"They have been good friends for years," a rep for Kelly Bensimon tells PEOPLE

By Dave Quinn
October 15, 2019 12:18 PM
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It would have been a match made in Bravo heaven, but alas, Kelly Bensimon and Whitney Sudler-Smith are not a couple.

Reps for the Real Housewives of New York City alumna and Southern Charm producer/star tell PEOPLE that the pair have a purely platonic relationship.

“They have been good friends for years,” Bensimon’s rep says, while a Bravo rep adds, “They’re old friends and not dating.”

Fans speculated the two were an item after two exchanged flirty comments on Instagram recently. Popular Instagram page Comments by Bravo even showcased one chat they had over the weekend after Bensimon, 51, left a series of heart emoji in the comments to a photo Sudler-Smith, 51, posted with his father.

“Can’t wait for you to nurse me after,” he told Bensimon, 51, referencing his upcoming shoulder surgery.

Bensimon also left hearts on a number of Sudler-Smith’s other Instagram posts, and he, comments on hers.

Both Sudler-Smith and Bensimon and have been photographed together in the past, dating back to the PAL’s Women of the Year luncheon in 2012.

And while love might not be in the air for him and the former model, Sudler-Smith has been linked to other Bravo stars in the past.

On the most recent season of Southern Charm, his costar Kathryn Dennis confessed the two had hooked up while they were in Los Angeles. Later, in July, Sudler-Smith’s mother Patricia Altschul hinted at a possible hookup between her son and Bensimon’s RHONY costar Sonja Morgan. (Reps for both stars never commented).

Kelly Bensimon and Whitney Sudler-Smith
Roy Rochlin/Getty; Eric Charbonneau/Shutterstock

In 2017, Bensimon opened up to PEOPLE Now about her relationship status.

The mother of two — who shares daughters Sea Louise, 21, and Thadeus Ann, 19, with her ex-husband, fashion photographer Gilles Bensimon, 75 — admitted that being on RHONY made it difficult for her to date.

“It was really hard to move on because every time I would go to do something, there would be these roadblocks of, ‘Oh you’re crazy, you have a bad reputation,’ ” Bensimon said. “I’ve been living in NY, working as a model, in the fashion industry for the lexicon of my life. I’ve written seven novels, I have half an MBA. But everyone would be like, ‘Aren’t you like this?’ ”

“That was bad news, especially because I’m a full-time single parent raising my daughters,” she added. “I’m the money. There’s no trees where you pull the money off of. So it was really, really difficult to try to rebuild from that.”

Despite all that, Bensimon said she had finally gotten to a place where she was happy with who who she is.

“My relationship status right now is that I am in love with myself which is like, so, so good,” she said. “Before I was so insecure and was so negative about myself. Now, I just feel really, really, really good. Good begets good. When you feel good about yourself, good things happen. And that’s where I am right now.”