ABC News’ Andrea Canning reports:
The four women fired from Season 5 of the “Real Housewives of New York” are off the air, but that doesn’t mean the drama has disappeared.
“If people continue to behave in a way that’s shocking, then how can it do anything but get darker,” McCord told “Good Morning America” today in the couple’s first television interview since being fired from the reality-TV show last week.
“You’re not going to stop reacting to people fighting and behaving badly,” she said. “It’s gotten more and more toxic.”
McCord was fired from the show last week, along with cast members Jill Zarin, Cindy Barshop and Kelly Bensimon. The mass firings leave Ramona Singer, LuAnn DeLesseps and Sonja Morgan on the show for Season 5, along with three still unnamed new cast members, all said to be wealthy socialites.
McCord was at the center of the negative attention, and the drama, in the show’s fourth season, one that pitted the “blondes” — McCord, Singer and Morgan — against the “brunettes” — Bensimon, Zarin, Barshop and DeLesseps.
“One thing that I do, absolutely, is I call people out,” McCord said of the bold, opinionated persona she took on in what would be her last season on the show. “And I got louder and louder about that.”
Now that she’s fired, McCord is speaking out even more.
Of Bensimon, another fired Housewife, who accused McCord throughout the season of not being authentic: “It’s hard to be on a reality show if you’re not in touch with reality,” McCord told “GMA.”
Of biting comments from DeLesseps insinuating that McCord was not in her same social strata: “My mouth was on the floor,” McCord said. “And I was thinking, ‘I can’t believe you’re being that offensive.’”
The harshest barbs from both McCord and Van Kempen, however, came aimed at fellow fired cast member Zarin, who, like McCord, was an original cast member on the show, along with Singer and DeLesseps.
“She’s a manipulator and she’s very good at feeding information to her own end,” McCord told “GMA.” “She has been trying to get me off the show for a number of years. She succeeded.”
Van Kempen, who battled Zarin from day one of the show’s premiere in 2008, went even further, calling Zarin a “flawed woman extraordinaire.”
“The word ‘junior high’ has come up a lot about the drama on the show,” he said. “Jill sometimes is still very much stuck in junior high as the girl who was unpopular, who was bullied. And 30 years later, she’s still there.”
Just like she would on the show, Zarin fought back when asked by “GMA” to respond to the couple’s comments.
“I just feel pity for them using me for press yet again,” she said, also telling “GMA” she believes the couple is jealous.
Despite their obvious differences, McCord and Zarin do have a few things in common.
Both were surprised, and disappointed, when they got the call from Bravo TV executives informing them they would not be returning for Season 5, weeks before production for the new season was set to begin.
“You never want it to be someone else’s decision that you’re not coming back,” McCord said. “So, sure, it felt like being laid off. And that didn’t feel good.”
“It didn’t feel good,” Zarin told “GMA” Wednesday of her own reaction to the call. “Nobody likes to not be asked back to the party.”
And both now ex-”Real Housewives” are stretching their 15 minutes of fame from the show into business ventures they hope will be even more profitable, and more fulfilling.
While Zarin is launching a lingerie line and hinting that she might return to TV, McCord and Van Kempen are creating a new textile company, “Aluxe Home,” specializing in bath and bedding products.
“Building a company is always better than bickering,” McCord said of the couple’s post-”Real Housewives” future.