumped on me, saying I was disgusting for sucking on his fingers, but we always used to do that kind of stuff. We used to suck on each other’s fingers, hands, ears, feet…you name it. I don’t need to go any further. Plus, by doing that, I was kind of egging the girls on. If I love somebody, yeah, I’m sucking on their fingers.
As you were sailing off on the Ciao Bella, you were sending Antonio one last hula message, right?
Yes. It was, “Here’s my heart, I leave it with you.”
So where are you with that? Is your heart with him?
I think a piece of my heart is always going to be with Antonio, but Max, my son, takes up the rest of it. I just put on my Facebook: “Life has a way of keeping going, even when you feel like your heart has stopped beating.” Really, I feel like I’m in a good space right now. My life is very full with my son. I cut a little bit of the umbilical cord everyday so that I won’t ever be like Yvonne.