Above is a photo of Bravo Housewives Alex McCord, NeNe Leakes, Melissa Gorga and Marysol Patton as they attended The Real Housewives Tour in Atlanta, GA, at the Cobb Energy Center, on October 16. The ladies walked the red carpet before taking to the stage and chatting with each other and audience members.
Below, Teresa Giudice photographed filming Celebrity Apprentice! Caroline Manzo steps out to support son Albie Manzo! And speaking of Albie, he stepped out with his new girlfriend!Kelly Bensimon is pictured with rapper Jay Z, Bethenny Frankel takes a walk with Baby Bryn, Taylor Armstrong tapes a new interview for Extra,plus more photos of Nene Leakes, Melissa Gorga& more!
Also below, Kim Kardashian, Snooki, Robert Kardashian, The Situation, Holly Madison, Kendra Wilkinson & more!
Photo credit: Dan Harr / Splash News
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After mostly keeping her comments to herself, LuAnn de Lesseps is finally throwing all that etiquette stuff out the window and as one of the only remaining originals of Real Housewives of New York, she is speaking out on the firings and the future of the show!
Get ready – it’s juicy!
In an exclusive interview with OK!, LuAnn publicly admits she is disappointed by who Bravo decided to fire, specifically Jill Zarin, but she is excited to still be included in the show! “I was happy because I wanted to do the next season, and sad at the same time, because Jill’s the one who initially started the show with me, and is the one who brought me onto the show,” she reveals.
“I really felt bad that she wasn’t coming back. And Kelly [Bensimon]– I’m going to miss the girls, I really am, but I’m excited about the new season and missing the girls. I have great memories with all the women. We made that show what it was from the beginning,” LuAnn muses, waxing nostalgic. Hey, at least one person will be mourning for Jill!
And since she is on a roll, LuAnn continues by reiterating that she’ll really miss Jill! Like a lot. LuAnn, you guys can still do things outside the show. “We’re like a weird, sick family,” she says of relationships to her former co-stars. “Jill and I started the show together with Ramona and Alex. Kelly came on later, but It’s really sad to see them go because it’s something we created and made successful together.”
If you noticed LuAnn has not mentioned Alex McCord being part of the “family,” it’s because LuAnn still hates her! “There was no reason [for her to attack me],” LuAnn quips referring to the argument after Morocco and other comments Alex has made about her in the press. Also noting that she also does not feel bad that Alex was fired.
As for the new cast, LuAnn is “looking forward to the new season,” except for one thing: Ramona Singer! “Ramona is Ra-mean-a,” LuAnn explains. “I see Ramona, and I run the other direction!”
LuAnn hasn’t seen Pinot Singer since the reunion and that’s fine with her! “She invited me to her party and I’m like ‘hello? Come on. Really?! You say that to me, and you expect me to show up and say ‘hi’?’ No. Not after you go after my kids.”
And a furious LuAnn then makes some jabs about Ramona’s drinking habits, after expressing that she is still (yes, STILL!) disappointed that Ramona declined to be in her music video for Chic C’est La Vie! “Turtle Time, Pinot Grigio – but that grossed me out.”
“There’s part of her I love and part of her I hate,” LuAnn continues. “She says the damndest things – it rolls out of her mouth, and she thinks she can get away with it. She’s not going to get away with it, because it’s ‘on’ for the next season,” LuAnn challenges.
As for a very re-vamped Season Five, according to LuAnn filming begins soon! “I’m really excited about the upcoming season, and I will look forward to the girls.” The expected new cast members are Carole Radziwill,Heather Thomson, andAviva Drescher.
Well, the next season better be an improvement over last year, especially considering the pay raise Ramona and LuAnn allegedly received! the Huffington Post is reporting that Bravo inked a contract with LuAnn and Ramona (who let’s be frank, really know how to bring the dramz and the snippy comments) paying them a whopping $500,000 each to film Season Five!
“In the fourth season, LuAnn, Ramona, Jill and Alex all earned $275,000 for 16 regular episodes plus a one-day reunion taping that was shown as two episodes. “So in total it was $275,000 for a total of 18 episodes,” an insider states. “But now that Jill and Alex have been fired, LuAnn and Ramona are getting $500,000 to tape 18 episodes. That’s almost $28,000 an episode.” Come again?!
The reason for Bravo upping the ante? “Nothing causes drama more than asking all the ladies to do the same amount of work and paying some more for it than others,” one of the real housewives themselves reveals!
“Sonja [Morgan] and the new ladies are not earning anything like the money LuAnn and Ramona are and that is already causing tension — plus, a very unlikely friendship between past enemies LuAnn and Ramona,” the housewife insider details. Perhaps LuAnn and Ramona got together in the contract negotiation process! “It’s way too early to know how all this is going to play out, but early meetings have gone great!”
Bravo declined to comment on the upcoming season and the alleged pay raises, but I wouldn’t put it past them to resort to unscrupulous measures to cause drama (See: New Jersey, Housewives, “Real”)!
Thoughts on LuAnn’s interview and comments about Ramona? Obsessed with Jill, much? Are you as surprised as I am that Ramona and LuAnn will be earning half a Mil to be part of RHONY?
And while LuAnn will “really miss Jill,” she is optimistic about the new ladies. “I’m excited about the new cast,” although she hasn’t actually met any of her new co-stars. If they are all friends with Ramona Singer, I predict a rocky fifth season for our favorite ex-countess!
And speaking of exes, ex-housewife Alex McCord and ex-hanger-on Simon van Kempen are finally moving forward after getting terminated! In a shocking interview with the NY Post, Simon admits the duo was out of place among their castmates (yes, I read it twice to make sure I wasn’t seeing things). “Alex and I were always miscast in the show,” he confesses. “And if [Bravo] is taking it to the ‘Beverly Hills’ level of money, of course we wouldn’t be on.” Wow… refreshing honesty, Simon!
As for the rumors that the McCord-Van Kempens begged Bravo for their jobs back, even willing to take a 50% pay cut out of their $275,000 salary, Simon calls the gossip “100 percent not true,” which was also confirmed by a Bravo rep (a very reliable source, if I’ve ever heard one!).
“Once we had a no, it was no,” Simon explains. “That would’ve just perpetuated the perception we are the wannabes they made us out to be.” Wait – Bravo made them look like wannabes? #Idontbelieveyou.
“We’re sad it’s not continuing. But four years wasn’t bad,” Simon concludes. Good attitude Silex! The two reveal they are now focusing on a line of Egyptian-cotton towels and bedding, called Aluxe, which they plan to launch this week.
It also appears the firing of Silex isn’t preventing Ramona from contuining to hang out with Alex. Ramona posted the following photo below of herself hanging out with Alex over the weekend. Ramona wrote on her facebook today: “Morning! How was everyone’s weekend? Mine was great. Ended it last night celebrating Alex’s birthday!”
Gossip columnist Rob Shuter tweeted that filming on the new season of RHONY officially begins today. You can CLICK HERE to read all about the new housewives!
Are you surprised LuAnn will miss Jill? Did any of you attend the Housewives Live Tour – thoughts? Are you impressed with Silex’s new attitude?
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?
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?