The Real Housewives of New York City

The Real Housewives of New York City (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

The Real Housewives of New York City is an American reality television series on Bravo, and a spin-off of The Real Housewives of Orange County. New York is the second city featured in The Real Housewives franchise.


While in production for Season 1, the show was initially titled The Manhattan Moms. The first season premiered on March 4, 2008 and starred Bethenny Frankel, LuAnn de Lesseps, Alex McCord, Ramona Singer and Jill Zarin. Despite the series title, the women featured were not all housewives. Frankel and Singer owned their own businesses, McCord and Zarin had jobs outside their home. Kelly Killoren Bensimon was added to the cast for the second season, which premiered on February 17, 2009. On August 31, 2010, Frankel made an official announcement that she would not be returning to The Real Housewives of New York City series for its fourth season. In September 2010, the fourth season began filming with Cindy Barshop, who is a single mother, as the series' newest housewife. Bravo pushed the Season 4 premiere back until April 7, 2011 and instead premiered The Real Housewives of Miami on February 22, 2011.

Bravo announced in April 2012 that the show would be revamped for its fifth season and effectively fired half of its cast, letting go four of its seven housewives: Barshop, Bensimon, McCord, and Zarin. The fifth season premiered on June 4, 2012 with new cast members Aviva Drescher, Carole Radziwill, and Heather Thomson, leaving Singer and De Lesseps as the only original cast members from season one, along with Sonja Morgan, who joined the show in its third season.

The series was officially renewed for a sixth season on April 2, 2013. Production was planned to begin on May 8, 2013, but the six housewives had instead gone into negotiations with Bravo regarding their salaries for the upcoming season. Sonja Morgan, Carole Radziwill, Heather Thomson and Ramona Singer rejoined the series on May 9, 2013, with Aviva Drescher signing her contract on May 24, 2013. LuAnn agreed to the new contract on May 28, 2013. It has been speculated that Kristen Taekman will join season six, which was later confirmed by Luann in an interview with Wetpaint Entertainment.

Current Housewives

Ramona Singer

(Season 1 " present) Ramona Singer (born November 18, 1956 in Rhinebeck, NY, about 100 miles north of NYC) to Bohdan and Veronika Mazur (née Tersansky) of Polish descent She resides in Manhattan with her husband, Mario, and their teenage daughter, Avery. After graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology, Singer began her career a buyer for Macy's and then moved into the wholesale clothing business with French Connection and Calvin Klein. She is the owner of RMS Fashions, a company that purchases excess goods from clothing manufacturers and resells them to discount stores. (In the apparel industry, Ramona is known as a jobber " a middleman to whom manufacturers sell their surplus fabric.)

Ramona has developed several additional businesses. One is her own line of jewelry, True Faith Jewelry, which is sold through the Home Shopping Network (HSN) and she markets the line herself. She also developed and launched a skin care line, Tru Renewal, in 2009. Her newest line of business is Ramona Pinot grigio.

Marital Status: Married

LuAnn de Lesseps

Main article: LuAnn de Lesseps
(Season 1 " present)

LuAnn de Lesseps, née Nadeau, otherwise known as Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, (born May 17, 1965 in Berlin, Connecticut), was born to a concrete manufacturer. She modeled with Wilhelmina Models and is an LPN. She is of Algonquin and French descent. and was the fourth wife of Count Alexandre de Lesseps, a descendant of Ferdinand de Lesseps, the developer of the Suez Canal. They have two children, Victoria and Noel, who have appeared on the show. De Lesseps and her husband divorced in 2009.

De Lesseps authored an etiquette book published in 2009 titled Class with the Countess. In April 2010, she released a music single titled "Money Can't Buy You Class", through Ultra Records. She released her second single, "Chic, C'est La Vie", in June 2011.

Marital Status: Single

Sonja Morgan

(Season 3 " present)

Sonja Morgan (born November 25, 1963 in Albany, NY, as Sonja Tremont) is the ex-wife of John Morgan. John, 33 years her senior, is one of five children of Henry S. Morgan (a great-grandson of J. Pierpont Morgan) and Catherine Adams (a great-great-granddaughter of John Adams, the second President of the United States).

According to the New York Post, Morgan agreed to finance a motion picture in 2006 but backed out at the last minute because she had just been served with divorce papers. As a result, a federal jury in California awarded the production company $7.06 million in damages in September 2009.

Marital Status: In a Relationship

Aviva Drescher

(Season 5 " present)

Aviva Drescher is the first and only New York City born and bred "Housewife" in the history of the show. When Aviva was six years old, she was in a farm accident which resulted in the amputation of her left leg. She attended Fieldston School, completed a B.A. at Vassar College, a master's degree in French at New York University, and a law degree at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Instead of practicing law, however, she devotes her time to her investment banker husband Reid and raising their family of four children on the Upper East Side. Aviva works as the National Spokesperson for One Step Ahead, an organization for amputees,,an Advisory Board Member of Cancer Schmancer/Trash Cancer and works with the Live4Life Foundation. She's a cousin by marriage of actress Fran Drescher.

Marital Status: Married

Carole Radziwill

Main article: Carole Radziwill
(Season 5 " present)

Best-selling author and journalist Carole Radziwill (née DiFalco) grew up in suburban Rockland County, New York 15 miles north of Manhattan. She attended school at Hunter College and New York University, where she earned BA and MBA degrees, respectively. She enjoyed a long, award-winning career in journalism at ABC News with Peter Jennings' documentary unit and at PrimeTime Live and 20/20, which garnered her three EMMYs®, a Robert F. Kennedy Humanitarian award, and a GLADD Award. Carole left ABC News in 2003 to write her first book, titled What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship and Love, a moving account of her life, her marriage to fellow ABC News Producer Anthony Radziwill, and their heartbreaking battle with cancer. It spent over 12 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller List, and was nominated for the Books for a Better Life Award. Carole is a frequent contributor to Glamour magazine and is finishing her first novel, a fictionalized sequel to her memoir titled Widow's Guide to Sex and Dating. She lives in the West Village with Margaret, her dog.

Marital Status: Widowed

Heather Thomson

(Season 5 " present)

A businesswoman, Heather Thomson is the creator of Yummie Tummie shapewear. She is a married mother of two " Jax, 6, and Ella Rae, 4. The idea for Yummie by Heather Thomson was born shortly after she had her children and was disappointed by existing shapewear. In addition to her professional work, Heather supports several charitable initiatives, including Kellner Family Pediatric Liver Disease Foundation and City of Hope.

Marital Status: Married

Kristen Taekman

(Season 6 " present)

Marital Status: Married

Former Housewives

Bethenny Frankel

Main article: Bethenny Frankel
(Season 1 " Season 3)

Bethenny Frankel (born November 4, 1970), is an author, entrepreneur, and natural foods chef. At the beginning of the series, she was not married, despite the series' title. She eventually married Jason Hoppy on March 28, 2010. Then on May 8, the couple gave birth to their first child, a girl whom they named Bryn. Her marriage and motherhood were documented on her own spin-off reality shows, Bethenny Getting Married? and Bethenny Ever After.... She and her husband eventually divorced.

In August 2010, Frankel announced that for personal reasons she would not be returning to the show's fourth season.

Marital Status: Divorced

Jill Zarin

(Season 1 " Season 4)

Jill Zarin, (Born November 30, 1963; Woodmere, New York), is married to Bobby Zarin, owner of Zarin Fabric Warehouse and Home Furnishings, a home furnishing and fabric store on the Lower East Side, which has been featured on the show. Jill does marketing for the store. She has a daughter Allyson from a previous marriage. The Zarins currently live on the Upper East Side of New York. Their summer home in The Hamptons, featured on the show, was sold in 2009.

Zarin attended Simmons College, began her career as Assistant Buyer at Filene's, and went on to become the National Sales Manager/Vice President of Great American Knitting Mills Jockey division.

In 2010, Zarin published the advice book Secrets of a Jewish Mother, co-authored by her sister Lisa Wexler and mother Gloria Kamen. A paperback edition was released in 2011, with an added chapter on bullying. She also appeared on an episode of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire in the same year. The "Jill Zarin Home" bedding line was released in late 2010.

Bravo announced in September 2011 that Zarin would not be returning for season 5.

Zarin has launched her own shapewear and hosiery line, Skweez Couture, available at major department stores and has appeared on HSN. "Jill Zarin Jewelry" launched exclusively at Lord & Taylor in Fall 2012. Jill is a featured speaker at Fortune 500 companies as well as universities including Brown.

Jill was a regular weekly guest on ABC's Good Afternoon America during the Summer of 2012.

Marital Status: Married

Alex McCord

(Season 1 " Season 4)

Alex McCord, (born October 1, 1973; Washington, D.C.) has lived in New York City since 1996. She was raised in Kansas, Texas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands and attended Northwestern University but never graduated. McCord was a graphic designer for over nine years and was a voice actress, Birdy of Birdy the Mighty being her most prominent role.

McCord is married to Simon Van Kempen, who worked in the hotel industry in New York City throughout the first three seasons, but has since left to start his own social media business within the hotel sector. As of 2010, she and van Kempen reside in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. They have two boys together, Francois and Johan, who were named for Simon's late father, Francois Johan Walter van Kempen.

In March 2009, she was laid off from her job in visual merchandising for Limited Brands/Victoria's Secret.

In September 2011, Bravo announced that McCord would not be returning for Season 5.

Marital Status: Married

Kelly Killoren-Bensimon

(Season 2" Season 4; Recurring Season 6)

Kelly Killoren-Bensimon (born May 1, 1968; Rockford, IL) is a former model, equestrian, jewelry designer, and magazine editor. She is the author of three books published by Assouline: In the Spirit of the Hamptons (2002), American Style (2004), and The Bikini Book (2006). She also has a jewelry line, which she has been selling for the last six years.

In September 2011, Bravo announced that Killoren-Bensimon would not be returning for Season 5.

In September 2013, Kelly revealed that she would be returning to The Real Housewives of New York City in a limited role. She confirmed that she had filmed scenes with LuAnn, Carole, and Heather.

Marital Status: Divorced

Cindy Barshop

(Season 4)

Cindy Barshop is the owner of Completely Bare, a chain of spas in New York City, Long Island, and Scarsdale specializing in laser hair removal, bikini waxing, Brazilian waxing, and teeth whitening. They are the innovators of the Vajewel and Vatoo. She previously worked in telecommunications for IBM. She opened her first spa in New York City in 1998. A single mother, Barshop has twin girls, Jessie and Zoe, whom she chose to have on her own. She is from Long Island, NY.

Bravo announced in September 2011 that Barshop would not be returning for Season 5. She was let go along with 3 other cast members in order to revamp the show.

Marital Status: Single

Housewives History

Housewives Seasons
1 2 3 4 5 6
Ramona Singer colspan="6"
LuAnn de Lesseps colspan="6"
Sonja Morgan colspan="2" colspan="1" colspan="3"
Aviva Drescher colspan="4" colspan="2"
Carole Radziwill colspan="4" colspan="2"
Heather Thomson colspan="4" colspan="2"
Kristen Taekman colspan="5" colspan="2"
Bethenny Frankel colspan="3" colspan="3"
Alex McCord colspan="4" colspan="2"
Jill Zarin colspan="4" colspan="2"
Kelly Bensimon colspan="3" colspan="1" colspan="2"
Cindy Barshop colspan="3" colspan="2"


Main article: List of The Real Housewives of New York City episodes

DVD releases

In April 2010, Target stores released the first season on DVD.

Season Episodes Release date
1 9 April 13, 2010
2 15 Fall 2010
3 18 April 13, 2011
4 16 December 6, 2011

Facebook game

See Real Housewives: The Game In July 2012, Bravo released a social networking video game version of The Real Housewives of New York City titled Real Housewives: The Game. Every week after a new episode, a new story was available on the game. It has since been discontinued.

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