The show must go on! The Real Housewives of New York City will start filming tomorrow without their new breakout star, Leah McSweeney, a source exclusively tells OK!.
It was earlier reported by TMZ that the 37-year-old was only being offered a “minuscule” pay raise for the upcoming 13th season — which would be her second — of RHONY. The source is also saying that she feels “disrespected” by the low offer. McSweeney is said to be holding out for a bigger offer that she feels she deserves, considering she was a fan favorite this season.
OK! has exclusive details that “Leah is trying to strong arm them into paying her double, putting her on the same money level as old timers LuAnn de Lesseps and Sonja Morgan. However, Bravo is not budging. They are starting to film without Leah and think she will back down after a few weeks of them not needing her.”
Adds the insider, “Bravo is super tight when it comes to money. None of the ladies earn millions on the show. The reason the franchise is so successful and won’t be cancelled like the Kardashians is because Bravo watches the bottom line like a hawk. The only person making a ton of money off this franchise is Bravo.”
The budding fashion designer has vocally been calling for the network to increase diversity on the show.
“I hope that there’s not only diversity of race but an even deeper diversity of where someone lives or what their interests are,” McSweeney told Page Six. “I hope that there’s just more diversity all across the board because New Yorker's are not a monolith, obviously. I think that it is gonna head in that direction.”
“Alicia has been demoted to a ‘friend of’ the show and is being paid a day rate rather than a salary — until she proves herself,” OK! exclusively learned. “Bravo is frightened that she might be ‘too nice’ to fight and hang with these super tough ladies.”
OK! also has exclusive details that Quarles isn’t the only person of color joining the show. “Another lady will be starting tomorrow,” said our insider, “but so far the ladies have no clue who she is because Bravo is scared of leaks.”
UPDATE 6:47 PM: Despite the multiple reports, a Bravo spokesperson tells OK!, “All of this inaccurate.”