Real Housewives of New York City alum, Jill Zarin, defended the network that made her famous when asked about NeNe Leakes‘ decision to sue Bravo over alleged acts of racism. TMZ caught up with the Bravo veteran at LAX Tuesday and asked her to weigh in on the Real Housewives of Atlanta controversy.
“I personally have never witnessed it,” Jill said when asked about NeNe’s claims.
“I don’t walk in her shoes,” she added. “but I personally have never witnessed it.”
Jill then dropped a bomb, revealing that she had spoken to other RHOA cast members about the ongoing lawsuit.
“Other girls I’ve spoken to on her show also have said that they didn’t feel the same way, but, it’s… you know, I can’t speak for her,” Jill commented.
NeNe Leakes claimed that NBC/Bravo treated the Atlanta cast as “second class and inferior” compared to franchises with white cast members when it came to budgets and group getaways.
NeNe fired off several reasons for her complaint, in legal documents.
“As had occurred in the past, NBC, Bravo, and True continued the underlying systemic discrimination by continuing to treat the Black housewives, and their shows, as second class and inferior to the white housewives, and their shows,” the documents read.
Vacations planned for the cast of the Georgia franchise “were typically inferior trips to less prestigious, desirable locations,” according to the former Bravo star.
NeNe filed a lawsuit against Bravo, NBCUniversal, Andy Cohen, True Entertainment, and Truly Original, last month.
The former Bravo star alleged that “a corporate and workplace culture in which racially-insensitive and inappropriate behavior is tolerated – if not, encouraged” was promoted.
NeNe claimed that she was ousted after she told executives that former co-star, Kim Zolciak-Biermann, made racist remarks while filming the show.
“As the Black Lives Matter movement swept our nation, Mrs. Leakes — Bravo’s historically most successful Black female talent — should have been embraced by NBC, Bravo, and True,” her lawsuit read. “Instead, NBC, Bravo, and True forced her out of the ‘house she built,’ denying her a regular role.”
NeNe stated that Andy Cohen and the network then continued to “blacklist” and “sabotage her attempts to secure work beyond RHOA.” The suit claimed that the defendants “interfered with, and sabotaged” her while she was negotiating for her own Sirius XM radio show. NeNe also claimed that Bravo producers dropped the development of an offered spinoff series after she began complaining about alleged racism behind the scenes.
Jill reportedly hopes to hear from Bravo as the network casts a RHONY spinoff series that will feature several legacy cast members. Jill has yet to receive a call but shared that she remains hopeful.
“No! I haven’t heard from anybody,” she said. “I don’t think anyone’s been called. Now, if everyone was called and I wasn’t, of course, I’d be hurt. But no, no one has been called.”
The Real Housewives of Atlanta airs on Sundays at 8 pm, ET, on Bravo.
Raissa Asunbo is a Content Editor at All About The Tea. She lives in Toronto, Canada and enjoys reading, watching movies, traveling and spending time with her family.