'Real Housewives of New York': Inside the Inevitable Cast Shakeup

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When a report surfaced Thursday that Alex McCord, Jill Zarin, Kelly Killoren Bensimon, and Cindy Barshop had been fired from The Real Housewives of New York City, the women seemed as surprised as their fans. Now, Barshop, who only joined the Bravo series last season, is breaking her silence on the reports.

“I’m sure that some women are negotiating,” Barshop tells The Hollywood Reporter. “But I’m not negotiating right now. That’s not to say I’m not going to be negotiating at some point.”

STORY: 'Real Housewives' Alex McCord and Jill Zarin: We Have Not Been Fired (Exclusive)

Barshop’s status is very similar to what Zarin and McCord told THR on Thursday: She’s in limbo. The housewife says that she hasn’t received an offer from Bravo to return for next season nor has she been fired. So, why would cast mate Sonja Morgan confirm to press Thursday evening that Cindy and the other three women had been let go?

“She must have been promoted to Andy Cohen’s position, so congratulations Sonja,” Barshop jokes, referring to Cohen’s position as the network’s EVP of original programming. “She must have a higher position than the president, because that’s not what the president said… Andy has not told me that I am fired.”

From what THR’s sources close to the production tell us, Barshop is telling the truth. But, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be an inevitable cast shakeup.

Our source tells us that Bravo has put out first round offers to Ramona Singer, LuAnn DeLesseps, and Morgan. Those three women are currently in negotiations on those offers. Depending on which women decide not to accept their offers or if an agreement can’t be reached, Bravo will move on to extend an offer to one or more of the remaining four cast members. There are also three new women waiting in the wings ready to snap up any open spots.

STORY: 'Real Housewives of New York's' Jill Zarin: 'No Decisions Have Been Made About Next Season'

The odd exception to the rule is McCord, according to our source. Her fate doesn’t rest on whether the other women come to an agreement with the network. Bravo is still weighing its option to pick her up and a decision should be made definitively by early-next week. But any way you slice it, next season will have a different configuration of women.

When asked for a comment on the negotiations, a Bravo spokesperson tells us, “As of now, no decisions have been made yet.”

While she says she can’t confirm whether or not the other housewives have received an offer from the network, Barshop says she definitely wants to return for another season.

“It was a great experience to be part of the show,” Barshop tells us. “It allowed me to get my brand, Completely Bare, out nationally. So, on the business side it was beneficial. On the personal side, I’m able to help charities more now. If I’m hosting a charity, it actually brings people in. I can make a bigger difference now than I was able to before.”

The other three women who are in contract limbo are also working on their business ventures outside of the show. McCord and husband Simon van Kempen are launching a home bedding business called Aluxe Home. Zarin is also working on her home collection and her shapewear line, Squeez. And Bensimon continues to write about fashion and design jewelry

Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro

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