On Friday, the United States Court of Appeals upheld a $7 million judgment against her, holding her personally liable for fraudulent conduct.
The original ruling came last year after Hannibal Pictures and its owner Richard Rionda del Castro sued Sonja for reneging on a deal she signed. Sonja had agreed to fund the movie “Fast Flash to Bang Time” (yes that’s the actual name of the movie) which was to feature John Travolta, only to pull out of the financing deal causing the movie not to be made.
“With the confirmation by one of the highest Courts of our country, the masks are falling and there is no longer any doubt that we were defrauded and severely damaged. We are now going to collect to the fullest extent of the law,” said Hannibal’s Rionda del Castro in a statement.
Sonja filed for bankruptcy last November, claiming the movie was never made because its planned star, Travolta, needed “various conditions” that her company, Sonja Productions, couldn’t provide.
In the Chapter 11 filing, Sonja listed her debt at $19.8 million with over $13.5 million in assets.
The NY Post is reporting that Victoria de Lesseps, daughter of Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, was quietly expelled from her private school months ago after a video of her rolling what appeared to be a joint and using a racial slur appeared online.
Sources tell the Post Victoria was asked to leave the Tony Ross School in the Hamptons after the video episode, but LuAnn denies the report to Page Six, instead stating Victoria left the school on her own.
The Real Housewives of NYCstar’s rep tells the Post, “Your information is incorrect. Victoria withdrew from Ross School five months ago, but it was unrelated to the video. She is happily looking forward to studying art in Paris this summer.” When did this video come out you ask? Exactly five months ago but remember, it was completely unrelated.
In the video, which we were able to view before it was taken down from youtube, Victoria was video chatting with a friend before she started rolling what appeared to be a joint and continuously using the “n-word.” You can read more about that here. And days after the video leaked online, photos of the 16-year-old came out showing her drinking and smoking. LuAnn issued a statement back then calling her daughter’s actions “unacceptable.” Tuition at the private school is said to run upward of $45,000 a year.
Meanwhile, one of our readers alerted us to an old unflattering report from the NY Post about the Countess. See back in August 2008 (before our blog existed), the Post reported the Countess, along with her then husband the Count Alexandre de Lesseps, attended a wedding in the Hamptons and acted like a drunken mess in front of 200 guests.
The Post reported LuAnn yanked the mike away from Andy Hilfiger’s band and proceeded to sing two songs. “She knocked over the drum set while smiling at the horrified guests,” a source said.
Oh but if only it ended there. LuAnn then turned her attention to the poor unsuspecting guests. “She was trying to make out with women and married men,” the source said. “A pregnant wife caught her in the act, stormed off and walked home in disgust.” The Count “tried to make her leave and was seen throwing her to the ground in the parking lot,” the spy continued.
“She wasn’t just kissing the married men, she was also grabbing their [crotches],” another witness told the Post. Yikes! And while LuAnn and her husband denied the allegations to the Post, the groom stated, “At these parties, people always get frisky. All I can say is that she didn’t try to grab me.”
Less than a year later, LuAnn would go on to write a book about class and etiquette. You know what they say dahling — “Money Can’t Buy You Class.”
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON BOTH OF THE REPORTS BY THE POST? SHOCKED BY LUANN’S PAST BEHAVIOR?
Last night’s episode of Real Housewives of New York City was all about vaginas, vacations, and Pinot… again. Jill Zarin is hosting an anti-bullying fundraiser, and while guests are paying $200 to attend, the irony of Jill championing this event is priceless. Kelly accidentally sees Sonja’s ladybits, Cindy takes her good friends on a “brunettes only” weekend, New Housewife Pinot Grigio high-jacks Jill’s charity event, and sweet LuAnn just wants everyone to get along, dammit!
The episode begins with LuAnn and Sun-yah meeting for lunch to discuss a girls trip. LuAnn is planning to “break the tension” between the ladies. Since this is a classy restaurant, Sonja, predictably arrives straight from the gym with a fur thrown over her sports bra. Sonja states she wants to go to Italy for Truffle Season (that’s a thing?) because “everyone will be there!” Everyone except the NY Housewives, that is, because LuAnn is just so over Italy and wants to vacation somewhere exotic. Somewhere like Morocco, which is the Paris of the Middle East, didn’t you know? Bravo, desperate to capitalize on a repeat of Scary Island, decides Luann must “invite” all the ladies, but LuAnn has some reservations about Kelly being included because no one wants “Scary Desert” on the horizon. Well, no one but Bravo, because ratings are everything dah-ling, so Kelly is IN!
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On the 7th episode this season titled “Travel Reservations,” LuAnn plans a big exotic trip for the ladies, hoping the getaway will help quell all the petty clashing. Some of the ladies prepare for the vacation by checking in at a spa, while others save face by visiting a plastic surgeon. Elsewhere, Jill hosts an anti-bullying event—even inviting Ramona to the affair.
Watch What Happens Live – Joining Andy Cohen in the Bravo clubhouse tonight is Gayle King.
Meanwhile following our report yesterday asking if Jill Zarin hires others to post positive comments about her online, she took to her twitter to respond. “Dont spread lies. Fact check! My fans who wrote comments are pissed!! Ask them @gingerettes,” tweeted Jill. Apparently the “ginerettes” are a group of Jill fans who call themselves “The Jill Zarin Squad.”
While some of the simpler comments might have indeed been made by Jill’s fans, it is extremely unlikely Jill’s “gingerettes” made the ones attempting to manipulate search engines. Plus the three spam comments left on our blog came from different IP addresses, meaning it’s likely more than one person posting the same types of comments with the same exact SEO techniques. As we stated yesterday, it appears to be the work of a group of hired PR flunkies. Plus till this day, Jill still denies being Susan Saunders despite being caught red-handed by Gawker.
Another fun fact? TheDirty website reported last year that Jill hired people, paying them $25 an hour, to help monitor her facebook page and delete all negative comments.
And following the drama on last week’s episode, Ramona Singer made a tweet calling Jill out. “Good point! @mccordalex Its not okay 2 wear white 2 a wedding but u can yell at the bride about her guest list & friendships. JZ is a fool,” tweeted Ramona. Ouch. A preview clip of tonight’s episode is below!
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON JILL & RAMONA’S COMMENTS, THE PREVIEW & TONIGHT’S NEW EPISODE?
It seems Real Housewives of NYCstar Susan SaundersJill Zarin just can’t help herself. First came Amazon-gate last year in which she was caught red-handed leaving positive reviews for her book on Amazon.com while also threatening people who left her negative reviews. And then two months later, UsWeekly reported she hired 4 media consultants to help her prep for the season 3 reunion show. Well folks, the Jillousy is back at it again!
A new report by Gawker sheds some light on Jill’s new MO, which is allegedly having others – likely hired PR interns – spam numerous blogs and sites with extremely positive comments about her.
The issue first came to light on May 1st when the TvOnTheRocks blog detected some suspicious comments about Jill from stories that were over a year old. One of the comments is below –
“Why do people say I hate Jill Zarin? Just because it’s called “reality” TV doesn’t make it an accurate portrayal of who a person really is. Do your research, Jill is a good person who does more than just appear on RHONY…she also does a lot of charity work and has a great new line of Shape wear called Skweez Couture to help us all look hot! Thank you Jill!”
As you can see, the comment is not only grossly transparent but even includes a link to Jill’s official blog under the words ‘I hate Jill Zarin.’ The reason for this? There is an actual blog on the internet titled ‘I hate Jill Zarin.’ The intention of Jill and her likely PR flunkies is that by manipulating the links, people searching online for I hate Jill Zarin would be taken to Jill’s official blog rather than the original I hate Jill Zarin blog. While also promoting her Skweez Couture line of course.
Low and behold, Reality Tea also received similar spam comments days later. Below are the three comments posted on our blog under stories about Jill –
“murphygirl on 2011/05/06 at 3:44 pm She’s pretty and smart. People should stop with all the IHate Jill Zarin stuff. She looks great and she’s using what she has to be the best reality star she can be! Jill Rules!”
“bonnie on 2011/05/06 at 4:30 pm I agree with you, Im on Jill’s side for sure. She is the sweetest onr on the show, and by far my favorite of the housewives! I dont understand why anyone would say I hate Jill Zarin”
“Erica on 2011/05/13 at 2:22 pm I have to agree with Jill, people do have a short attention span and I hope so, she deserves a new spin this season. But it’s the show, the editing and they have created all this I hate Jill Zarin buzz. The real person Jill Zarin is active in the community and gives her time to charity work. But that’s reality tv for you.”
And now back to the Gawker story which also pointed out that some hired PR flunkies superfans of Jill or even Jill herself have been bombarding the NYmag.com Vulture comments section with suspiciously pro-Jill propaganda. We do have to warn you ahead of time as some of these comments might induce nausea. Examples of the comments left by the “superfans” are – “Too many people love Jill Zarin. She is the best of all housewives. We LOVE her!!… Jill has a star quality that makes the show great… Jill Zarin is the heart and soul of Real Housewives of NYC.”
Similar to Bravo Gossip, we believe Jill likely hired a PR firm or a bunch of PR interns to help repair her tainted image. Thus explaining all the extreme Team Jill comments. Why you ask? Well folks, the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) manipulation attempts leads us to believe this isn’t the work of your average superfans but definitely a group of people knowledgeable in the SEO field aka a PR company! But then again it could just be Jill herself doing her own dirty work as she’s definitely not above that.
This would also explain the whole polling fiasco that took place last month on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live. Jill was on the show with Ramona Singer immediately following the season 4 premiere of the RHONY, and Andy Cohen ran a whose side are you on poll question. Jill lost in a landslide after receiving only 22% of the votes. Three days later, Andy stated on the air that the original poll was erroneous and that Jill got 41% of the votes. Many found the recant to be odd, that is until the NY Post reported Jill was the one who demanded a recount right after the show ended, and even threatened to get her lawyers involved.
However, it was Jill’s comment to the Post that raised a red flag with us. She stated, “My initial reaction was surprise… That night, we said, ‘We don’t think these numbers are right.’ ” We questioned back then how Jill, who was very disliked last season by fans, could be so certain the polling numbers were wrong if she hadn’t done something to try to manipulate it? Well, based on the above, it seems we finally have our answer! Plus a similar poll by the HollywoodLife blog only gave Jill 19% of the votes while a poll we ran only gave her 10%. Safe to say those PR flunkies can’t get to all the polls.
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE LATEST WITH JILL? SURPRISED?
Kelly Bensimon wants you to be hot, and she’s going to help you achieve that hotness. How? By penning a new book, of course! It’s a good thing too, because it seems her Housewife status may be in jeopardy as rumors swirl that Bravo is looking to replace the entire New York Housewives cast. But more on that later.
PEOPLE is reporting that Kelly has entered into a deal with St. Martin’s Press to author her fourth book, tentatively (and here’s hoping permanently) entitled I Want to Make You Hot. Kelly reveals, “[I feel] good about myself, my fluctuating weight and my life.” She continues, “Hot isn’t about a waist size or a number on a scale. We can control how we look and feel, so let’s get started together.”
She hopes to use her personal experiences, as well as several recipes, to empower readers to achieve a more positive sense of self. In the book’s press release, Kelly invites readers to “[s]pend seven days with me and my expert friends and we’ll have fun with exercise, eat better, dress amazing, have more fun and smile through a life that’s too short.” Well, I don’t mind if do. Look for it in 2012!
It could be a good thing that Kelly has found another source of income, as a New York Post article reports that Bravo is hoping to take the show in the direction of Beverly Hills by possibly replacing the entire cast. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills portrayed luxury and excess worlds away from any Housewives franchise (with the sky-high ratings to boot), and the network is hoping to recreate the same opulence in the Big Apple.
Sources reveal that Bravo executives have been quietly approaching the most elite of New York City society in hopes of replacing the present cast. “They want an entirely new cast to replicate Beverly Hills.” The source continues, “They want rich, rich women, like Adrienne Maloof and Camille Grammer, dripping in glamour and $10 million penthouses. And they don’t want to fake it. They are discreetly reaching out to women who fit the bill.”
Watch out Jill and the gang, there could be a whole new clique of mean girls on Fifth Avenue! Perhaps the current cast should continue focusing on ventures outside of the series to secure their bank accounts and shopping sprees. Regardless of the cast, I’ll be following all of the NYC ladies, present and future. Will you?
On this installment of the Real Housewives of New York, “The Mask has Two Faces,” Ramona and Jill butt heads, Sonja shows her butt, and Alex, LuAnn and Cindy are all but(t) forgettable.
This episode begins with a (yet another, yawn) photo shoot, this one to promote Ramona’s skin care line. Ramona admits that she’s often stiff in these situations, and her crazy eyes agree. This woman is hocking moisturizers and vino, but I think she should look into her own brand of shifty contact lenses. Her assistant Melissa tells Ramona she looks like a younger Pamela Anderson in the pictures. Huh? Of course, this comment comes on the heels of Ramona saying that she constantly goes through assistants. Ramona is pleased by the comparison, but this is the same woman who fancies herself an older Cameron Diaz, so clearly she has a skewed view of herself. Sonja arrives to help put Ramona at ease, but mainly she spends a ridiculous amount of time talking about how great her bum looks in her Ralph Lauren jeans.
Downtown, Jill stops by Cindy’s apartment, and I am amazed at how many people are on Ms. Barshop’s payroll. Assistants and nannies are coming out of rooms, closets, balconies, you name it—she has a full house. Cindy admits that she was up all night…hearing the kids crying with the nannies. My former “down to earth, relatively speaking” impression of Cindy no longer exists. The ladies dish about Ramona, and a much calmer than normal Jill is thrilled that Cindy seems willing to stand up to Ramona. Both Jill and Cindy acknowledge that most of Ramona’s friends are scared of her.
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On the 6th episode this season titled “A Mask For Two Faces,” the ladies bask at a mask bash when Sonja hosts a masquerade ball. In addition, Cindy goes to the dentist with Jill in tow, but Jill adds some bite by offering way too much input. And Ramona throws a wine party, but gossip spills over.
Ramona Singertweeted earlier today, “2nite Jill gets caught lying to me on RHONYC. Tries to get the whole thing bleeped out! Happens @serafinagroup 4 my #RamonaPinotGrigio party.” Should be an interesting episode!
It airs at 10/9c on Bravo and a preview clip is below.