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It looks like Bravo has made up its mind. After we were the first to report that Cindy Barshop has not been asked back for Season 5 of The Real Housewives of New York City, Bravo confirms that Alex McCord, Jill Zarin, and Kelly Killoren Bensimon will also not be coming back.
“Ramona Singer, Sonja Morgan and LuAnn DeLesseps will be returning for season five of The Real Housewives of New York City,” a Bravo spokesperson tells The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
The news arrives after days of back and forth with the women as to whether the network would ask them back. Zarin, McCord and Barshop told THR that they were in limbo earlier this week and were waiting for Bravo to inform them if they’d be invited back.
Meanwhile sources close to the production told THR that Morgan, Singer and DeLesseps were already in negotiations to return this week and now clearly they have finalized their contracts with the network.
Zarin’s rep, Darren Bettencourt, issued the following statement to THR:
“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.”
We also spoke to McCord and her husband, Simon van Kempen, soon after Bravo informed us of its decision and the couple told us:
“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.”
All four dismissed housewives are actively pursuing businesses outside of the series. McCord and van Kempen are launching a home bedding business called Aluxe Home. Aside from Squeez mentioned above, Zarin is also working on her home collection. Barshop owns Completely Bare, a national chain of hair removal spas. And Bensimon continues to write about fashion and design jewelry.
Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro
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