Is Jill Zarin Back? Everything We Learned About ‘RHONY’ Season 12 at BravoCon

Real Housewives of New York City
Photo by: Karlolina Wojtasik/Bravo

The cast of Real Housewives of New York wowed fans at the inaugural BravoCon last weekend, with plenty of juicy scoops on the next season of the Big Apple franchise.

Romance was in the air with cast member Tinsley Mortimer confirming her relationship with on-again-off-again boyfriend Scott Kluth. “Scott and I did get back together,” Mortimer said to the crowd, receiving some boos amidst the cheers. “I’m more excited [about it] than anybody. I’m just so happy.”

With Mortimer off the market, resident seductresses Luann de Lesseps and Ramona Singer remained closed-lipped about their love lives, with de Lesseps only teasing that her heart remains open. “I’ve been married twice now, and they say three times is the charm. You never know,” de Lesseps hinted.

Sonja Morgan was noticeably absent at the panel, and best friend Singer urged the audience to keep fan-favorite Morgan in their thoughts. “Sonja is in a little bit of a difficult place,” Singer admitted. “She has a lot of things that she’s overwhelmed with and she’s struggling a little bit. We’re all there to support her.”

Photo by: Ralph Bavaro/Bravo

This upcoming season promises another trip to the Berkshires (although sans the infamous “Fish Room” due to a recent renovation), and the introduction of a new Housewife, designer Leah McSweeney. Yet de Lesseps teased the possibility of a former cast member returning full-time as well. “I would bring back Jill [Zarin],” de Lesseps said, confirming that viewers will see Zarin in a supporting role this season. De Lesseps still keeps in touch with Zarin and Kelly Bensimon (“she’s not as crazy as she looked that season”), while Singer only surprisingly stays in contact with Carole Radziwill.


Do we sense a slight against the iconic Bethenny Frankel, whose departure prompted the addition of McSweeney? Dorinda Medley and Mortimer both still talk with Frankel, and support her in her upcoming endeavors. But don’t expect Frankel to be back on RHONY anytime soon.

“It’s up to her really [to return],” Mortimer said, before Singer clarified: “It’s up to Bravo, it’s up to us. It’s a whole package deal. We’re just getting through this season, let’s not future trip.”

Singer later said that she thinks the show is “better” and “stronger” sans Frankel. “It’s been very positive, I think,” Singer explained.

De Lesseps implied Andy Cohen’s classic phrase “the door is always open” might not be applicable to Frankel’s current mindset. “I plead the Fifth,” de Lesseps joked. “But I don’t think so.”

Photo by: Ralph Bavaro/Bravo

Looking back at the casting ups and downs throughout the franchise, a fan asked if the OGs Singer and de Lesseps had ever worried about being let go, especially during the massive Season 4 cast turnover. “No, I feel that Bravo knows what they’re doing,” Singer said. “When Andy Cohen fired half of our cast, how did we feel? I felt confident because Bravo, they’ve got balls. I like a person with balls.” Don’t we all?

Relative newcomer Mortimer, entering her fourth season with this upcoming year, still experiences an out-of-body sensation when watching the show. “It’s realer than real,” Mortimer said. “It is more real than real life,” especially with the “fly on the wall” confessionals. Could we maybe even see Mortimer’s mother Dale as a new cast member? Just wait and see, the cast laughed onstage.

Regardless of who comes and goes, the ladies of RHONY proved their decades-long friendships last through thick and thin. Unless, of course, your last name is van Kempen or McCord.