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Luann De Lesseps


A day after Rob Shuter of HuffingtonPost broke the news about Bravo firing Jill Zarin, 47, Alex McCord, 37, and Kelly Bensimon, 43, it turns out he was not technically the first one to break the news.

A look at the latest issue of UsWeekly magazine, which went to press on Tuesday, reveals the mag was the first to report that the three Real Housewives of New York City listed above alongside Cindy Barshop, 47, were on the chopping block. The mag only gives a reason for Jill’s axing, stating, “They were sick of her being a diva.”

And below E! News is also confirming the firings adding that Jill and Alex are taking it the hardest. So now we have the Huffington Post, E! News, and UsWeekly reporting the firings while the fired housewives are all denying the reports. Below are the statements given by the housewives -

Jill Zarin - “Jill has not been fired from The Real Housewives of New York City. The truth is that Jill is still in discussions with Bravo for season 5 and hasn’t made a final decision about returning to the show,” says Jill’s rep.

Alex McCord - She posted the following statement yesterday: “I can confirm that I have not been ‘fired’ by BRAVO for next season’s Real Housewives of New York City. There are many rumors swirling around. Here’s the truth – Simon & I are still under consideration for season 5 & we’ll know one way or another very soon. I have to laugh at all the purported ‘insiders’ giving ‘off the record’ quotes.”

NMFF Cindy Barshop – “Everything out there right now is just rumors. Nothing is 100 [percent] decided yet, it could go either way.”

Kelly Kra-Kra’s rep also denied she had been fired. However, all signs continue to point to the reports being true! In fact E! News is reporting that Bravo informed the women Thursday morning while explaining why the network is not confirming the news in the press.

“Basically by not publicly firing them and keeping them dangling, Bravo’s bought their silence while three new women start taping the new season in two weeks,” one RHONY insider explains. “Bravo found new women. Ramona [Singer] knows these women, she introduced them to Bravo. The Countess knows two as well. They wanted real New York society women.”

The source adds that taping begins in two weeks and that if the newbies have on-screen chemistry it’s a done deal with the previous Housewives. “On the very slim chance it doesn’t work, they have these ladies on the bench waiting to come back,” the source states.

Another insider reveals that Jill and Alex are taking the news the hardest. Jill is reportedly angry and is now in defense mode on how she can spin this to tell the public she left the show and wasn’t fired. “She’ll say she wasn’t coming back. She’s saying she’s ready to move on, she wants people to think it’s her decision, saying she wants to be a business woman and not a reality star. She’s very angry at both Bravo and [network executive] Andy [Cohen.]”

As for Alex, she and husband Simon van Kempen are reportedly in shock as they didn’t see this coming. Alex’s concern is however more of a financial one as her $275,000 income from Bravo is gone.

“Alex and Simon are both shell-shocked. They didn’t see it coming, they were blindsided. They’ve heard the rumors, but they thought they wouldn’t mess with the formula that works… They’ve just lost the $275,000 income they were making for the season. When Alex and Simon were not invited to do the live shows, they knew something was up. Alex is emailing and trying to stay in Bravo’s good graces as she need the money,” says the insider.

And just moments ago, UsWeekly reported Sonja Morgan confirmed the firings to them during an event last night while also confirming her return. “I really haven’t had time to digest it properly,” Sonja, 47, said Thursday night. “My voicemail was filled up today…At first, I just thought it was the usual rumors.” Sonja adds that Bravo informed her yesterday that she was returning for the new season.

Oddly enough, none of the housewives reported to be fired can say the same. And we all know they would be tweeting/releasing public statements about had they been asked back.

In fact Rob Shuter, who hung out with Ramona Singer last night, is standing by his report as he tweeted today that both Bravo and the fired housewives are “pissed” with him for breaking the news. He also confirms what LuAnn, who has been asked back, stated this week which is that 3 to 4 new “wealthy” housewives have been cast by Bravo.

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE LATEST? DO YOU THINK JILL IS BEGGING BRAVO TO TAKE HER BACK? GOOD DECISION BY BRAVO TO AXE THESE LADIES?

In today’s shocking news, the Bravo network has reportedly fired Jill Zarin, Alex McCord and Kelly Bensimon from the Real Housewives of New York City! WOW to the ZERS!

Gossip columnist Rob broke the news, tweeting minutes ago: “Breaking #RHONY Jill, Alex and Kelly are gone insiders at Bravo tell me.” Cindy’s not fired???

Rob has a close relationship with a number of the RHONY housewives so he is a pretty credible source when it comes to RHONY news. We will keep checking for more updates and bring you more news the minute it becomes available!

UPDATE - The Huffington Post (the blog Rob works for) is now reporting that Bravo informed Jill, Alex and Kelly of the news this morning. The women reportedly had no idea they were being let go.

Sources confirm the trio will not be returning as fulltime cast members next season. Further confirming the news is the report that Countess Luann de Lesseps revealed yesterday in an interview that three new ladies will be added to the cast.

Another insider adds that Bravo told Jill, Alex & Kelly that they could possibly be reinstated next season if any of the new cast members don’t work out. While the article doesn’t mention Cindy, it was reported a while back that she was also being let go.

Pretty shocking move by Bravo as even though I’m no fan of the Jillousy, I don’t think firing her is the best way to go. Jill and Ramona Singer appear to be the two biggest stars of the show and bring a certain dynamic to the series. Love them or hate them. Alex’s firing is also a big surprise. Kelly’s? Not so much and very welcomed. As I stated previously, I believe letting Cindy and Kelly go, while bringing in three new housewives would have been best.

We will continue to bring you more updates! Photo by: Adriana M. Barraza / WENN.com

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THIS NEWS? ARE YOU SHOCKED OR VERY SHOCKED? HAPPY WITH THE CHANGES?

UPDATE #2 – UsWeekly is now reporting Cindy Barshop was also fired! As for why Jill was fired, sources tell the mag Bravo got “sick of her being a diva.” So now, the only remaining housewives are Ramona, Sonja, and Countess LuAnn. The source however adds that Ramona, who is currently negotiating her new contract, might end up getting the axe if she can’t reach a deal with Bravo. “If they can’t agree, she will be off the show as well,” says the source.

For the time being, none of the fired housewives have yet to confirm the news. In fact Jill and Alex, who normally tweet up a storm all through the day, have been very quite for the last couple hours.

UPDATE #3 – All of the fired ladies parties reported to have been fired are now denying the news citing they have yet to hear it from Bravo. Jill rep tells PEOPLE: “Jill is still in discussions with Bravo for season 5 and no final decisions have been made.” Alex also tweeted minutes ago: “Speaking for myself only, there is no decision yet whether I’m in or out of #RHONY -Nothing’s finalized, though I’d like to do another year.” All interesting. Denial or are they being honest?

In the wake of Russell Armstrong’s suicide, several of the castmembers of Real Housewives of New York City spoke to PEOPLE offering their sympathy and support to Taylor Armstrong and defending Bravo against any allegations that reality TV may have been involved in Russell’s decision to take his own life. Since the casting, apparently, hasn’t been “officially” finalized yet – I guess these ladies are doing some sucking up!

Taking a break from Pinot-ing, Ramona Singer, offered her perspective: “I think it is very tragic. But I don’t think that the reality show is to blame for his unfortunate death. I think he had problems. And it’s sad when someone has so many problems, they feel the only way they can eliminate their pain is by taking their life.”

Krazy Kelly Bensimon, also offered her support to the network paying her bills, declaring: “I would never blame it on the show.” Just like she didn’t “blame” the show for forcing her to go on Scary Island and be subjected to “systematic bullying”? Anyways, in a shocking turn, Ms. Bensimon went on to give an insightful statement about what Russell’s reasons: “You don’t know what happens behind closed doors. And no one can judge. It’s no one’s job to do that. A lot of people speculate.”

Also extending statements of support and empathy, Sonja Morgan relayed: “My heart goes out to her [Taylor] and I’m here for her. But I never intrude,” Sonja explained. “She knows I’m here, but sometimes being helpful is just staying out of someone’s business.”

Alex McCord, on the other hand, took the classy (am I allowed to use the dread “C” word to describe her?) approach – declining to comment at all, stating: “I don’t even feel comfortable talking about that publicly.”

And noticeably absent from the roster of RHoNYC castmembers speaking about the events is the Jill Zarin! Could it be… that Jill, who is rumored to be hiding out vacationing in Italy with husband, Bawby has been … dropped from the lineup?! Likely not, given that Andy Cohen is still vacationing happily instead of entering the Witness Protection Program!

Which brings me to my next bit of news, unfortunately for all us former fans, The NY Post is now reporting that Bravo is feeling skittish about involving any new housewives in the franchise – despite some attempts to recast in the hopes of including more “downtown types.” As you recall, with the exception of last season’s newbie Cindy Bore-shop, there have been no offical rumors speculating about who Bravo was considering replacing, however a source reveals: “They looked at over 30 women, and narrowed it to three [new cast members].”

But after the unexpected tragedy with Russell Armstrong, the network became nervous about shaking things up; and especially concerned about informing castmembers they were out. “The last thing they need right now are more surprises,” the source explains. “The first one to get axed is going to write a book, and these girls know the secrets of production. The show’s still working on some level, even if Bravo is tired of the story lines.”

A rep from Bravo confirms the last statement, explaining: “Production was pushed, as we are finalizing some details for the new season. The cast will be notified once shooting is about to commence.”

Soon to be fired castmember Cindy also echoed that sentiment, telling the HollywoodLife blog that Bravo will be making the casting decision this week. “Obviously nobody’s got it going down right now, but soon — probably another week everybody will know,” said Cindy late last week.

A Bravo insider reveals the network has to send a letter notifying the cast members that their options have been picked up. The women then have the choice to accept the offer. “After the girls accept, that’s when Bravo would announce season five,” the insider says. “The girls will be notified right before filming begins.”

And there you have it. I guess, Bravo already knows what to expect from the current crazy … Too bad they can’t trust that the fans are all really tired of the storylines and the ladies, as well. Perhaps if the ratings take a nosedive that will get Cohen, et al to finally wake up! Or we could always start a Twitition…

Do you think Bravo will recast any of the ladies except Cindy? Are you surprised by the network’s reaction? Will you be watching if the cast (and the subsequent storylines) remain the same?

Bringing you a new photo post this week!

Above is a photo of the Real Housewives of New York City stars Kelly Bensimon and Countess Luann deLesseps as they attended the amNewYork Benefit for Food Bank NYC hosted by Kelly Kra-kra Bensimon at Georgica in the Hamptons on September 4, 2011.

Below, Real Housewives of NYC star s Alex McCord and Simon Van Kempen, Ramona Singer, and Sonja Morgan attend a welcome to NYC party hosted for newlyweds Kim kardashian and hubby Kris Humphries! Dina Manzo was also in attendance! Plus photos of Gretchen Rossi, Bethenny Frankel, Kandi Burruss, Phaedra Parks, Sheree Whitfield, Camille Grammer & more!

Also below, Khloe Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Jersey Shore’s Snooki, Sammi, and The Situation, plus Kendra Wilkinson, Holly Madison, & more!

Photo credit: Credit: Joseph Bellantoni / Splash News

CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO SEE ALL THE PHOTOS!

In today’s reality news, Bravo Housewives continue their attempt at world domination!

The Bravo network announced earlier this week that for the first time in history of the series, Housewives from various cities will gather together on one stage for what is being called “The Real Housewives Live Tour.

According to the press release, “Fans will have the chance to get up-close and personal with their favorite cast members as the ladies discuss the most talked about moments, reveal cast secrets and answer questions straight from the audience.”

The three-city tour begins in Atlantic City, NJ on October 1 with Caroline Manzo (RHONJ), LuAnn de Lesseps (RHONY), Kyle Richards (RHOBH) and Vicki Gunvalson (RHOC).

On October 8, Sonja Morgan (RHONY), Gretchen Rossi (RHOC), Lisa Vanderpump (RHOBH) and Phaedra Parks (RHOA) will meet fans in Hammond, Indiana.

The tour will then conclude October 15 with NeNe Leakes (RHOA), Jill Zarin (RHONY), Melissa Gorga (RHONJ) and Marysol Patton (RHOM) in Atlanta.

For the fans looking to get up close and personal with the cra cra housewives, it’s gonna cost you! The ticket prices will range from $49.50 to $170.00. They go on sale Friday, August 19.

In other housewives news, a new report is once again dispelling those silly Jill Zarin is considering leaving the Real Housewives of New York City rumors. According to the NY Post, that is far from the truth as the Jillousy has practically been begging Bravo to keep her on the show.

“Jill would re-sign tomorrow if she could. She has been pitching herself very aggressively to keep her on next season, because she’s terrified she’ll be phased out,” reveals a source. “She would love to have her own show like [former "Housewives" star] Bethenny Frankel, but she’s not getting it.” Ouch!

This makes you wonder if Jill was indeed one of the reported two NYC Housewives who told Bravo they would be willing to take a pay cut to remain on the show. In the meantime, some are speculating that Jill alongside Countess LuAnn and Sonja Morgan will indeed be returning next season due to the fact that Bravo is including them in the tour.

Perhaps Jill has now received word from Bravo that she will be returning because she has changed her tune since last week. Jill recently told UsWeekly that she is NOT leaving the show.

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE BRAVO HOUSEWIVES TOUR? WILL BE BE ATTENDING? PLUS ARE YOU SURPRISED JILL IS DESPERATE TO REMAIN ON RHONY?

Last night’s episode of Real Housewives of New York City Reunion, Part 2: Where The Wild Things Are was equally beastly, equally catty, and equally spiteful as these ladies just cannot stop ripping each other to shreds! And for all the arguing about what a dirty word Class is, I hoped one of these housewives would find an ounce of it!

Things resume with Jill “storming off” the Brunette sofa to prove a point against Ramona snarking on LuAnn’s “weekend parenting.” LuAnn is frustrated that Ramona seems to spend an inordinate amount of time discussing how she raises her children, instead of spending time with her own child; she is also frustrated that Sonja would participate in such a discussion with Ramona. Sonja insists that she defended LuAnn but it was not on camera. Uh-huh – that’s the oldest line in Reality TV, but actually I DO believe Sonja would defend LuAnn, because she seems to be very loyal to her friends.

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Days after the reunion smack-down seen around the country world, the battle continues off screen for the Real Housewives of New York City.

In an interview with the HollywoodLife, Countess LuAnn de Lesseps is still reeling from the reunion over some comments made by Ramona Singer. Ramona revealed LuAnn had an open marriage with her ex-husband (something LuAnn has still yet to deny) and Ramona also questioned her parenting skills.

“It was very upsetting that I have women that are attacking an old marriage when I’m finally happy and I have a new relationship,” LuAnn says. “The only thing that they could pull out of their hat was to attack my old marriage which is very desperate. I find that they would use my family as a way of getting to me — I think it’s the lowest of the low.” They? Wasn’t Ramona the only one who brought up her marriage? And while the Countess didn’t come right out and attack Ramona’s marriage, she did insinuate Mario was cheating on WWHL after the psychic episode aired.

The Countess also slams Ramona for bringing up her daughter during the reunion. “She has no moral threshold. It’s very upsetting to have a woman — we’ve been in this together since the beginning — that has no moral standards or doesn’t keep her word first of all and second of all that she would go so low to go after my children. That’s just not OK,” says Luann.

And of course Luann’s BFF Jill Zarin also had to chime in. “Ramona was being hypocritical,” reveals Jill. “For the last couple of seasons, Ramona has been relentless about exposing LuAnn’s problems in her marriage, talking about LuAnn cheating, and saying all these things. [And] we agreed four years ago when we started filming that children were off limits.”

Err didn’t Jill spend the first two seasons talking about Alex McCord’s kids misbehaving?

“God forbid her [Ramona's] daughter ever goes through a tough time in her life and to have one her co-stars bring attention to it,” continues Jill. “Ramona and LuAnn had talked about some issues and agreed to not talk about it on the show — and she broke her promise. I couldn’t stand to witness it. I was angry. I was very protective.”

As for Ramona, she expresses regret over her comments about Luann’s daughter (she stated Luann’s daughter had been to 4 schools in 4 years). “The only thing I regret is talking about her daughter,” Ramona confesses. But “I think she knows how I feel. LuAnn pushed my buttons. They didn’t show it fully on the show. And I thrashed back and it was impulsive (that makes me Ramona). I’m not a liar, but it was disrespectful for her daughter. She threw me against the wall.”

And if there’s one thing to be learned about the RHONY drama, it is that it’s all real as in these women really do hate each other both on and off screen, as evident by this reunion clip. In fact, the Huffington Post is reporting things are very “toxic” amongst the ladies to the point that Bravo is now worried if they will be able to continue doing the show together. Evidently you can have TOO MUCH drama on a housewives series. Who knew?

“Things have gotten so bad that producers are worried that this cast can no longer film together,” several insiders reveal. “All the ladies have long memories and will not let the smallest thing go. The level of hatred at the moment is so high that it’s toxic and all consuming. It doesn’t make for good TV drama. Now it’s just petty and sad.” Petty and sad indeed.

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON LUANN AND JILL’S COMMENTS? DID RAMONA GO TOO FAR? HAS THE SHOW BECOME TOXIC?

It’s reunion time for the Real Housewives of New York! It’s blondes versus brunettes, sofa edition. Bravo has recreated the set for the reunion in honor of Morocco. Ramona is not pregnant, but she could have been…she has young genes and still gets her period. In fact, she’s having it now! TMI, Ramenstration. And let the games begin!

Right off the bat, Andy highlights the season’s many fights, as well as how many times each lady says “it’s the wrong place and wrong time” to have such an altercation. While the season has divided the ladies along a very visible hair color line, Alex pretty much has had beef with everyone. Starting with the gay equality march, Sonja says it wasn’t she who didn’t want Simon to speak at the rally–it was Bleep. Alex corrects her noting that, no, Alex and Simon are dear friends with Bleep, so that couldn’t be the case. Bleep clearly doesn’t want his name or cause walking hand in hand with the housewives.

Kelly is muttering under her breath about how wrong it is that Alex could forgive Sonja for insulting her husband on national television. Kelly tries to give us the timeline of the events leading up to the march, but she seems to be more consumed with asserting herself as a strong personality than actually contributing to the discussion. Sonja and Alex can look back on the fight and think, in hindsight, it had such a wonderful impact on the march because it brought more attention to the cause. Bleep clearly agrees since he’s so eager NOT to have his identity known. Jill tries to paint Simon as attacking Sonja at the march and Ramona disagrees with that characterization. Poor Jill so wants to show a pattern of bullying behavior in Simon!

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