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Cindy Barshop

Andy Cohen has finally spilled the beans on the firings that shook Real Housewives of New York. No, he didn’t have a personal vendetta against Jill Zarin – although that’s what she’d like us all to think. And no, Bethenny Frankel didn’t influence the decisions – research did!

Say what?! Andy uses graphs and charts to cast the crazy?! According to a new interview with AdAge, Andy credited research for the reasoning behind the firings. ”We snort up research like fine Colombian cocaine,” he admitted of the Bravomeisters approach to determining what viewers want.

“I love Twitter because it’s a live focus group,” said Andy, explaining that one reason certain cast members of RHONY were let go was because of negative feedback about them on social media.

CLICK CONTINUE READING FOR THE REST! 

It’s as if one franchise slowly rose up after hearing that other (more blonde and tan) franchises were getting more press. So here we are, back with the Real Housewives of New York, fresh with some new gossip…Zarin style.

After the firing heard ’round the Bravo world, Radaronline.com is reporting that the Queen of Mean Princess of Park Avenue Jill Zarin has been asked to rejoin the cast. The season seems to be taking an exceedingly long time to wrap, leading some to believe that there’s just no excitement with the new ladies. It would make sense that Bravo wanted to bring back the franchise’s resident pot stirrer.

Jill, who claims she was contacted by a show insider, explains that the offer was too little too late. She maintains she was happy to get the boot along with cast mates Alex McCord, Cindy Barshop, and Kelly Bensimon.

Jill insists, “I thought about quitting the show during season 4, because my husband wanted his wife back. I had such anxiety and pressure to act a certain way and I was paranoid for a reason, because people were planning and plotting against me.” Planning and plotting? Sounds like a James Patterson novel, not a trip to Morocco to break up the monotony of Upper East Side luncheons and weekends in Quogue the Hamptons!

“I’m too old and have grown up too much to do Real Housewives anymore, I want to set an example to my kids and my grandkids,” she continues. Not to mention that she doesn’t need RHONY to be in the spotlight…she has a new show for that.

Jill will be returning to the small screen on the Cooking Channel, starring in Iron Chef America’s Top 5 Moments in Kitchen Stadium History. I remember her being quite the Paula Deen of the Housewives…um…And, if you miss her on Iron Chef, you can still catch her on the Home Shopping Networking, hawking her Skweez Couture shapewear line on February 10th.

However, Gossipcop.com is saying that the offer never happened! The site claims to have been told by a true Bravo insider that Mrs. Zarin was never contacted to return to the show. Other media outlets are also reporting Bravo is adamantly denying Jill’s claims. Hmmm…something sounds fishy. Is the source insinuating that Jill Zarin would actually make up a story to get press and remain relevant? I don’t buy it…much like I won’t be buying anything called Skweez. If only there was someone who could shed some light on this confusion. But wait…

THERE IS!

After all the hullabaloo, Jill felt the need to take to her personal blog to respond to such preposterous claims. Personal blogs are way classier than twitter, you know. Get the memo, Atlanta! After seeing Radaronline.com’s story, Jill was quick to address the gossip (or is it?) on–where else?–jillzarin.com. Part of that statement, typos and all, is below.

“I have to admit that most of it is….TRUE! Shocking..I know. but…most of the questions I answered a long time ago from and older interview. I was asked but someone I can’t mention..if I would be interested in coming back for a cameo. That is all I will say right now . I won’t say when or by whom..actually , ironically it was more than one person. It is true that Bobby asked me not to come back. Actually that was reported in the NY POST on Page 6 in July 2011. We were overheard at a restaurant talking and he begged me not to go back on the show but to please quit. I NEVER told any one this but…I actually emailed some of the ladies and producers a goodbye letter, wishing them all well and why I wanted to leave while we were still on top. Maybe I will publish the email one day. But then I didn’t quit. I will save that story for another day…”

Somewhere Simon van Kempen is wearing a dashiki and calling Andy Cohen on speed dial wondering why he and his Brooklyn bride were not asked to make cameos. Y’all know I’m right!

Not one to be left out when the “brunettes” are making news, Kelly Bensimon is also making headlines for committing the ultimate in celebrity cardinal sins…dating one of Madonna’s exes. And not just any ex, she’s reportedly seeing the father of Madonna’s tween daughter Lourdes, Carlos Leon. #dontcrossmadgesheisfrightening! The huffingtonpost.com has the deets.

The potential new couple was spotted walking together–gasp!–in the East Village this past weekend. Kelly’s “friends” predict that we will be seeing even more of the twosome in the future.

One such pal reveals, “They started out working on a project together but have since gotten very close. Kelly always says that if you are not married or engaged, you are single. So, technically she is still single, but we all know that they are together.”

While Kelly herself declined to comment on the nature of the relationship, she did admit, “We met seven months ago. I’m casting him for the show I Can Make You Hot. Have you met him? He’s an amazing dancer and athlete and jelly bean connoisseur.”

I’m sure Madonna isn’t batting an eyelash at this news. She’s probably used to it seeing as another of her former flames was linked to former RHONY’s Bethenny Frankel. When the Material Girl split from baseballer Alex Rodriguez in 2009, he reportedly found comfort in the arms of a Skinny Girl. No word yet as to whether Madonna ever dated Ross/Jacques.

Photos of Carlos are below!

[Photos Credit: WENN]

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF JILL ZARIN’S INTERVIEW? DO YOU BELIEVE SHE WAS CONTACTED BY BRAVO OR IS SHE JUST TRYING TO GET MORE ATTENTION? IS KELLY DATING CARLOS LEON?


In the approximately five billion years it has taken to shoot the re-tooled fifth season of Real Housewives of New York, the ladies get to go on yet another Bravo-sponsored vacation.

If you recall, earlier reports leaked that the gals had taken a trip to London in addition to a trip to South Beach which gifted us these photos. Now that it’s winter, the cast headed down to St. Barts.

New cast members Heather Thomson and Carole Radziwill decided to show off their smoking hot figures while veterans Sonja Morgan, Luann de Lesseps and Ramona Singer sat around getting drunk and being judgey (so, like any normal day on the RHONY set). I’m sure personal trainers are so proud of them in this moment. Check out the photos of them below!

Meanwhile, the NY Post wrote a scathing report about newbie Carole. According to The Post, Carole, who is related to the Kennedys by marriage, is failing to bring any class to the show. The report states that while filming in St. Barts, Carole was was spotted partying with her costars – Ramona, Sonja, LuAnn and others — at Le Ti, a cabaret-themed night.

A source revealed, “Le Ti has a dress-up shop with items to suit every fetish. By the end of the night, all the housewives were in tiny red pirate outfits with Jack Sparrow hats, and exposed midriffs gyrating on the dance floor.”

The source continues of Caroline, who has won three Emmys for her writing: “It’s sad to see Carole, a journalist, former ABC news producer and whose husband [Prince Anthony Radziwill] was the cousin of John F. Kennedy Jr., stooping to this level. She must really need the money.”

Back in New York, former failed housewife Cindy Barshop of the Vajazzling Barshops decided to introduce yet another product to the market that no one needed: fur merkins for your lady bits, available at her Completely Bare spa in New York. In case you get cold from all those Brazilian waxes. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, you can add a little something different to your nether regions for two Benjamins.

The ‘Foxy Bikini’ is available at $225 and the ‘Carnivale’ for $195. According to the Completely Bare website, both of these services can also be added on to your laser hair removal or waxing appointment. It seems to me you can skip the wax altogether and achieve the same effect. Am I right, ladies?

Cindy is getting some serious backlash from animal rights group PETA on the merkins which are made from real fur and calls the merkins “outright sleazy, and downright cruel.” Cindy responded by saying it is her right to stage a lame publicity stunt for her businesses, “wear fur down there” and hopes PETA will “respect that.”

Also below are photos of Cindy’s fur merkins!

[Photos Credit: MediaPunch/INFphoto.com]

TELL US: WOULD YOU WEAR A FUR MERKIN? DO YOU THINK CINDY IS JUST TRYING TO GET PUBLICITY FOR HER SPAS? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE LADIES BIKINI WEARING PAST THE AGE OF 40?

CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON FOR ALL THE PHOTOS!

Finally some good news for former Real Housewives of New York City star Cindy Barshop!

Following her firing by Bravo back in September, after which reports came out stating she was experiencing financial diffulty and forced to close some of her Completely Bare salons, Cindy can finally breathe a sigh of relief today as a discrimination lawsuit against her has been dismissed.

Earlier this year, Cindy’s former employee, Altovise Collier, filed a discrimination complaint against her with the New York’s Division of Human Rights, alleging that Cindy fired her because she’s black.

In the suit, Altovise alleged she didn’t receive enough employee training due to her race, which resulted in negative customer feedback. She also claimed that staffers joked she was hired to “inject some color” into the salon and when she complained to Cindy, she was let go.

However, the NY Post reports the case was dropped this month due to a lack of evidence that Altovise was fired because of her race.

Cindy responded via a statement: “I’m so happy that the truth has come out. I’ve never looked at people based on race, religion, creed, or color. I see people for who they are.”

Cindy, alongside her costars Alex McCord, Jill Zarin and Kelly Kirazy Bensimon, were fired let go by Bravo in September after complaints from fans that the show had gotten too nasty negative.

[Photo Credit: WENN]


Cindy Barshop is closing shop! The one-season former Real Housewives of New York fan failure is apparently undergoing some serious financial strain since losing her position on the popular reality show. You know what they say – don’t count your chickens before they hatch!

The New York Post is reporting that the vajayjay wax diva at the helm of Completely Bare Spas and creator of the vajewel (ew) blew a ton of money opening “pop-up” salons around the country banking their success on her celebrity status as a Housewife. But as you know her run on the show didn’t pan out so well! Following her firing Cindy has been forced to close four of her new Completely Bare locations: two in Manhattan, one in Atlanta, and another in Beverly Hills due to financial strain. Interesting that all of those locales coincide with current Housewives franchises.

“[Cindy] made a lot of financial investments into the salon when she signed on for ‘Housewives,’ ” a source reveals. “But when she left, she didn’t have the platform.” Additionally, the gossip snoopers at The Dirty are claiming Cindy erroneously banked on a friendship with fellow-firee Jill Zarin to keep her on the show “for years to come.”

According to their sources Cindy used her first Bravo paycheck as “collateral” to open five more salons across the country, four of which are now shutting their doors. Indeed Completely Bare’s website confirms there are only two remaining spa locations. Cindy’s storyline on RHONY was supposed to focus on expanding her business nationwide, but it never received much airtime due to all the other drama occurring.

The Dirty also reveals that Completely Bare’s Beverly Hills locale was “shut down by the building owner after she didn’t pay rent for 3 months.” Cindy shared that office building with Dr. Ray 90210, by the way. She also lost two of her NYC spaces when she was evicted her for failure to pay rent. And allegedly her 5th avenue supplier is refusing further deliveries because she owes them $7,000.

Cindy’s employees are claiming her financial issues are so dire some of them do not even receive full paychecks because their wages are too high for the current “budget.” If you recall Cindy is also being sued by a former employee who claims she was unfairly compensated because of her race.

It seems Cindy is very in over her head; the single mom of twins admitted on RHONY that she employed around 14 personal staff to help manage her household, children, and personal needs. Perhaps Cindy needs to trim the bush… (Which is my cheap euphemism for “trim the fat”)

Well Cindy is calling foul on the gossip and denying rumors of financial disrepair. She claims the closed locations were never intended to be open for more than a year. Explaining the location of one of her NY salons was taken over by Equinox gym. “They didn’t close because we’re in financial distress,” she told the NY Post. In fact the waxtress is in the process of opening a 5,000-square-foot, $1.5 million salon in Roslyn, Long Island.

Cindy reveals things are going so well for her that she is developing her own reality show! Cindy is reportedly “in talks” with networks for a new show that centers around her Completely Bare spa. The Dirty claims the show is being personally funded with money she doesn’t have as a “last-ditch” effort to save her empire which melting faster than hot wax! So… yeah, a show about waxing crotches… I predict some high ratings there!

[Photo Credit: Ivan Nikolov / WENN.com]

THOUGHTS ON CINDY’S PREDICAMENT? ARE YOU SURPISED? DO YOU HAVE ANY INTEREST IN WATCHING CINDY’S NEW REALITY SHOW?

Now, we all knew these ladies wouldn’t go quietly back to their “normal” lives, and it’s no shocker that Alex McCord and eighth housewife husband Simon Van Kempen are still all over the media talking about their recent firing from Bravo’s Real Housewives of New York.

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-bully Simon 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?

The Bravo network is moving full speed ahead after firing four of the Real Housewives of New York City cast members!

For the past week, we have been hearing that the network had already cast 3 new ladies to replace the fired housewives — Jill Zarin, Alex McCord, Cindy Barshop, and Kelly Bensimon — and now the identity of those women have been revealed!

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 -

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TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE NEW HOUSEWIVES? PLUS THOUGHTS ON JILL & RAMONA’S COMMENTS?

Hot on the heels of the exciting shocking restructuring of Real Housewives of New York, the relieved of their duties housewives: Jill Zarin, Alex McCord, Cindy Barshop, and Kelly Bensimon are scrambling to get their opinions heard and convince us that they actually, just quit with amicable parting. Yeah, right! How dumb do they think we are?

“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: “I hope 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?

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