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Jill Zarin Says The Real Housewives Of New York City Almost Ended Her Marriage; Calls Out Bethenny Frankel For Attacking Luann de Lesseps!

Former Real Housewives of New York City star Jill Zarin recently appeared on on the podcast Andy’s Girls and spoke about her time on the show and revealed some shocking secrets from her time on the show and shares her thoughts on the current Real Housewives series and much more.

“It’s hard to believe the show’s still on air!” she says. “The first season Twitter didn’t even exist!”

“There were a lot of cute, fun moments,” reminisces Jill. “But the bad stuff I could never watch again or live again. There’s lot of painful things that went on.”

Then the owner of Zarin Fabrics shares her thoughts on past and current cast members of the Bravo hit reality show.

Jill reveals that she is still friends with Luann de Lesseps. Jill also revealed that she's doing another renovation of her apartment, and a piece of art from Luann’s daughter – a portrait of a nude woman – will be included in the redesign!

Jill shocks all and reveals that she has rekindled her friendship with Ramona Singer. “Ramona and I are good right now. She’s helping me with some stuff; I’m helping her with some stuff. I hope it lasts. I think that Ramona has really changed and I have too – we’re in a good place.”

“Dorinda and I were friends – not close friends. While I was on the show, in fact, she’s in an episode of season 4 with me.” (The episode where Jill’s step-daughter spoke about her facial injury).

Jill says that she is also keeps in touch with Kelly Bensimon and Cindy Barshop. “Cindy and I are very good friends. I love her. You guys didn’t get to know her because she was only on one season. There’s a lot of stuff that went on with her kids and her family situation, that I think America would have related to.”

Jill also shares her love for Kristen Taekman. “I actually really enjoyed Kristen and her situation with her husband – I think people can relate, and – I know nothing – but I believe she would have stayed on the show with her husband, even they were going through a rough patch… Real people go through real stuff, and they’re still together. I think she could have really inspired people.”

Jill also praised Ramona for how she handled her divorce from Mario and is glad Bravo highlighted that.

Jill also mentions that during a recent lunch with Aviva Drescher there was talk of her returning to the Bravo reality series. “She really liked it. I don’t know where she is with talking to the producers…”

Then, Jill admits that she still watching the show that made her a household name and shares her thoughts on the show's changes throughout the years.

“I love watching it. And I’m so happy I did it, and I’m so glad I was on it when I was. Because I probably would not have come on, if it was Season 4 and I had seen the show – I never would have auditioned for it! Because it’s changed. It wasn’t what I was told. I didn’t know it was going to be what it evolved into.”

“It has shifted,” she marvels. “It used to be about husbands and wives, and being moms, and the struggles we all faced… Then it shifted to basically being about women looking to get married again because their marriages fell apart.”

Jill blames casting issues for having a lot to do with the changes, because the friendships aren’t organic. “Every season they have a problem finding people. I mean, look what they pulled out of the hat: Jules!”

“Nobody knew Jules! Jules didn’t fit in. You have to bring on people the same age, or somewhere in there. She’s 31 and everyone else is 45+. She might as well call Ramona ‘mommy!'” (Jill cites Dorinda as the exception.)

“Every season the producers go back to the same women and ask them if they’ll come on… ,” says Jill. “The show’s so out of control now they don’t want to be part of it.”

Jill then reveals that RHONY almost ruined her marriage.

“The reason I left was because Bobby and I realized that I was not becoming the person I wanted to be or should be, and I needed to leave,” Jill says succinctly. “It was like I was becoming a monster,” Jill admits. “My whole life was consumed by story lines and plot lines, and what I should do, and who I should be talking to, and plotting with. And it was just terrible. For me. It was just unhealthy.”

“It’s not good for me,” she adds candidly. “I just can’t do it.” Jill even “politely declined” filming RHONY’s 100th episode tribute. “I even gave them a statement to please read about how much I loved being on the show… just only gratefulness, but I just didn’t want to participate in it. Because it just brings back a lot of stuff, and it was gonna be one-sided and I wouldn’t have an opportunity to rebut.”

Jill mentions Bethenny saying “pretty nasty things” about her as an example of why she didn’t participate. “I haven’t done anything to her. She threw daggers at me, and I was unarmed. So, that’s why – I didn’t want to go into that situation.”

Jill is emphatic she would never return – even if Bethenny left. “It has nothing to do with her. I could have come back without her there. [Jill reminds us that in his book Andy talked about the possibility of Jill returning]. It just has to do with me – it’s not good for me; it’s not good for my marriage.”

Zarin claims that not all housewives are equal in Bravo eyes and comes to Sonja Morgan and Luann de Lesseps' defense in their feud with former bestie Bethenny Frankel.

“All the shows, from what I understand are not equal,” Jill assesses. “Some shows they get paid a salary, whether they perform or not, and some shows they get paid ‘to do.’ In New York they get paid per day and then they get paid per trip.”

Jill is outraged the cast iced Sonja Morgan out of filming early in the season. “For the other girls to cause her to make no money is mean.”

Which brings Jill to the Berkshires (the hosts asked her). “It was bad,” she sighs. She applauds Luann’s grace. “I never would’ve recovered. Unbelievable.”

Jill explains that Luann “took” Bethenny’s verbal assault because she had to. “If she doesn’t take it, then she’s off the show,” Jill defend

“As a viewer, I think [the Berkshires] was edited correctly. I think that I walked out with the right opinion. Which was that they were really mean girls [to] LuAnn. I don’t think Bethenny and Carole looked good by what they did. I think they looked terrible. They were mean, and they left. And they didn’t care. And they’re good with it.”

Zarin then dishes on her troubled relationship with Bethenny Frankel.

“I have no interest,” she shrugs. “I miss that [friendship], but it’s never gonna happen. It’s like 10-years-later!”

“I’m happy for Bethenny’s success. She was meant to be successful,” praises Jill. “Bethenny is gifted in so many ways – including what she’s done with Skinnygirl. She was ‘Sex And The City’ and everyone was rooting for her. It was a train that was not stopping. She had it all: she had a husband, who adored her, but also had nothing, and they were building something together. It was a beautiful thing to watch while it lasted.”

Jill claims that Bethenny always had a plan to stay on RHONY for three seasons, because “she didn’t want to be there when the ship was sinking.”

“I was shocked that [Bethenny] went back, to be honest,” said Jill. “I don’t think it was a good decision.” The hosts tell Jill that Bethenny is warning everyone about how off the chain she is at the reunion. Jill is unsympathetic and wryly notes that Bethenny “always comes up with some excuse” for her bad behavior.

Jill is done living with regrets over how it all fell apart. “I feel bad that it ended the way it did. Relationships cycle. There are things that I definitely did, that I’m sorry I did, or  I wish I could do it differently, but I can’t. I can’t unring the bell.”

“And it was meant to be that way. For whatever reason, we were meant to separate and go down different paths. And I’m really happy with my life. And I don’t think I’d still be married had I stayed on the show – I don’t think my husband could have put up with any more. I was blessed to leave.”

Then, Jill thanks Anfy Cohen for the success of the RHONY cast.

“Andy Cohen is really the one responsible for me, for Bethenny – for all of our success,” Jill credits. “I thank him all the time. He’s the one who said, ‘Pick that girl!’ I’ll always be grateful for him.”

Transcript courtesy via Reality Tea

Photo Credit: Bravo