Beth Ostrosky Stern’s longtime friend and Hamptons neighbor Katie Lee inquires about the tireless philanthropist and best-selling author’s new career, her guilty pleasures and her greatest loves, including Howard Stern, who shot these breathtaking photos exclusively for Hamptons.
It was 2003, and I had just moved to the Hamptons. As someone who felt like an outsider looking in, I can tell you that it is not exactly an easy place to make friends. I was intimidated on a daily basis, to say the least. One afternoon, my then-boyfriend (and now ex-husband) told me we were having dinner that night with Howard Stern and his girlfriend, Beth Ostrosky. I raised my eyebrows and gave him a look expressing my apprehension. He said, “No, Howard is really a nice guy, you will see. And you are going to love Beth.”
Okay, I thought, if you say so. Beth is beautiful with long, gorgeous blonde hair; she is tall with a great body. In short, she is the kind of girl who seems like she would be all too easy to dislike. I was nervous about our double date. What do you talk about with Howard Stern and his supermodel girlfriend? Would he talk about sex? Would I seem like an uncool country bumpkin? I could hear my mom saying, “You had dinner with whom? Oh, Katie.”
Within five minutes of meeting Howard and Beth, I knew the night was not going to end at a topless pool party. These were my kind of people, and Beth was the kind of girl I wanted to be friends with. Lucky for me, Beth wanted to be friends with me, too. Over the past eight years, we have been through it all together—two marriages, one divorce, career ups and downs, new additions to our families (pets; no babies, yet)—and we continue to bond over our shared love of the Hamptons.
KATIE LEE: You and Howard are the most affectionate couple I know. What is the best thing about being married to him?
BETH OSTROSKY STERN: You always say that! Actually, you are not the first person to tell us that. We really do have fun together, day in and day out, and we do well when we are together 24/7. After almost 12 years, I still cannot get enough of him. We love to say that we are so lucky that we get to have a slumber party together every night. What is our secret? We appreciate each other, and he really listens to everything I say. I think he is quite a catch—the perfect husband.
KL: The two of you spend most of your downtime here in the Hamptons. What are your favorite things to do?
BOS: Anything that Howard and I are doing together makes me happy. We love to run or ride our bikes together; take beach walks with Bianca, our nine-and-a-half-year-old bulldog; walk into town and shop at the local stores; dine at the incredible restaurants out here; and just hang with friends. My favorite times are having you over for dinner with us. Remember New Year’s Eve last year here in the Hamptons? How much fun did we have? We spend time here year-round. The winters in the Hamptons are magical.
KL: Describe your typical Hamptons day.
BOS: We always wake up together around 5 AM, feed the cats and Bianca and have our breakfast, then we meditate together. We practice transcendental meditation; Howard has been doing it for more than 20 years, and I started three summers ago, two times a day, every day. Howard and I usually run three to five miles every day or take a beach walk and then plan our dinner. By 9 PM we are in bed. We are such the grandma-grandpa couple, going to bed early and planning our meals.
KL: Since you know the area so well, do you have any secret spots or activities that most people do not know about?
BOS: You and I seem to have discovered Exhale Bridgehampton’s Core Fusion class. I do not know if people will love me or hate me for telling them to try it, [but] it really is such a great workout. I am hosting a class there on August 6 at 6 PM; all the proceeds will go to my favorite organization outhere, the Wildlife Rescue Center of the Hamptons. I signed you up already. It should be fun—exercise then cocktails, my two favorite things.
KL: Howard has become quite the photographer, and lucky for him, he has you as his muse. How does it feel to be in front of his lens? Does it make you nervous or more comfortable?
BOS: Howard loves his newest hobby, and it is taking over our lives! No one in the house is safe—click, click, click, every second. But, seriously, he is really good and I love being his muse. He has taken pictures of me and our pets that I will cherish forever. I think he captures a look from me in his photos that no one else can achieve. I suppose it is the “look of love.” He is so cute when he is taking pictures; he melts my heart.
KL: I am always so impressed by the work you do for animals—you are a spokesperson for North Shore Animal League America, and you are involved with the Wildlife Rescue Center of the Hamptons.
BOS: I love the work I do for NSALA, spreading the word of its lifesaving mission—almost 1 million animals adopted to date. Also, I cannot say enough about the work NSALA does at the Wildlife Rescue Center, right here in the Hamptons. The magnificent animals in our backyards get hurt all the time, and it is up to us to help them. I beg everyone to call the center if they see an injured or sick animal; put the number in your phone. I love going to the center in Hampton Bays and visiting the animals. Swans, ducks, deer, turtles, foxes, eagles, squirrels, bunnies—Howard actually just spent the day there photographing the animals. I am cochairing the annual summer event on August 20 at the home of Leslie Alexander and Liz Brown. You are coming to that, too, by the way.
KL: Last summer you debuted your book, Oh My Dog: How to Choose, Train, Groom, Nurture, Feed, and Care for Your New Best Friend, which became a New York Times best seller. Summer seems to be the time of year when our pooches get in trouble. What are your top safety tips for our furry friends?
BOS: I was shopping at Rumrunner Home in Wainscott the other day, and in the lot there was a parked car with a Siberian husky, in 90-degree weather and not in the shade. I went ballistic. You already know this, but let us remind people to not leave their pets in the car while shopping—this can be fatal! Ticks are also out in full force here. People should ask their vet what kind of prevention method he or she recommends. Also, cold water should be accessible to pets at all times. I like to put ice cubes in Bianca’s water dishes all summer long.
KL: You and Howard made some additions to your family recently. What does Bianca think about her new brother and sister?
BOS: Over the past year and a half, Howard and I have adopted two adult cats from North Shore Animal League, Apple and Walter. Cats are such easy, fun pets. Bianca is so kind to them, but she always has to have our undivided attention, of course! They are being photographed by their dad every second as well. They seem bored by the picture-taking already.
KL: You have a beautiful home, and now you are taking your décor expertise to television. Tell me aboutMom Caves and the Hamptonsinspired show you just did.
BOS: I was so lucky to be able to shop for it at some of my favorite Hamptons stores. Homenature is a great place to go to for Hamptons-esque accessories—baskets, picture frames, trays, pillows and more. And Rumrunner Home is a great store to find fun, beachy artwork and furniture. On Mom Caves [airing at the end of the summer], we create a Hamptons-inspired family room for this special New Jersey schoolteacher. Her favorite place to visit is the Hamptons, so we brought a little of it to New Jersey.
KL: I know a little guilty pleasure you and I both share—and Howard, too. I’ll let you guess…
BOS: Reality television! How many texts do we send each other on a daily basis about The Bachelorette? I am so lucky that my husband is obsessed as well. Sometimes he presses pause when a show is on and I talk over the TV, then he waits for me to finish before he unpauses. Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, America’s Got Talent, Celebrity Rehab—we are obsessed.
KL: You have a storybook love and have created quite a diverse and successful career for yourself. Out of all my friends, I look at you and think you are just about as close to “having it all” as anyone I know. Where do you see life taking you in five years?
BOS: I will hopefully be as happy and as fulfilled as I am at this very moment, surrounded by the love of my husband and my animals and friends like you. I would love to open a shelter of my own one day. If I can make that happen, all of my dreams will have come true.