Veteran “Real Housewives of New York” cast members Jill Zarin and Alex McCord have reportedly been bounced from the Bravo reality show, along with relative newcomer Kelly Bensimon in a dramatic cast shake up.
All be let go from the series and will not be returning as fulltime cast members next season, according to AOL’s Rob Shuter.
“The women were directly contacted by Bravo on Thursday morning with the news; they had no idea the pink slips were headed their way,” said Shuter, citing a source.
That leaves LuAnn de Lesseps and Ramona Singer and Sonja Morgan to carry the show.
It’s unknown exactly what led to the shakeup, although typically with reality shows, the cast members make salary demands that Bravo refuses to meet.
Oddly, de Lesseps told television show “New York Live” yesterday that three new ladies were joining the cast. But she gave no hint that three veterans would be departing.
There is a chance that fan uproar could bring Zarin, McCord and Bensimon back or they also could return if any of the three new cast members don’t work out.
Their departure also raises questions whether developments involving companion show Real Housewives of Beverly Hills had anything to do with the departures.
That show was thrown into turmoil after Russell Armstrong, husband of cast member Taylor Armstrong, committed suicide, caused, at least in part, by pressure created by the show.
Zarin, Bensimon and McCord were considered the flakier members of the cast.
Real or scripted, Bensimon had a major mental meltdown on the show last year, while McCord has been on the outs with other cast members almost since the start of the show.
Zarin is considered the resident mean girl.