And they're off!
On Monday's episode of Real Housewives of New York -- the second of the radically different fifth season --- Ramona Singer and LuAnn de Lesseps had a rumble in Central Park. At issue? De Lesseps, 47, claimed Singer, 55, had recently called her up and threatened to blackmail her. (A young girl had passed out on de Lesseps' lawn in the Hamptons during a party for her 15-year-old son.) During the tense park bench chat, Singer denied the accusation, and the twosome called an uneasy truce.
"I was shocked!" Singer tells Us Weekly of her costar's claims. "I thought this was old news. I mean, is she crazy? Why would she make up a story like this? Maybe in her mind she thought it was true. I mean, some people are delusional. Everyone sees the couch as black, but they see it as white."
Adding that the mishap at de Lesseps' party was well known ("everything that LuAnn does socially, everyone knows"), Singer explains to Us, "I don't threaten people. What could I possibly gain? I don't have to resort to silly tactics."
Although she and de Lesseps are now in a "better place," Singer muses that her frenemy was "fabricating this" to get in with the new castmates Carole Radzwill, Heather Thomson and Aviva Drescher. "It's like Mean Girls!"
Still, she adds, "Six months later I looked at [LuAnn] and I said, 'Okay, if you feel I threatened you, I'm truly sorry.' . . .I'm so unedited. I'm trying to get better!"
Drescher, Radzwill and Thomson replaced the fired housewives Jill Zarin, Kelly Bensimon, Alex McCord and Cindy Barshop.
"I miss Alex the most," Singer says of McCord. "Alex and I initially really did not get along, and then by the fourth season she really became a true friend, and I really enjoyed her. I think she really evolved on the show."
What about her former BFF Zarin? "Jill -- I miss her the least, only because I found her energy, for me, to be very negative."
But the newbies -- Singer has clashed with Yummy Tummie shapewear founder Thomson -- have Singer thinking about her departed costars.
"In my opinion, Heather's the new Jill. Carole is the new Kelly and Aviva is the new Alex," she opines. "Jill was a very strong personality, always took over the conversation, and that's kind of how Heather is. And Kelly is very downtown and kind of beats to her own drummer and that's how Carole is, but much more intelligent. And then Aviva is like Alex, she's really into her family and she has the four kids, but also she's very codependent [with her husband]…So it's interesting."