Making millions isn’t always a glamorous affair. Sometimes it’s the luck of building a brand or a new product, sometimes it’s a patchwork of smart investments. Bethenny Frankel was the pioneer of Real Housewives empire building with her Skinny Girl brand. Current Real Housewives of New York cast member Leah McSweeney created Married To The Mob. Alums Heather Thomson has a shapewear line, and Barbara Kavovit ran a construction empire. Admirable feats.
When considering the fortunes of the ladies of RHONY, both past and present, it’s also the case that one marries into money. Luann de Lesseps scored big with an aristocrat ex-husband. Her millions came with the title of ‘Countess’ and post-divorce, Luann is marketing herself as a cabaret star. Sonja Morgan still mourns the marriage that brought her immeasurable wealth and prestige.
And sometimes, widows or divorcees are living off of less glamorous revenues. Jill Zarin lost her husband Bobby Zarin to cancer in 2018. Before his death, he was the head of a third-generation business that financed the lifestyle Jill displayed on the show. Zarin Fabrics is a highly successfull company that sells discounted designer fabrics to the tri-state area.
But Bobby also invested in something far less glamorous. According to an article by Page Six writer Oli Coleman, Bobby also left Jill several Rite Aid locations when he passed away. Hardly something worth mentioning on the show, and certainly not a place to bring film crew. Unlike the time RHONY fans got to see Jill “working” at Zarin Fabrics. One in particular, located in a non-descript strip-mall in Canton, Ohio, is causing Jill a lot of grief. In fact, it’s dragged her into a court battle.
According to court papers, Bobby paid $650,000 for this particular Rite-Aid, contentedly located between an Arby’s and a Wendy’s. Three chain stores that Jill has probably never entered in her life. When a $1,695,000 loan on the drugstore came due last year, an inept property manager failed to inform Jill’s team.
Maybe pandemic brain was to blame, but the property manager was fired. Central State Credit Union took ownership of the store, and the lender has been claiming the revenue since. Jill is now in a legal battle because she claimed that she was denied the opportunity to pay off the loan.
Jill explained the issue to Page Six. “I have been caused to expend thousands of dollars on counsel to resolve what should be a routine matter,” the RHONY alum said. Page Six reached out to a court- appointed receiver for Central State Credit Union for comment, but received none. Instead, a CSUC lawyer responded, “we don’t comment on pending foreclosure proceedings.”
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[Photo Credit: Bravo]