Julia Haart, the dynamic fashion designer and star of “My Unorthodox Life,” recently opened up about a startling chapter of her life during a candid conversation on the podcast “Not Skinny but Not Fat” with Amanda Hirsch. In a revelation that left listeners astounded, Haart shared that she had breastfed her younger brother at her mother’s request, shedding light on the unorthodox circumstances of her upbringing.
Haart, 52, disclosed this astonishing detail with characteristic candor, saying, “You wanna hear a real mindf–k? I nursed my brother.” She went on to explain that her mother had made this unusual request when she was already nursing her own daughter. The peculiar circumstance arose because Haart’s brother is just a few months younger than her eldest daughter, Batsheva, now 30.
The backdrop to this extraordinary revelation lies in Haart’s early years within the Haredi community in New York. This community, a subset of Orthodox Judaism, adheres to a strict set of beliefs and practices that often clash with modern norms. Haart remained within this community until she made the life-altering decision to leave in 2013, at the age of 42.
Drawing parallels to a bygone era when wet nurses were employed to breastfeed others’ children, Haart offered a glimpse into her unique upbringing. Wet nursing, a practice that largely faded away in the 20th century, bears similarities to her experience of nursing her brother.
Haart humorously referred to herself as a “time traveler,” highlighting the vast chasm between her past life and contemporary society. She suggested that to truly comprehend the world she used to inhabit, one would need to journey to another time.
When asked about when she began questioning her beliefs, Haart candidly admitted, “My entire life — silently.” However, she revealed that the community had effectively convinced her that any doubts she harbored were indicative of her own flaws rather than flaws within the system.
The turning point in Haart’s journey occurred when her 23-year-old daughter, Miriam, came out as bisexual. This revelation became the catalyst for her reevaluation of the system. She explained, “No one could convince me that she was somehow flawed. When she started questioning [the beliefs], that’s when I realized it’s not [only] me, it’s the system.”
During the podcast interview, Haart delved into her early marriage, which was arranged when she was just 19 years old. She married Yosef Hendler, a man she didn’t want to be with, and they went on to have four children together: Batsheva, Miriam, Shlomo, 27, and Aron, 15. Despite the circumstances of their union, Haart characterized Hendler as a “lovely” man, even humorously noting that he was more agreeable than her second ex-husband, Silvio Scaglia, whom she married in 2020.
Haart’s second marriage was short-lived, lasting only two years before she filed for divorce in December 2022, alleging threats to her life. Scaglia vehemently denied these accusations.
Julia Haart’s life journey is an extraordinary tapestry of experiences, marked by unorthodox twists and turns, personal growth, and a relentless pursuit of authenticity. Her willingness to share her remarkable story serves as a testament to the power of embracing change and seeking one’s own truth, regardless of societal norms and expectations.