Jill Zarin is just back from the U.K., where she made a string of apperances on QVC UK earlier this week for her Skweez Couture line. Determined to share her collection with the Brits, she hobbled across the pond with a broken foot to boot! (Read how that happened below).
One of the original five cast members of The Real Housewives of New York, Zarin is juggling Skweez Couture with her Jill Zarin Jewelry Collection, as well as working on a pair of television shows in development, she says. Plus, she has a college-aged daughter, Ali, who’s home from college, to contend with!
Plus, she’s busily planning a July 13 party at her sprawling Southampton estate for 75 women. “Celebrities and the who’s who of the Hamptons, a lot of socialites and friends of mine,” she says. “I do a big bar where you can get a manicure, your make-up done, you’ll get waxing, and I’m even getting a doctor doing services, Botox probably.” (Of course!)
Here, the outspoken Secrets Of A Jewish Mother author spoke with gossipdavid.com from London, about her burgeoning empire, and her thoughts on the current RHONY’s cast’s salary negotiations drama (“I think what they should get is based on ratings.”), the state of RHONY (“the show is so over”), friend-turned-foe Bethenny Frankel’s upcoming daytime talk show, Bethenny’s divorce (“she ate him up and spit him out”), her relationship with Bravo exec and Watch What Happens Live host Andy Cohen (“Andy hates me and I really don’t know why”) and Ramona Singer’s husband, Mario. (“he has the hots for me!”).
OK, first off: There are photos of you arriving at Heathrow in London this week wearing a foot brace? What really happened? (see photo below of Zarin on QVC UK with foot brace)
A week ago, what happened was I fell of my massage table. In the middle of the night, I got off my massage table, because I fell asleep on it and my feet fell asleep, so I didn’t feel my legs and it happened so fast, I just collapsed and my ankle came under. I didn’t break my ankle, but I broke my foot. It’s getting better, but it kind of hurts a little, but not too bad. The brace wil be on for 6 weeks.
So Ali came home from college a day before you headed to London?
Ali is home from college. All I know is that the housekeeper couldn’t get in this morning. Ali couldn’t wake up. She didn’t even hear the doorbell. She was out like a light.
The new season of The Real Housewives of New York is kicking off. What do you think of the new Housewife Kristen Taekman?
I didn’t know there was a new Housewife! To me, the show is so over. I don’t even know what to tell you. Nobody watches it or talks about it anymore. Now they can’t get themselves arrested. They can’t get into the weeklies. Nobody wants to write about them.
I feel bad for them, the new ones, because they will never really be real Housewives. Because either you’re original or not, It was me, Bethenny, Ramona, Luann and Alex, we were the original five. The new ones come and go, but you can’t replace what was. You can’t recreate what happened.
There’s been a lot of talk about the current cast’s salary negotiations. Do they deserve a raise?
I think what they should get is based on ratings. If the ratings went up 10 percent, they [their salaries] should go up 10 percent. If the ratings go down 10 percent, they [their salaries] should go down 10 percent. [Note: Ratings are down]
Bethenny Frankel’s daytime talk show kicks off in the fall. Would you want to be a guest on the show?
I’m pretty sure if I was a guest on her show I’d be the most-watched episode, like when I was on Andy’s show, on Watch What Happens Live. Is she doing a show like Jerry Springer? I think Bethenny would be a great Jerry Springer.
Are you surprised that Bethenny and Jason Hoppy are divorcing?
Everything my mother Gloria said was true. My mother told Bethenny she was never going to be happy going down that road. Jason [Hoppy] knew exactly what he was getting himself into. I don’t have any sympathy for him. He bought it lox, stock and barrel. She was auditioning him for the role of a lifetime. And as predicted, she ate him up and spit him out, that’s what Bethenny does. She eats them up and spits them out. And she’s going to do it on her talk show. It doesn’t mean she won’t be successful, she will be successful. But she will go through many producers.
I bet Bethenny is exhausted though, she’s probably ready for a nervous breakdown. Having a baby, and dealing with the divorce, and selling her companies and building a brand, and now building a show. I never could understand how Bethenny could do it all, and I was right. You can’t do it all. Something’s going to fall apart. First, he marriage fell apart.
What’s your relationship with Andy Cohen right now?
Well, we don’t have one. I don’t have any animosity. I didn’t leave on bad terms. They tried to create drama. I’m sorry to disappoint but there’s not much to say.
Would you go back on RHONY if they asked you back?
Maybe. I doubt it. You never know. They don’t want me back, so don’t worry about it. I have two other shows in the hopper, so we’ll see what happens. One is in the talk show genre. I never want to be the only one. I don’t want to do my own thing. I like ensembles, let’s put it that way. Because I never want to be the only one. Too much pressure. I never wanted my own show for that reason. Too much work. I don’t want to work too hard. And the other one is an acting gig. Look, I don’t go looking for anything. Both of the opportunities came to me.
So what’s this about Ramona Singer’s husband, Mario, having an “obsession” with you?
I have to say, I run in to Ramona quite a bit, and we’re good. Her husband seems to have an obsession, an unhealthy obsession with me. A friend of mine happened to have been at a bar Saturday night, and called me Sunday morning. He said, “Jill you’re not going to believe what happened. I defended you.” He said that [Ramona’s husband] Mario was there, without Ramona, and he wouldn’t stop talking about me. He was just saying not nice things about me. He [my friend] defended me. And he told Mario to stop talking about me. Then he said Mario turned purple from embarrassment, because he realized how he sounded.
So I asked Bobby, “do you ever talk about or think about the other Housewives, like Ramona, and talk about her to any of your friends?” He said no. Well I said Mario seems to have this unhealthy obsession. I haven’t filmed in two years and he’s at a bar talking about me. And Bobby said, “well you know he must be attracted to you.” I said “you’re probably right.” He has an unhealthy obsession with me. He’s got the hots for me.
Ramona would be very upset if she knew about it. I think they have their own problems. I don’t think she would be very happy it. He needs to get therapy for that.
Random: What are your thoughts on your friend, The Real Housewives of Atlanta’s NeNe Leakes?
I’m invited to NeNe’s wedding. I think she’s taking her 15 minutes of fame, and blowing it up, good for her, and she making millions of dollars now. Good for her, she’s getting her revenge on whoever in her life she wanted to say I told you so to.