In her first interview since the announcement that she would no longer be part of RHONY, Kelly talked her feelings about leaving, rambling incoherently telling E!, “You know, nothing lasts forever…I really want to stress that the show isn’t about Kelly Bensimon. It’s about my intersection with different women of New York City.“ And emphasizing that she may have umm… had some difficulties connecting on the show, she states: “It was a really heavy learning curve.”
When asked if she was “sad” about being cut from the cast, she offered a Kelly-nalogy to describe her feelings: “Sad is a big word. When My dog died, I was sad.” Well, I guess that works – after all it’s only a paycheck!
And Kelly, being Kelly, she is focusing on the positive! ‘Cause she’s really, really, ridiculously nice, you guys. “Change is good. In adverse situations—and I’ve dealt with so many adverse situations [on the show]—I’ve always opened the door and came out smiling. Tomorrow is a new day.”
And indeed, tomorrow is a new day for the former model, who claims she has many more television opportunities on the horizon. “I get approached all the time about doing different shows and everyone always has a different angle.” As for what kind of show she is looking for, Kelly reveals: “Whoever gives me the greatest deal that is synonymous with my brand, that’s something I want to do.” However, “this is the time for a bigger and better deal, I’m not going to lie,” she clarifies. Hey, she’s up here; and all the other housewives are down there!
As for Kelly’s former co-star, Ramona Singer; she also has more opportunities on the horizon as the wannabe mogul is scheduled to debut her newest jewelry line on HSN. Ramona explains her inspiration for the line came from her travels across the US. “I was afforded the opportunity to travel all over the country for Ramona Pinot Grigio,” Ramona enthuses, while simultaneously plugging one of her other products.
“Going from New York to Texas to California, I saw so many different jewelry styles and pieces. I tried to incorporate a little of everything into this collection.”
The collection, which is described as affordable, includes rings, earrings, necklaces and pendants starting at $219, and according to Ramona: “These pieces are glamorous, gorgeous and just fun.”
Ramona’s newest HSN venture will debut on Sept 29th from 1-3 pm. Photos of Ramona’s jewelry collection below!
Thoughts on Kelly’s statements about leaving RHONY? Would you watch Kelly on another reality show? Thoughts on Ramona’s newest jewelry line?
If you recall, the Bravo network announced the first ever Housewives tour back in August and Jill was scheduled to headline the October 15 date in Atlanta alongside Nene Leakes, Melissa Gorga and Marysol Patton.
When Bravo announced the tour back then, many assumed it meant Jill would be a sure thing for the Real Housewives of New York City season 5! But as we all learned, that was not the case. Days after Bravo finally confirmed the firings, Jill, 48, made it clear she would no longer be a part of the tour. Not a fan of Jill’s but I must say I actually see her point of view in this. Really, who wants to do PR for the company that just publicly fired them?
So it’s a surprise today that Alex, who was also fired by Bravo, is more than happy to take Jill’s spot! In a statement to UsWeekly, Alex, 37, cites her “close relationship” with Bravo as her reason for having no pride doing the tour!
“I have a close relationship with Bravo and when they asked me to step in I was happy to accept,” Alex states. “The audience coming to see The Real Housewives Live Tour want to know about the past and our experience of filming and being a ‘Real Housewife’ on Bravo TV. With four seasons under my belt, I have plenty to say about that subject! The live show format is similar to a tour I did with the New Jersey ladies a few years ago, and we had a lot of fun doing it.”
In other RHONY news, non-fired housewife who really should have been fired Countess LuAnn de Lesseps reportedly fell off a table while dancing.
According to the NY Post, Countess Lulu took a Snooki-style tumble during a birthday party over the weekend at the uptown restaurant Desmond’s. Apparently, Lulu heard her song come on – Katy Perry’sLast Friday Night – during which she decided to do some table dancing. Unfortunately for the Countess, she ended taking a fall and cutting her knee.
The Post doesn’t state whether or not the Countess was inebriated. This isn’t however the first time there has been a report of the Countess acting wild in public. Here’s to hoping the Bravo cameras will be around to capture it all next time!
Photo credit: WENN
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON ALEX AGREEING TO DO THE TOUR AFTER BEING FIRED? DESPERATE OR OKAY?
While Kelly Bensimon and Cindy Barshop have been relatively silent about not being asked to return, Jill Zarin pretends to take the high road with humble PR statements hocking her shapewear, Skweez Couture.
Silex recently sat down with Andrea Canning for an interview with GMA to discuss the firings, the show, and of course, the other ladies. When asked if the couple was upset about the recent shake-up, Alex responds, “You never want it to be someone else’s decision that you’re not coming back.”
Alex also gets a tad defensive when questioned about her pot-stirring ways on the recent season. She counters, “[The show] has gotten more and more toxic. People saying I create drama to stay relevant is a defense mechanism on their part.” Alex continues, “I call out people’s bad behavior, and I’ve gotten louder and louder about that.”
In regard to their former co-stars who have also been pink-slipped, Silex has a lot to say. As to Cray-Cray Kelly, Alex states the obvious, saying “It’s hard to be on a reality show if you’re not in touch with reality.”
As for resident mean girl Jill, Alex and Simon believe she is the cause of the couple’s reality show demise.
Alex believes that Jill “has been trying to get me off the show for a number of years. She succeeded…She’s a manipulator and she’s very good at feeding information to her own end.” Jill’s alleged cyber-bullySimon believes Zarin is a flawed woman. He adds, “Jill sometimes is still very much stuck in junior high as the girl who was unpopular, who was bullied. And 30 years later, she’s still there.”
Jill felt the need to release a statement to Good Morning America in response to the couple’s accusations. She replies, “I just feel pity for them using me for press yet again.” Condescending? Check. Passive Aggressive? Check. Mean girl snark? Check. Yup, I’d say Jill wrote that herself.
In another statement (because in Jill’s world one is never enough) Jill her “rep” states, “Alex and Simon’s allegations represent the type of negativity that Jill is eager to move on from. Jill will continue to take the high road and wish Alex and Simon nothing but the best.” That is so sweet of her…and totes sincere! The statement continues, “While it is easy to play the blame game, it is our hope that Alex and Simon will eventually accept Bravo’s decision and proceed with grace to the next stage in their career rather than hold on to past resentments.”
Wait, did I miss something? Where is Jill’s shameless self-promotion? Oh, yeah. Just one more thing…wrapping it all up with a nice little bow, Jill’s rep concludes, “As Jill proceeds with optimism, she is grateful to Bravo for a successful 4 year run on The Real Housewives of New York City and is focused on the national launch of her shapewear line, Skweez Couture at Lord and Taylor.” There it is!
Don’t be too concerned for Silex though, as they are going to be super busy with their new bedding and bath line, Aluxe Home. According to Alex, “Building a company is always better than bickering with ladies.” As for Simon, he knows that things will be fine, just as long as they are together. He gets emotional, saying, “We are a great team, and we are still madly, passionately in love.” Can I get a collective AWWWWWW?
DO YOU THINK SILEX SHOULD QUIETLY ACCEPT THEIR BRAVO FATE? IS JILL TO BLAME FOR GETTING THEM OFF THE SHOW? WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE SILEX CONTINUE IN REALITY TELEVISION?
It’s the firing that will never end as former housewives, current housewives, and wannabe housewives again continue to talk and talk some more about Bravo’s decision to re-cast the Real Housewives of New York!
Unable to accept that Bravo no longer wants to film their silly basement office, E! is reporting that former housewives Alex McCordandSimon Van Kempen are pleading with the network to re-hire them!
“Basically, they’ve been begging to stay on,” a source asserts. “Simon questions how he can ‘harness the swell of support’ behind them.” That “swell of support” is, I imagine, the messages and Tweets from fans questioning Bravo’s decision to cut them from the cast.
“They’re not accepting that it’s done,” the source continues. “They are meeting with Bravo this afternoon and Bravo doesn’t want them on the show, but Andy would like them to pop up occasionally, whether on Housewives or other programs on the network is what they’re saying.” Well, that’s sort of promising…
Alex actually confirmed the meeting with Bravo took place yesterday (Thursday) but claims they are not begging to get back on the show. She Tweeted: “Oy oy oy! Just to clarify, yes we have had meetings at Bravo. No we didn’t ask to be reinstated. Is that clear enough? #GossipvsFact.”
And FINALLY Kelly Kra-kra Bensimon has acknowledged that she was fired! Whew – I was getting worried she had completely ignored the memo! On her most recent blog (posted today, actually), Kelly addressed leaving the show with the following statement: “To all the Real Housewives of New York Fans and Viewers, I’m so grateful for the overwhelming support I’ve received from all of you. I hope you enjoyed my run on the show. Stay tuned for I’m just getting started.” Well, it’s not much but at least we have confirmation that she understands she shouldn’t show up to film!
As for Jill Zarin, she is shockingly taking the high road (so far) after receiving the news. Do you think Bravo issued a gag order? Jill has been focusing on her family life and her careers outside of Housewives, but a source reveals: “She still feels a little betrayed. Jill knew Carole [Radziwill] was coming on the show, but she never knew she was being thrown off. She’s grateful for what Bravo did for her, but feels they just tossed her aside.”
And since no major shake-up of RHONY would be complete without Bethenny Frankel’s two-cents, she told E! she’s “not surprised” by Bravo’s decision to fire her former bffl, among others -like that blonde woman she used as the messenger to bury her friendship with said bffl!
“I’m not surprised only because it’s been the same cast for so many years and Bravo…likes to make changes,” the Bethenny Ever After star remarked of the casting shake-up. “They probably just felt like it was time for a change. People do that in relationships, they do that in work strategy. I don’t think it’s personal. I think it’s really just business.”
“The girls are probably a little nervous and scared, because it’s change,” she said, commenting on how her former co-workers might be taking the news that they’ll have to start collecting unemployment. “It can be lucrative when you get a lot of attention, but I also think it’s very tiring. They’ll get to relax a little more and not be scrutinized all the time.”
Bethenny also talks her own decision to leave the show, and unlike previous interviews when she described the show as rewarding bad behavior, this time she claims to have seen the writing on the wall. “I did leave on top,” she admits.
“It was all very planned out. I knew this was the type of place you don’t want to overstay your welcome. I always say, ‘You don’t want to be the one in the nightclub at two in the morning where everyone looks pretty scary.’”
Photo credit: PR Photos
Do you think Silex has a chance of convincing Bravo to re-add them to the show? Thoughts on Bethenny’s comments regarding her decision to leave?
For those of you who thought you’d never hear from Jill Zarin again following her departure from Real Housewives of New York, you’re out of luck! Jill is all over the place: in the news, in Lord & Taylor, in some of our undergarments… the drama never ends with the red-headed mama.
In the latest installment of the Jill Zarin gossip brigade, Ramona Singer was possibly the driving force behind Bravo kicking Jill off RHONY!
A source reveals to UsWeekly that Ramona “came to Bravo with a few pals she thought would make good additions. Bravo decided to go with the new girls and not Jill, so Ramona basically ran her off the show.” It has been widely reported that the three new castmates are Carole Radziwill, Heather Thomson, andAviva Drescher. However none of the women are mentioned as being friends or acquaintances of Ramona.
Speaking to The Insider’s Christina McLarty about leaving the show, Jill confirms that Bravo wanted to go with different women. “The what happened is such a long answer,” Jill comments, rolling her eyes, “but basically we were not picked up. The show has gone in a different direction; they’ve added other girls.”
Jill was even more honest in her interview with GMA yesterday regarding the firing. “It was a little jolting. I’ll be honest,” said Jill referring to the call she received last week from Bravo executives confirming that she had been fired. “It didn’t feel good,” she added. “Nobody likes to not be asked back to the party.”
Jill also added that she’s not done with television and is in talks with a variety of networks concerning different projects, although she cannot give any further details at this time.
Ramona denies that she had anything to do with the network firing Jill; explaining “”We can recommend people to come to the show, but it’s not my decision.”
Another insider reveals the remaining ladies will NOT miss Jill. “Jill caused a lot of problems,” an insider reveals. “Her castmates were upset with her, since she’d tweet all these negative things. Karma’s a bitch.”
Thoughts on everyone’s comments? Are you surprised Jill was honest in admitting she was fired? Do you believe Ramona had something to do with Jill getting the axe?
The NY Daily News is reporting the women pictured above from left to right, Carole Radziwill, Heather Thomson, and Aviva Drescher, have signed on to do the show. Below are brief bios of each of the new poor souls ladies –
Carole Radziwill - Carole is a distant relative of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis through her late husband Anthony Radziwill. Anthony’s mother Lee Radziwill is Jackie’s little sister. Anthony passed away of cancer in 1999 just four weeks after John F. Kennedy Jr and Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy died in a plane crash. Carole was very close friends with Carolyn. Carole, a former ABC producer and now a bestselling author, appeared on the Oprah Show in 2005 to discuss her memoir What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship and Love. She has no kids and is reportedly single.
Heather Thomson – Heather is described as a successful designer and stylist. She owns the shapewear business, Yummie Tummie, which is sold in over 2,000 stores and has been featured as one of Oprah Winfrey’s “Favorite Things.” Jill’s not going to be happy about this! She has worked with the likes of Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez to help create and launch their respective labels. Heather is a married mom of two.
Aviva Drescher – is married to Reid Drescher, founder of Spencer Clarke Securities & Investment Banking. The couple have three children together. Sources says producers wanted a “Wall Street wife,” and Aviva just happens to fit the bill perfectly.
While Heather and Aviva have crossed paths with some of the RHONY housewives, a source states Carole has “never met any of the women.” Should be an interesting season!
Meanwhile Ramona Singer, one of the lucky three housewives who didn’t get fired by Bravo, is now speaking out on the firings while also revealing Jill was “cancerous” to her.
Ramona, who was “surprised” by the firings, tells the HollywoodLife, “I think Jill being gone will be [good] for me … Jill became a negative force in my life… It was just too much negative energy. There’s nothing wrong with having altercations and disagreements and arguments, but it can consume you and it can’t become cancerous. I felt with Jill, that’s what it became for me.”
In unusual Ramona fashion, she actually reveals she is sorta sad about the ladies’ departures. “I’m sad to see the other women go,” says Ramona. “I’ve been with some of them since the beginning and we kind of plowed the way with our show. So it’s sad, but it’s also on the same token, Bravo’s smart. They listen to the fans and I’m excited about it. Sometimes change is good.”
And finally, Jill continues to do her press tour, using the firing as a way to promote her Skweez Couture shapeware line. Jill gave an interview to GMA this morning during which she claimed she’s okay with Bravo’s decision because her line is now bringing in millions of dollars.
She also spoke about RHONY stating the show had become toxic and that while fans complained about all the fighting, it was sort of encouraged via the high ratings. Actually a valid point except things simply got too nasty on RHONY mostly thanks to Jill. When you start accusing your costar’s husband of physically attacking you to garner public sympathy, then that’s when the show stops being fun.
It gets even better as Jill also spoke about Taylor Armstrong. She said if she were in Taylor’s shoes, she would take 6 – 12 months off from talking to the press, while also quitting the housewives series. “Honestly, I wouldn’t talk to the press or anyone for six months to a year,” said Jill. “I would buckle down with my family and I probably wouldn’t come back on the show.”
Can you imagine Jill going 6 months without talking to the press??? Or even a week for that matter? Yes, neither can I! A video clip of Jill’s interview is below –
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE NEW HOUSEWIVES? PLUS THOUGHTS ON JILL & RAMONA’S COMMENTS?
“No matter what anyone tells you of course we all wanted to be asked back,”one of the relieved ladies, who wishes to remain anonymous, remarked. “It’s never nice to get fired no matter what job you do. But to be strung along by your boss week after week, pretending the decision had not yet been finalized is just wrong,” she said in response to reports that Bravo execs were placing phone calls to Jill and Alex up until the final moments. Andy Cohen also called the ladies over the weekend, trying to distance himself from the final decision.
And days following the news, Andy finally responded to the controversy via his Bravo blog, stating: “By now you’ve heard the news about cast changes in the RHONY. This was a very tough decision, made with much care and discussion,” he wrote. Then giving props to the people that pay the bills – US – he explained: “In the end we listened to the fans, who expressed a desire for new stories and a major change in a direction.”
While that was as far as Cohen would go in describing the decision to fire certain ladies, it’s rumored that a certain red-headed diva’s demands for a pay raise and filming stipulations were the reason she got the axe! Oh, and that her hubby was completely ovah being apart of the show! And speaking of Jill, she seems to be taking the news in stride – at least publicly!
Writing in her newsletter, which was sent out to fans yesterday (yes, she has some and yes, I get it – for work purposes, of course) she remained aloof, commenting: “There is a lot I want to say and share but I just can’t today.” And after advertising an upcoming appearance, she continues: “Ihope those of you in NYC will come and at that time I will be prepared to share what happened and what my future holds. I can’t thank you enough for all of the emails, tweets, facebook comments, letters and even gifts that you have sent to me. I read everything and although I may not be able to respond to everyone, I want you to know I have been brought to tears by all of the love you have sent to me. I don’t want you to worry though…when one door closes….many doors open.”
And according to reports, Jill is somewhat relieved the show has come to an end: “Jill is done with them and ready to move on,” according to a “source.” “If she’s not good enough to return to ‘Housewives’ she has no interest in making returning guest spots or making a surprise secret appearance in the middle of the Housewife season.” Well only time will tell if the seemingly spot-light obsessed, Zarin, makes good on that promise! Jill also revealed that she will no longer be participating in Bravo’s Housewives Tour.
While Jill seems to have many, um… exciting up-coming ventures and is ready to move forward; poor little Alex is absolutely devastated to lose her day job! Friends of the McCords commented that Silex is ”destroyed by the decision and will do whatever she can to make it right,” and “would be happy to continuing working with Bravo in a new capacity.” A source defending the duo lamented: “Alex and Simon have given their lives to making this show a hit and this is how they are thanked. Not fair.” Well perhaps the reason they were fired is that they have no life outside of the show and their storyline became boring, stale, and pathetic!
After tweeting a Twitter campaign to keep them on the show, citing fan support, Alex and Simon formally released their own statement in an US Weekly exclusive confirming that they are disappointed by the news: “After four seasons on Real Housewives of New York City, Simon and I are moving on. It’s a completely friendly departure and while it was their decision and not ours, we are in close communication with both Bravo and the production company about our next move, in addition to fielding outside offers.”
The fame-grasping duo continues: “It was bittersweet to finally get the call last Saturday but we knew it was on the cards. It’s been a bumpy ride; sometimes great and sometimes not, but it’s been an experience that I don’t regret having done.” If you are an Alex fan, don’t fret they will still be working with Aluxe Home hawking bedding!
As for Kelly, the resident crazy, she has let to comment at all or release any statements, she has been tweeting about health and hotness though, so at least we know she’s still kra-kra!
Finally, The new queen bee of RHONY (and the woman many fans are anticipating as being Bravo’s next target for the psychotic b!*ch edit), Ramona Singer, who likely knew who was getting the axe at the time the interview was conducted, recently spoke with fellow anti-Zarinette Lynn Hudson, and the ladies (and I use that term veeerrryyy loosely) teamed up to talk about, well, what else but the recently relieved of her duties, Jill Zarin!
In the interview, Pinot Singer reveals that she is “true friends” with Alex and Sonja Morgan “off-camera”, so she must have fought really, really hard to convince Andy to keep Alex in the line-up, right? And while her relationships with Alex and Sonja may be legit, her relationship with Jill is pretty much quits.
“I tried very hard with Jill, but Jill is her own worst enemy, something I have told her many times,” she comments of her former co-star and frienemmy. “This past season the raw emotion between us was very real and the damage that was done was irreversible. Jill is an unhappy person, and clearly having a loving husband, fame and fortune doesn’t necessarily make you happy.”
Speaking about the almost completely forgotten Cindy, Ramona describes her as bad TV: “I enjoyed her one-on-one having dinner and things but she just wasn’t right for the show, some people just don’t do well in front of the cameras.”
Well, we will be looking forward to the upcoming season of fresh, new, Zarin-less drama; and at least we still have LuAnn’s one-liners to infuriate us!
Photo by: Adriana M. Barraza / WENN.com
Thoughts on the statements released by the ladies and by Senor Cohen? Do you believe Jill is actually glad to be done with the show? Do you believe this is the last time we will see her on Bravo? Are you excited about Season 5 of RHONY?
Huffington Post’s Rob Shuter was the first to break the news of the firings last Thursday. Back then, both the network and the ladies denied the news. A report on Friday explained Bravo did not want the news to be made public in the case they decided to bring back one of the fired ladies, if things fell through with any of the new housewives they have cast.
Below is Bravo’s official statement on the issue -
“Ramona Singer, Sonja Morgan and LuAnn DeLesseps will be returning for season five of The Real Housewives of New York City. We’ve had a fabulous run with all the ladies and appreciate them sharing their lives with our viewers. It is a friendly departure among the other ladies and we continue to have ongoing discussions with them.”
Nice to see the network soften the blow by calling it a “friendly departure.” The fired housewives are also responding to the news. Below are statements released by the ladies to the Hollywood Reporter -
Jill Zarin – “Jill is out of town with her husband Bobby and they are visiting her daughter Ally at college for family weekend so she is not speaking with the press. I can tell you that she is very happy and extremely busy with the national launch of her shapewear line Skweez Couture by Jill Zarin which will debut at Lord and Taylor stores across the country this month and then roll out at other national retailers in the coming months. Jill is humbled by the extraordinary amount of media interest in her response and looks forward to personally opening up about all of this very soon and announcing some exciting new projects,” Jill’s rep stated.
Alex McCord – “Alex and I are sad that it’s come to this. We had a great four years. We don’t intend for this to be the final time you’ll see us on television. Everything happens for a reason. We are not happy, we’re not sad. It is what it is. We thank our fans. We have tremendous, tremendous outpouring of support. I think even Bravo is surprised by how much support Alex has had. It didn’t change their opinion or didn’t change their decision. And it might not be the end of seeing us on Housewives. It might not be the end of seeing us on Bravo. We don’t know that yet either. There’s a lot to be discussed in the upcoming weeks. We wish the next season well. We’re not going away. We remain happy and long may that continue,” said codependent couple Simon van Kempen and wife Alex.
Cindy Barshop – “Bravo and I parted amicably and I will not be returning for the show. And I’m absolutely thrilled with the opportunity, really am thrilled. And for me, it’s a great decision personally and for my business. It’s going to be an amazing year next year. I’m a hundred percent good with this decision. Everyone knows the Completely Bare spas nationally now…“
Nice to see Simon admit that Bravo let Alex go and not the other way around. Kelly has yet to release a statement or comment on the firing. Perhaps she’s too busy sorting out her jelly beans.
When a fan asked Simon on twitter if the reason for their departure had to do with money or the other housewives, Simon responded: “Neither it was 100% @BravoTV’s decision on where they want #RHoNY to go in S5.” Alex on the other hand tweeted that the firing departure was “amicable.” Allrighty Alex! She also stated she is in talks with Bravo for other possible projects.
It appears Alex and Simon are still hoping to change Bravo’s mind as they both re-tweeted campaigns started by their fans to keep them on the show.
A report by E! News on Friday stated Alex and Simon were very shocked by the firing and were also worried about the financial impact of being let go from the show. Bravo paid the RHONY housewives a reported $275,000 per season. E! also reported Jill would try to turn this around to convince the public it was her decision to leave.
In fact, Jill’s BFF Patti Stanger stated on Friday that Jill was the one who decided to quit the show to pursue other opportunities. Uh Uh. “Jill left the show on her own,” said Patti to the Rumor Fix adding that the two are now working together on a yet to be named project. Jill’s rep also confirmed the two are indeed working together.
Bravo has reportedly cast 3 – 4 new housewives to replace the fired ladies.