Is Bravo cleaning house on 'Real Housewives of New York City'?
Keeping the franchise in the headlines, word quickly spread on Thursday that Bravo was cleaning house on "Real Housewives of New York City" -- with Jill Zarin, Alex McCord, Kelly Bensimon and possibly Cindy Barshop said to be fired from the series.
It all began when HuffingtonPost.com reported Thursday that sources inside Bravo said the ladies were contacted directly by the network with the news -- and that they had no idea they were getting the boot. (Barshop was not one of those mentioned in the HuffingtonPost.com story -- that came later).
If true, those remaining would include Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, Ramona Singer and Sonja Morgan, with three new cast members to be added.
McCord took to Twitter to elaborate on the rumors: "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."
Zarin's representative released the following statement: "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 has not made a final decision about returning to the show."
Email messages to Bensimon's rep were not immediately returned. And a person close to production said there is no truth to rumors Zarin will get a spin-off on the network.
This appears to be shots fired in the midst of contract negotiations. A network spokesperson would only say that "no decisions have been made" on who will return.
-- Yvonne Villarreal
Photo: The cast of "Real Housewives of New York City." Credit: Bravo