While many viewers were first introduced to Jackie Siegel aka the Queen of Versailles through her appearances on Below Deck and Below Deck Mediterranean, others know of the socialite from her 2012 smash-hit documentary, The Queen of Versailles.
Jackie and her husband, Westgate Resorts Ltd. founder David Siegel, let cameras in as they worked on their luxury home in Windermere, Fla. The residence has been aptly dubbed "Versailles," since it is modeled after the palace in France. Once it's completed, the 90,000 square foot home will be one of the largest single-family residences in the United States.
However in 2008, during the filming of The Queen of Versailles, the family temporarily stopped construction because of the fallout from the Great Recession.
Now, things are back on track for the Siegel family, and there's an end in sight for the home to be complete.
Jackie spoke exclusively with Distractify about the latest update with Versailles, how the designs have shifted since work began in the early aughts, and what she's heard about The Real Housewives of Miami reboot.
Jackie Siegel is filming a show about finishing Versailles (EXCLUSIVE).
Though The Queen of Versailles proved to be a critical darling and a pop-culture classic, there was no closure about what exactly happened to the Siegels or to their home.
The documentary concluded with the couple unsure about when Versailles would be up and running.
Nearly a decade after the film debuted, Jackie has several updates about the palatial estate. Cameras will be present as major work continues, and they'll remain until the finishing touches are added.
The Victoria's Voice Foundation creator plans on Versailles being completely finished by mid-2022.
"I started shooting a show, and I want to finish Versailles within a year and a half," she exclusively told Distractify. "It's going to be about me finishing Versailles and a behind-the-scenes look with the rooms going from drywall to elegant and finished."
Since she began work on the estate in the early '00s, her plans have changed tremendously. After all, many of her kids are now grown, and instead of designing playrooms and creating kid-friendly spaces, she's adding in a secret bar.
"When I started Versailles 20 years ago, some of my kids weren't even born yet and the rest were toddlers," Jackie shared. "I had nannies' rooms next to the kids' rooms and a zero-entry pool. I was putting up a merry-go-round and all this stuff. Now my kids are in their teens and 20s and they don't want a nanny next to their room. They want their privacy because they're going to be sneaking their significant others in."
The Florida resident is turning those now-superfluous spaces into expanded closets. As for the other bells and whistles, she has a few exciting updates.
"I'm putting in a secret speakeasy, a private closet with an elevator, and a secret closet," Jackie said about what other plans have altered. "The ice skating rink — the kids don't care about it anymore. That's going to be turning into a Las Vega-style nightclub, with karaoke and dancing."
She hopes that the property will ultimately have a guardhouse and a guest house. Instead of scaling things back, like some viewers might have expected, Jackie's focused on expansion.
"It's going to get even bigger, and it's really exciting to watch. I'm happy to do it because so many people were left hanging with what happened at the end of The Queen of Versailles. There was never any follow-up, and the movie ended too soon. There was no ending," she added. "I'm creating the ending."
The Queen of Versailles is ready to make a 'RHOM' cameo.
Those who watched Jackie's documentary or her two appearances in the Below Deck world will already know that she makes great TV. Though her Florida residence is located in Orange County, the former pageant star wouldn't mind making a few trips to Miami to film scenes for a rumored reality reboot.
"I've heard that they’re bringing back The Real Housewives of Miami, and I wouldn't mind if they wanted to invite me to a dinner or to a party," Jackie teased, before adding that she's friends with one former castmate: Lea Black.
Bravo never officially canceled RHOM, but new episodes haven't come out since 2013. If the reboot rumors are true (they're still unconfirmed by the network), perhaps viewers will get to see Jackie on yet another Bravo series.
Below Deck airs on Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.