LuAnn de Lesseps: Bethenny Frankel’s Return to RHONY Is Like “Old Times,” Ramona Is Better Off Without Mario

LuAnn de Lesseps and Bethenny Frankel

The Skinnygirl is back! Countess LuAnn de Lesseps opened up about Bethenny Frankel‘s long-awaited return to The Real Housewives of New York City while appearing on Watch What Happens Live on Tuesday, Feb. 3. The conversation also prompted the Countess to discuss other original cast members — remaining or long gone — including Ramona Singer, Alex McCord, and Jill Zarin.

“You know, it’s funny,” de Lesseps, 49, remarked. “To have Bethenny back is like old times. It’s like the good old days. You know, you’d be surprised.”

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Us Weekly broke the news last October that Frankel, 44, was returning to Bravo’s Big Apple arm of the franchise, four years after she had quit the Housewives for a wedding, baby, her own spin-off, and a business empire.

Frankel — who has since split from husband Jason Hoppy — later confirmed the news to Us and joked: “Ironically, I’m never a Housewife when I’m a housewife!” She joins original RHONY cast members de Lesseps and Singer, both of whom have been demoted to recurring cast roles, as well as current stars Sonja Morgan, Heather Thomson, Kristen Taekman, and Carole Radziwill.

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“This season, she gets along with people that you wouldn’t expect her to get along with, and hates people you wouldn’t expect,” de Lesseps continued of Frankel. “It’s exciting to watch her work it with all the girls. We talk about a lot of the old days, too.”

The Real Housewives of New York Cast
The Real Housewives of New York Cast: Ramona Singer, Jill Zarin, Lu-Ann DeLesseps, Bethenny Frankel and Alex McCord Jay Sullivan/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

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The old days included former Housewives like McCord, Kelly Bensimon, and Frankel’s ex-BFF Zarin. While de Lesseps personally has not been in contact with McCord, who moved to Australia with hubby Simon and their two sons, she and Jill have kept in touch over the years. “Jill emailed me yesterday,” the Countess said. “We’re old buddies.”

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De Lesseps also spoke about Singer’s recent split from her husband Mario after his affair. A caller asked whether the recently single Housewife, 58, was better off with or without her husband of 22 years. Without hesitation, de Lesseps responded: “Much better without, quite honestly… It’s true. I say it on the show.”

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