Cupid's Pulse Article: Dianne Burnett Steps Out of the Shadows in Her New Book, ‘The Road to Reality: Voted Off the Island!…My Journey as a Real-Life Survivor’Cupid's Pulse Article: Dianne Burnett Steps Out of the Shadows in Her New Book, ‘The Road to Reality: Voted Off the Island!…My Journey as a Real-Life Survivor’

By Lori Bizzoco, with transcription by Kaitlyn Herzog

An hour before her book launch, Dianne Burnett is nothing but smiles as she walks into the room at the Kimberly Hotel in New York City to meet us for an interview. A clearly happy Burnett speaks with ease about her new book, her former marriage and the exciting ventures that lay ahead.

Dianne released her memoir, The Road to Reality: Voted Off the Island!…My Journey as a Real-Life Survivor last Tuesday. Her ex-husband Mark Burnett has been the mastermind behind some of televisions greatest reality shows, including “The Apprentice,” ‘The Voice’ and Survivor,’ one of the most successful programs of all time. But this Reality King didn’t get there alone, or at least not according to Dianne and her tell-all book.

Nine years after their divorce, the ex-wife of the the TV powerhouse is stepping out of the shadows to tell her side of the story. But, if you are looking for her to bash and destroy her ex, you won’t find it here.

Burnett opens the book with her and Mark’s decision to move to Morocco and then flashes back in Chapter Two to provide a glimpse into her own childhood growing up on Long Island, New York. She describes in detail her family and the confusion she faces being a young child of divorced parents in the 1960s. She then shifts to her relationship with Mark, the handsome Englishman who swept her off her feet. The story flows through their travels, the beginning of ‘Survivor’ and their struggles prior to – and after – their divorce. Dianne highlights the good times in their marriage, in particular the beginning of their relationship and how smitten she was with Mark. She writes, “Throughout the entire summer, whatever the day, whatever the hour, wherever I was, I felt intoxicated.”

After reading the book and then sitting there with Burnett, the burning question on our mind was why was the book getting so much negative press from Mark. Burnett nodded and admitted that the release of the book has created a rift between the typically amicable exes. “I don’t really know him that well right now,” she explains. “Just last month we were all together at Nobu for my son’s birthday, but since the book, it’s been a little bit…different.” However, they both try to keep a brave face for their two children, Cameron, 15 and James, 19. The author even says that part of the reason for writing this book was so that her children would know the truth.

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“I gave up everything to be Mark’s cheerleader, his support system,” Burnett explains. “That’s what kept Mark going. I was doing it for all of us though, for our family.” She looks back on her marriage to Mark with no regrets and often smiles while discussing their happy times. The one thing she does regret, however, is not giving herself a title when ‘Survivor’ first aired. “I didn’t give myself an individual credit because we were a team; I thought everyone knew it was Mark and Dianne.”

So what are Burnett’s final words to Mark? “I wish he would read the book,” she says. “I think if he reads the book, then he’s going to reflect on his reaction in the press and be sad.”

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With the release of the book giving her some closure, Dianne dedicates much of her time to more positive things. After her mother was diagnosed with esophagus cancer, Burnett began a charity in her honor called Joan Valentine – A Foundation for Natural Causes. The basis for the foundation is that medicine needs to be more personalized for each person’s ailment. She believes that “not everything works for everyone. Everybody is treated the same; the person and their individual sicknesses aren’t taken into consideration.”

Keeping up the positive vibe, Burnett is also launching a new drink called Mulberry Love, made with fruits, coconut water and antioxidants, which can help prevent disease. She describes the drink as not only healthy but “very yummy.” It hits store shelves later this year.

“This will be my year,” Dianne says affirmatively. With a new book, television and film deals and a healthy drink coming out, how could it not be? “I’m happy now; I’m reinventing myself and finding my own way.”

Burnett’s new book, “The Road to Reality: Voted Off the Island!…My Journey as a Real-Life Survivor,” is in stores and online at Amazon. To learn more about Burnett, you can follow her on Twitter at @DianneBurnett.