Jill Zarin Denies Rumors That She's Replacing Carole Radziwill on RHONY: 'It's Not True'
Despite rumors that she’s replacing a departing Carole Radziwill on the Bravo show’s upcoming eleventh season, Jill told reporters on Saturday that she won’t be returning to the franchise full-time.
“It’s not true,” she said during a press conference from her sixth annual luxury luncheon, this year held at Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton in honor of her late husband, Bobby Zarin.
Asked if she would ever want to come back at all, Jill said she would “as a friend.”
“They haven’t called,” she admitted.
Jill was one of the original cast members on RHONY when it premiered in March 2008, appearing alongside Ramona Singer, Luann de Lesseps, Bethenny Frankel, and Alex McCord. She immediately bonded with Frankel before having a massive falling out with the Skinnygirl mogul during the show’s third season. Jill would leave RHONY after season 4.
The two have repaired their relationship recently. Frankel, 47, attended the funeral for Jill’s late husband in January. It was the first time the two had come face-to-face since 2010.
“We’re good, we’re good,” Jill said on Saturday, explaining the two text often. “She came over to my house with her daughter. Without the cameras, I thought it was very authentic. I felt like she really reached her hand out and was saying let’s open — not a friendship, but a dialogue, so it’s all good.”
“I’m glad that I attended and spoke to her and that it’s clean,” Frankel told PEOPLE Now in February, adding that Jill would not be coming back to RHONY. “It’s one less thing for her to be upset about because I do feel for her having such a tremendous loss. And we are where we are. Everybody wants to make something into something. Everybody doesn’t have to be tied up in a perfect box. … Life must go on.”
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Bobby died on Jan. 13 at the age of 71 following a prolonged cancer battle. He and Jill had been together for over 20 years and married for 18.
The charity lunch this year wasn’t just dedicated to Bobby in spirit. It also raised funds for the International Thyroid Oncology Group.
A slew of past and present Bravolebritiies were in attendance, including Real Housewives of Dallas star LeeAnne Locken, Real Housewives of Orange County star Vicki Gunvalson, RHONY alum Cindy Barshop, Summer House alum Lauren Wirkus, Millionaire Matchmaker alum Patti Stanger, and Jill’s daughter Ally Shapiro.
One person was missing for Jill, though: Her close friend and fellow RHONY O.G., de Lesseps, who is currently at an alcohol treatment center.
“LuAnn texted me this morning, ‘Good luck today,’ ” Jill recalled. “You know, she’s with me and she’s always with me. Whatever she’s going through, she knows I’m there for her, and I said if she needs me I’ll be there.”
The Real Housewives of New York City airs Wednesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.