Jill Zarin Says Her Firing From 'The Real Housewives of New York City' Was "Jolting"

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Sep. 21 2011, Published 7:02 a.m. ET

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Jill Zarin spoke about her dismissal from Bravo's The Real Housewives of New York City for the first time on Good Morning America today. The reality-TV vet, who was a fixture since the first season, is upset to say good-bye but also grateful for the branding opportunities the show launched for her.

"It was a little jolting," Jill told GMA's Andrea Canning. "It didn't feel good. Nobody likes to not be asked back to the party."

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This past week, Bravo confirmed the show's firings, with the following statement: "Ramona Singer, Sonja Morgan and LuAnn de Lesseps will be returning for season five of The Real Housewives of New York City. We've had a fabulous run with all the ladies and appreciate them sharing their lives with our viewers. It is a friendly departure among the other ladies, and we continue to have ongoing discussions with them."

That means Jill — along with Alex McCord, Kelly Killoren Bensimon and Cindy Barshop (who was only on the show for one season) — will not be returning.

Cindy shared with ABC News that she believed the firing was a result of all the fighting on the show.

"Following the reunion it was clear that the women genuinely didn't like each other anymore," she said.

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Jill recognized the fighting but feels that it was a main attraction for viewers each week.

"There is no question there was fighting going on, but I believe that the format of the show encourages that," she said. "The ratings encourage that."

She added, "It is a toxic environment. It took me months to come down from it."

But Jill is grateful that the show launched her career.

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"You don't get rich doing a reality show; the show was a platform for my other product lines," she explained, adding that she looks at her on-air time as an "infomercial."

Jill also opened up about the drama plaguing Bravo Housewives in other cities, from the "Salacious Salahis" to the Russell Armstrong tragedy.

"I mean, I'm not surprised," Jill shared of Michaele Salahi's decision to leave her husband, Tareq Salahi, for Journey guitarist Neal Schon, who she was having an affair with for years. "Clearly, she is going for the bigger and better deal."

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She also offered advice to Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Taylor Armstrong, who is grieving the loss of her husband, Russell, after his tragic suicide.

"I wouldn't talk to the press, to anyone, for six months to a year, and I would buckle down for the family, and I wouldn't go back on the show," she said. "But if she needs the money, you have to do what you have to do for your family."

Catch clip, via ABC, below.


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