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Countess LuAnn de Lesseps is speaking out for the first time since her Real Housewives of NYC co-stars Jill Zarin, Alex McCord and Kelly Bensimon were dismissed, and it isn’t always pretty.

“I was happy because I wanted to do the next season, and sad at the same time, because Jill’s the one who initially started the show with me, and is the one who brought me onto the show,” she tells me Saturday during the Bravo Presents Real Housewives Live tour stop at Caesars Circus Maximus Theatre in Atlantic City. “I really felt bad that she wasn’t coming back. And Kelly – I’m going to miss the girls, I really am, but I’m excited about the new season and missing the new girls. I have great memories with all the women. We made that show what it was from the beginning.”

She adds, “We’re like a weird, sick family. Jill and I started the show together with Ramona and Alex. Kelly came on later, but It’s really sad to see them go because it’s something we created and made successful together. I will certainly miss them, but I’m looking forward to the new season.  I haven’t met the new women yet – wish me luck! Cross your fingers and your knees and everything for me. I’m going to meet them soon, and we’re going to start filming soon. I’m really excited about the upcoming season, and I will look forward to the girls.”

During the tour stop, the Countess reveals that “you never know what the girls are saying behind your back [on camera],” and takes swipes at both current and former co-stars.

Ramona [Singer] is Ra-mean-a,” she says, adding that the bubbly blonde needs a lesson in class. “I see Ramona, and I run the other direction. There’s part of her I love and part of her I hate. She says the damndest things – it rolls out of her mouth, and she thinks she can get away with it. She’s not going to get away with it, because it’s ‘on’ for the next season.”

She continues, “I haven’t seen her since the reunion. She invited me to her party and I’m like ‘hello? Come on. Really?! You say that to me, and you expect me to show up and say ‘hi’?’ No. Not after you go after my kids. I try and keep peace, but not after you go after my children and my relationship with my kids. I’m a single parent trying to raise two teenagers by myself – on my own. Give me any excuse why you don’t want to be in my music video – Turtle Time, Pinot Grigio – but that grossed me out.”

Still, one moment she wishes she could take back is a scene with Alex.

“I was sitting there getting my Henna tattoo, and Alex McCord came storming down like Herman Munster, and laid into me for absolutely nothing. It was nothing. She could not produce something out of her mouth when I said ‘OK, give it to me now.’ It was really for no reason – trying to defend Ramona.”

Hm, does she feel bad about saying mean things about Alex, considering she was fired?

“No, I don’t,” LuAnn tells me. “There was no reason [for her to attack me].”

What can we expect from the upcoming season?

For one, she is shocked when her younger boyfriend Jacques Azoulay admits to the moderator that the Countess is right 0% of the time when she thought he’d surely say 100% of the time.

“It’s true – I don’t push issues,” she says. “My ex and I used to argue a lot. He was a Taurus, and I’m a Taurus. We used to lock horns. I learned you have to back down to let things work a lot. We have to compromise, so I got it wrong.”

And about that ex-hubby?

“I have a great relationship with my ex,” she says. “He’s actually coming to stay in November at my house. We’re friends. We’re going to have dinner. We had dinner together with Jacques in Paris. It went great. My ex was a little bit jealous, I must say, because Jacques really young and hot.”

She adds, “He’s great. My ex is so supportive of me, because he wants to see me happy. Anybody who’s sane wants to see you happy, and anybody who loves you, or once loved you, wants to see you happy and be successful.”

Catch Bravo Presents The Real Housewives Live Tour, which is scheduled to take place in Hammond, Indiana, on Oct. 8, and Atlanta on Oct. 15. Different ladies, and different takes every time.
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