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Kim Zolciak of The Real Housewives of Atlanta opens up in an exclusive new interview with Essence.

Kim talks about how Kandi is dealing with her tragic week, her thoughts on AJ, the breakup with Big Poppa (Lee Najjar) as well as her new boyfriend. She also speaks briefly on Big Poppa’s wife, saying his wife knew about her.

Below are excerpts from Kim’s new interview -

ESSENCE.COM: How is Kandi doing? Have you spoken to her?
KIM ZOLCIAK:
I spoke with her mom and texted her just to let her know I’m here. I was one of the first to find out and I called the other ladies. Everybody has been fantastic but it’s unfortunate that it takes a tragedy to bring us all together. We were able to put all our stuff on the back burner and come together for Kandi. It’s not something that I ever thought would happen, no matter how tragic the situation.

ESSENCE.COM: What was your interaction with A.J like?
ZOLCIAK:
He actually called me last week and I never called him back, which sucks. I adored him. He was such a great guy. He was actually with Big Papa the night I got engaged. I hated that people have this bad impression of him because he had so many children. He was a great father and he was great with Riley [Kandi's 7-year-old daughter] and he loved Kandi.

ESSENCE.COM: And when is the wig line coming out?
ZOLCIAK:
I’ve joined with a company called Pop Wigs who will manufacture and distribute the wigs. It’s a lot more work than I ever anticipated. I’m working on everything from trademarking to the packaging. I’m really proud of the wigs, so by December people will be able to do pre-orders and we can send them out by January.

New Jersey Housewives' Danielle Staub

Danielle Staub of The Real Housewives of New Jersey is now facing a lawsuit by her ex-husband, Kevin Maher.

Kevin has filed a lawsuit against Danielle on the basis of defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.  And yes, this is the same Kevin who wrote the tell all book, ‘Cop Without A Badge,’  revealing Danielle’s scandalous past as a drug user and escort.

The lawsuit is based on an interview Danielle gave PEOPLE magazine in June 2009, during which she called Kevin a rapist and a dog murderer.

Kevin– who was married to Danielle in the late 80s — told E! News, “I am filing a lawsuit against my ex-wife, Danielle Staub, stemming from her allegations that I raped her on a bed of broken glass, inserted my handgun inside her and played Russian Roulette, and last but not least, killing her dog by way of hanging it,” Maher states. “She also threatened me on the reunion show that Bravo aired.”

Kevin says he’s receieved “serious and outrageous threats” since the article was released.

The Real Housewives of Atlanta

The Real Housewives of Atlanta’s reunion show which was scheduled to tape this week is reportedly postponed.

Bravo had planned to film a two-part show this week that was due to air on the network on October 29 and November 5. The taping has now been rescheduled in light of the death of castmate Kandi Burruss’s ex-fiancé Ashley A.J. Jewell.

Dwight Eubanks confirmed this news to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The hairdresser and honorary “sixth housewife” said he didn’t expect AJ to be edited out of the upcoming episodes.

“I don’t see them editing him out. It’s television. It’s reality. We just have to prepare and get geared up for next year,” said Dwight.

He also added that he is uncertain of Kandi’s future on the show, saying: “She’s had such a dramatic year. She had her uncle die, too. She has her own career to focus on. Now her life has changed with her daughter and taking temporary custody of [AJ's] twins.”

Kandi has however previously voiced her desire to return for a 3rd season before the passing of AJ.

NYC's Bethenny FrankelJon Gosselin 2

Bethenny Frankel had some choice words for Jon Gosselin during a segment the duo taped together for The Insider that aired Tuesday.

Never shy to give her opinion, The Real Housewives of NYC star told Jon, “I think you’re defeated. You need to pull yourself up from your bootstraps and get back to your kids and get your crap together.” Bethenny continued, “You need to pull it together.”

Jon– who halted production on Kate Plus 8 – replied, “That’s what I am trying to do.”

“Everyone’s mad at you right now,” sneered Bethenny, 38. She goes on, “America has a big problem with the fact that [your kids] are growing up on a television show. You never know what the effects will be 20 years from now.”

Referring to some of Jon’s latest antics, Bethenny added – “It looks like you went through a rebellious phase.”

Jon responded, “Of course. I went from [age] 32 to 23. My therapist has told me that. My therapist told me I went from 32 to 23.”

In other news, Kate Gosselin refuted Jon’s claims that the show was harmful to their kids. Kate said Monday on the Today show. “Times eight, there was wailing and sobbing. They love the crew, they love the interaction, they love the events. It is not harmful to them. They are angry.”

real-housewives-of-new-jersey

Bravo announced today that The Real Housewives of New Jersey will be returning for a second season in 2010.

The first season of The NJ Housewives was one of the highest-rated “Real Housewives” series in all demos, averaging 2.55 million total viewers.

Bravo however did not announce which of the women from the first season — Danielle Staub , Dina Manzo, Jacqueline Laurita, Teresa Giudice and Caroline Manzo — will be back. There are have been reports that Dina has no interest in doing a 2nd season.

Also coming in 2010 is the highly anticipated The Real Housewives of D.C. The Washington D.C. franshice will be the network’s fifth Housewives franchise.

The D.C. version will focus on women who have influence in Washington culture, whether it’s through political galas, fundraisers, or other society events.

NYC Bethenny Frankel

Bethenny Frankel confirms she is indeed getting her own reality show, but denies leaving The Real Housewives of NYC, at least not yet.

“The spinoff news is totally true, but me being replaced after five episodes is totally false,” she told Usmagazine Monday at the Los Angeles premiere of Couples Retreat. “I haven’t started doing the spinoff show. I have started doing Housewives.”

It was reported last week that Bethenny would be replaced on the show’s third season by Sonja Morgan — a real-life friend of cast member Countess LuAnn de Lesseps.

So what can fans expect from her new reality show? “It will be just about my entire life,” she said. Adding that boyfriend Jason Hopper will be a part of her show as well. “If I know Bravo and if they know me, I just think it will be the truth, which is the balance between career and relationships and all things in between. If he is part of my life, he will be part of the show.”

Surprisingly, Bethenny says she regrets her recent diss of fellow Bravo star, Rachel Zoe. “I probably wouldn’t do it again today because it was such a big ordeal. I mean, it was unsolicited. No one asked my opinion about what I thought about that.”

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Real Housewives of New York City star, Bethenny Frankel is apparently getting replaced on the show, reports USmagazine.

Bethenny is being replaced by socialite Sonja Morgan, who is a friend of Countess LuAnn De Lesseps a source tells US.

Bethenny, the author of the New York Times bestseller Naturally Thin, was confirmed by Bravo earlier this week to be getting her own show. Her new Bravo reality series will follow her as she attempts to balance her career and love life.

An insider tells Life&Style magazine that Sonja will likely make her appearance around episode five of the new season. “It’s not pretty between Bethenny and the other cast members in the episodes that they’ve already taped.” the insider adds. “I think the show is going to explode this season!”

Gawker is also reporting that Sonja is the wife of John Morgan, a great-grandson of J. Pierpont Morgan of J.P. Morgan. The couple has one daughter.

UPDATE: A spokesperson from Bravo says Bethenny is going to be on the entire third season of the show according to Gawker. When asked if Morgan was joining the third season, the spokesperson said, that “we haven’t released any details for season three.”

Lisa Wu Hartwell wearing Closet Freak line

Atlanta Housewife Lisa Wu Hartwell is opening up in a new interview with Essence.com. The Real Housewives of Atlanta star talks about her spirituality and the criticism she received from some of her castmates regarding her new Closet Freak clothing line.

Photos of Lisa’s Closet Freak clothing line can be see here.

Excerpts from her interview below -

ESSENCE.COM: Since you stopped by the ESSENCE office in August, how have you been keeping busy?
LISA WU HARTWELL:
Believe it or not, I’ve been speaking at churches and colleges. It all started at Pastor Jamal Bryant’s church for his empowerment seminar. I was invited to speak, and when I did I backed everything up with scripture. A lot of people were shocked that I knew the Word, but that’s a side of me folks don’t get to see on the show and that’s my spiritual side. I was saved when I was 19 and very into the church. After I spoke there were other bishops there and they invited me to come speak at their churches. It’s funny how everything comes back full circle.

ESSENCE.COM: Who knew? Would you describe yourself as an overzealous Christian?
HARTWELL:
Yes, I was a fanatic. If I was in someone’s car and hip-hop was playing I would turn their music off, or I refused to be around certain people, which was wrong because those are usually the ones that need to hear the Word the most. My brothers used to hate to see me coming and called me a holy roller. I was really into church, but I started to backslide a bit, but I’ve always had morals and integrity. Now, I don’t claim to be holier and thou because I’ve learned to find the balance. It’s just funny how God has a sense of humor and makes sure to always bring you back to him without you even realizing it, so I’ve been enjoying speaking at churches.

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