Monday, June 18, 2018

Aviva Drescher Claims RHONY Producers Would Encourage Cast To Drink While Filming Scenes — Former Co-Stars Cindy Barshop, Heather Thomson And Kelly Bensimon Share Their Own Stories!

Aviva Drescher claims that The Real Housewives of New York City’s production would at times go too far with their eagerness to liquor up the cast. She recalled the time a producer phoned ahead of filming and asked her to take a shot of alcohol with co-star Ramona Singer during a reconciliation scene at a restaurant.

“I told the head producer, ‘I don’t want to do a shot. Can you just fill it with water?’ ” Drescher told Page Six. “And they said no.”

“I was so weak and so intimidated by the production team, and I had just gone through all the negotiations of my contract for the second season and those were demoralizing,” she said. “I took the shot. I felt tremendous pressure to do it.”

“When I see some of the drunk scenes, it’s dark,” said Drescher. “It’s gone from being funny and giddy to being drunk and depressing and it makes me feel sad.”

“There are certain scenes where I’m just cringing for everybody involved.”

Drescher said that, for the most part, the women who drink excessively on the show, drink excessively in real life, too.

“I think a lot of women in NYC who are [in their 40s and 50s] self-medicate with alcohol,” said Drescher. “But then you throw in a reality show where you are basically a gladiator with tits, and you have the perfect recipe for a drinking disaster.”

“The producers just have two goals,” continued Drescher. “One is to create a great television show. And two, if they can capture reality, that’s TV gold. A lot of the time, it’s not always 100-percent authentic. But when you catch somebody drunk, that’s as real as can be.”

Several former “Housewives” reveal that while producers don’t explicitly push them to drink during filming, booze is always available — at no cost — courtesy of restaurants, events or the production team if a cast member is hosting a party that’s being filmed, reports the publication.

“At times, the producers would say, ‘Well, we’re not going to pay for Mr. Chow to cater your party because that’s over budget. But you’ll never hear them say, ‘We won’t pay for alcohol.’ It’s always readily available,” said Drescher.

Cindy Barshop, who appeared on RHONY during Season 4 in 2011 added that the long shooting hours contributed to her co-stars’ boozing, including during cast trips. “Everything is free, so the women drink in excess,” she explained.

Heather Thomson, who appeared on RHONY during Season 5 - 7 says: “You request the kind of alcohol you want and it’s there when you arrive to your villa.”

“And if you run out, they get you more.”

Thomson similarly defied producers’ requests for her to film with an inebriated Morgan in 2014.

“When we were in Saratoga at the horse race, Sonja had been drinking and the producers wanted us to go outside because she was leaving . . . and she was falling down with her suitcase,” Thomson said. “I refused. I’m not going to put her vulnerabilities on camera . . . I felt like it was irresponsible. And the producer was unhappy that we wouldn’t go outside.”

“I think if [behavior like Morgan’s] happens once or twice, they need to let the cameras run,” said Thomson. “But if it’s reoccurring, the producers may have to question if the cast member is right for the program.”

All cast members are made aware that producers “aren’t baby-sitters” when they sign up for the show, according to Kelly Bensimon.

“It said on the contract: Anything goes and you can’t sue for defamation of character — because you wanted to be on the show, and wanted to be famous,” she said.

Nonetheless, there have been moments when she thought the show’s staff was taking it too far and ignoring a potentially serious situation for the sake of ratings.

Bensimon, said that one night, while filming, castmate Morgan was drunk and unable to walk as her hair extensions were falling off her head.

“I was like, ‘I need to bring this woman home. This is just not cool,’ ” said Bensimon. “The producers said, ‘Don’t help her, don’t help her.’

“If someone is in a bad situation, I don’t care if the cameras are rolling or not. I’m not going to let someone look bad because they are getting crazy. I know what’s going to happen once the footage airs, so let me help them out,” said Bensimon. She believes that her professional reputation was tarnished after appearing on the series.

“It almost ruined my life,” admitted Bensimon, who barely drank on the show but was made to appear unstable, she said. “When I got off the show, people said I was crazy and unhirable.”

“It’s disappointing,” said Bensimon. “I don’t want people to think when they come to New York, it’s going to be like that. It’s embarrassing to me.”

“You don’t come to New York to get divorced, and end up at 40 broke and just drinking a lot. That’s not chic.”

Photo Credit: Bravo

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