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?
“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.
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 Morganconfirmed 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?
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 reportingCindy 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 theJill 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?
Taylor told the story of Russell’s proposal, and how he had one of his son’s present her the engagement ring so she knew she was accepted by his children. She also discussed the cross Russell always wore which was engraved with his children’s initials. He added Taylor’s initials to the cross as well, hoping she would help him keep his children close. “I will keep that promise,” Taylor said in her speech.
Neither Russell’s two sons from a previous relationship or Kennedy, his daughter with Taylor, were in attendance. Radaronline reports that Taylor thought her daughter would be too young to understand what was happening.
An insider reveals, “Taylor doesn’t think it’s in Kennedy’s best interests to go to the memorial. It’s very hard to grasp as a 5-year-old, and given the way in which Russell died, well, Taylor doesn’t want Kennedy to accidentally overhear someone talking about Russell’s suicide. Taylor is protecting Kennedy, period. This little girl has been through enough with her parent’s divorce, and now having to deal with her dad’s death.”
Russell’s family was absent from yesterday’s funeral, which was not filmed by Bravo. A second service is planned in his native Texas. Russell’s body was cremated, and his ashes were divided between Taylor and his parents.
While her daughter was absent, Taylor had the support of her fellow Beverly Hills cast mates. UsWeekly reportsLisa Vanderpump, Adrienne Maloof-Nassif and husband Dr. Paul Nassif,Kyle and Kim Richards, as well as New York Housewife Ramona Singer. Even though some of her relationships with the ladies were rocky, she decided to invite all of them to the memorial service.
A source claims, “A lot of thought and consideration went into Taylor’s decision to invite the entire cast. In the end, Taylor didn’t want to exclude anyone, and even though she doesn’t get along with all of them, Taylor wanted them there. The girls have been very supportive to her throughout this entire tragedy. Taylor needs her friends around her more than ever.”
Photos are below of the RHOBH cast attending the funeral.
Meanwhile RadarOnline is now reporting today that Taylor is telling her close friends Bravo is not to blame for Russell’s death and that she wants the network to go ahead with its scheduled Sep. 5 premiere.
A source close to Taylor states that Taylor feels “Russell’s suicide wasn’t caused by the show or Bravo. Russell just simply cracked over ongoing legal and financial issues. The show bears no responsibility for his death, neither does the network.” The source continues, “In fact, Bravo has been extremely supportive of Taylor during this tragedy.”
And despite a report that stated Bravo had decided to postpone the premiere, the source states the network will likely go ahead with the scheduled premiere. “It looks like the show will indeed premiere on September 5. Editing is still being done on the show. Russell is either going to be edited down, or completely out of the show. However, Bravo and the show won’t be ignoring the Russell’s suicide. They simply can’t, to do so, would be disrespectful to the situation and what Taylor is going through. It will be addressed in a manner that is dignified and appropriate,” the source adds.
Photo credit: WENN
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE LATEST & TAYLOR’S REPORTED COMMENTS? SHOULD BRAVO GO AHEAD WITH THE PREMIERE? SHOULD RUSSELL’S SUICIDE BE ADDRESSED?
CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO SEE PHOTOS OF THE HOUSEWIVES AT THE FUNERAL -
After being bumped earlier this year in favor of the lacklusterReal Housewives of Miami, Bravo has decided to delay filming on the new season of RHONY and some are now wondering if this could be related to the recent suicide of Russell Armstrong.
“We were originally meant to start filming on Labor Day,” a member of the RHONY cast tells the Huffington Post. “Then we all received an email saying we would start filming September 8th, when Fashion Week started in the city. Now we have all been notified that it has been pushed back another three weeks at least.”
The cast member adds that with the recent tragedy involving Russell, Bravo is now more hesitant to shake-up the cast fearing they might end up casting someone who’s too dark or mentally unable to handle being on a show like the Housewives.
“We expected a huge shake-up in the New York cast,” another star of the show reveals “But now, after what has happened, it might be more beneficial to proceed with the devil you know. The New York cast is certainly whacky but [for] the most part, we are all mentally stable which has to be a bigger priority at the moment than making crazy TV.”
Another source connected to production however assures E! the delay has nothing to do with Russell. “The shoot schedule for RHNYC was pushed due to production details that needed to be finalized and there is absolutely no correlation between RHNYC and RHBH production concerns,” reveals the source.
Meanwhile, whether or not Bravo decides to shake up the cast, it appears new cast member Cindy Barshop is likely done with the series.
A source confirms to the RumorFix blog that Cindy has not been invited back for another season of the Real Housewives of New York. If true, this doesn’t come as a surprise as Cindy didn’t add much to the show, was dull, and just seemed like a deer in headlights in most of her scenes. Let’s face it, she was out of her league with these women, who might or might not hold a PhD in drama!
Now if only Bravo can axe Kelly Bensimon as well. In light of the above comments, hopefully Bravo now realizes that having someone who might be mentally unstable on the show is not worth the risk.
TELL US – DO YOU THINK THE DELAY IS RELATED TO RUSSELL? SURPRISED CINDY MIGHT BE DUNZO?