The Real Housewives of NYC: What Do They Do in 'Real' Life?

9th Annual TV Land Awards - Show TV personalities (L-R) LuAnn de Lesseps, Alex McCord, Cindy Barshop, Kelly Bensimon, Ramona Singer, Sonja Morgan and Jill Zarin speak onstage at the 9th Annual TV Land Awards at the Javits Center on April 10, 2011 in New York City. (Getty Images)more pics » The Real Housewives of New York City cast has just embarked on its fourth season for lots more fundraising gala drama, Hamptons poolside chats, and "work/family balance" struggles. We know that Alex McCord has an eccentric hubby, Bethenny Frankel broke off from the franchise to become her own star, and Kelly Bensimon loves to be seen with beautiful people, but who are these women, really? They are most importantly caricatures of themselves, but they must have some semblance of a job, or at least a hobby. Here's a rundown of the key facts about the women we love to hate and hate to love.


Alex+McCord in 9th Annual TV Land Awards - Red CarpetAlex McCord
"I've always had opinions, but now people know it."

Profession: Designer
Alex takes charge on design projects like the renovation of Manhattan's oldest camera store, Willoughbys. She also is an avid philanthropist in New York City, of course.

Side Projects: Model and Author! Alex recently signed with New York Model Management. McCord and her hubby wrote a child-rearing book, Little Kids, Big City -- which was ironic considering their tykes run around like monkeys injected with Coke Zero all day.

Family: Hubby, Two sons, Two Cats & a Brooklyn Brownstone. Alex is married to red-head standout, Simon van Kempen, who formerly managed hotels and just recently started a social media company. They have two sons, Francois, 8 and Johan, 5. The Brooklyn-based fam has two cats.

LuAnn+de+Lesseps in 9th Annual TV Land Awards - ArrivalsLuAnn de Lesseps
"I thought I had it good before, but I'm just getting started."

Profession: Author (Like Every Housewife,) Wannabe Singer, "Manners Commentator"
Now that she's no longer so busy being a stately, well-mannered, countess (whatever the heck that means), she has time to be an aspiring author and really bad singer. Ex-Countess Lesseps released an etiquette book in 2009, Class With The Countess, but then she admitted she didn't actually write it. Smart. She also has a column with highly esteemed magazine OK! called "What Would the Countess Do."

She also gave singing a whack -- why not? She began dabbling in music with the dance single "Money Can't Buy You Class." We bet that's what she really thinks. She also appears on TV shows like Joy Behar and Larry King Live as a "manners commentator," but we think the shows just see it as a farce.

Side projects: See 'Profession' above.


Family: Single Mom of Two With New Boyfriend

Formerly the wife of Ferdinand de Lesseps of Suez Canal royalty (he allegedly cheated on her), LuAnn has taken to new boyfriend Jacques Azoulay, the CEO of Gabriella Wines Importer and Distributor. She's been busy spending time in the Hamptons with the new beau and her children, Victoria and Noel.

Jill+Zarin in 9th Annual TV Land Awards - ArrivalsJill Zarin
"Good or bad, I know who I am, and I own it."

Profession: Marketing For Zarin Fabric Warehouse
Jill is married to Bobby Zarin, who owns the home furnishing and fabric warehouse on the Lower East Side in NYC. Jill is in charge of the company's marketing.

Side Projects: Jill Zarin Enterprises, Real Estate and Hosiery Business
Jill, who went to Simmons College, has started her "brand," which entails Jill Zarin Home (a bedding line,) her TV career, public speaking career, book tour, and charity work. She published an advice book with her mom and sister, Secrets of a Jewish Mother. With over 20 years of hosiery experience, Jill will be launching SWEEZ COUTURE in Spring 2011.

Family: One Daughter, One Son, Upper East Side
The Zarins live on the Upper East Side and had a summer house in the Hamptons until they sold it in 2009. Jill has a daughter, Allyson, from a previous marriage, and a son.

Ramona+Singer in 2011 Skating With The Stars GalaRamona Singer
"If people can't handle the truth, it's really not my problem."

Profession: Owner of RMS Fashions
Ramona's company buys excess goods from manufacturers and resells them to discount stores.

Side Projects: Jewelry Line, Skin Care Line, Winemaking

The Fashion Institute of Technology graduate started a jewelry line, True Faith jewelry, which is sold on the Home Shopping Network and she also developed a skin care line, TruRenewal. The infamous Pinot Grigio afficionado has teamed up with a "75-year-old Italian wine company," to make the "Ramona Pinot Grigio." Believe it.

Family: One Daughter, Manhattan
Ramona and her hubby Mario have one daughter, Avery, who just went off to college. They live in Manhattan.

Kelly+Bensimon in 9th Annual TV Land Awards - ArrivalsKelly Bensimon
"I'm living the American Dream, one mistake at a time."

Profession: Former model, equestrian and magazine editor. Current social climber (fact.)

Side Projects: Author, Costume Jewelry Line.
Bensimon wrote The Bikini Book, American Style and In The Spirit of the Hamptons. She contributes to Hamptons and Gotham and has designed a costume jewelry line which is sold on the Home Shopping Network. Bensimon is a generous philanthropist.

Family: Two Daughters with Ex Husband. Bensimon splits her time between NYC and East Hampton with Sea and Teddy, her daughters with her ex, famous photographer Gilles Bensimon.

Sonja+Morgan in 9th Annual TV Land Awards - ArrivalsSonja Morgan
"I have a taste for luxury, and luxury has a taste for me."

Profession: Former Hostess
Before Morgan was married to her ex-husband, the great-grandson of J. Pierpont Morgan (J.P. Morgan, yes, founding father of the powerhouse bank,) she was a restaurant hostess turned manager.

Side Projects: Screenwriter, Climbing Out of Debt

Sonja is working on a screenplay that she calls a "Candace Bushnell society novel"...and just filed for bankruptcy, claiming to be $19.8 million in debt. That's a side (or full-time) job of sorts?

Family: One Daughter.
With whom she decorates, gardens, skis and visits France.

Cindy+Barshop in 9th Annual TV Land Awards - Red CarpetCindy Barshop
"I have everything I've ever wanted, and it's all on my own terms"

Profession: Founder, Completely Bare
Here's a real professional. Barshop started the nationwide beauty chain and hair removal spa, Completely Bare.

Side Projects: Renovation, Enjoying Her Seldom Free Time
Cindy has a real serious business going, but when she enjoys renovating her West Village digs, spending time in the Hamptons, and eating well in NYC.

Family: Single Mom of Two Girls

See more Real Housewives of NYC pictures:
  • Kelly Bensimon in 9th Annual TV Land Awards - Show
  • Kelly Bensimon in 9th Annual TV Land Awards - Red Carpet
  • Kelly Bensimon in 9th Annual TV Land Awards - Arrivals
  • Kelly Bensimon in Season Premiere of 'The Real Housewives of New York City'
  • Kelly Bensimon in "The Real Housewives Of New York City" Season 4 Premiere Party
  • Kelly Bensimon in 2011 Bravo Upfront
  • Kelly Bensimon in Generosity Water&squot;s 3rd Annual "Night Of Generosity" Benefit - Red Carpet
  • Kelly Bensimon in Generosity Water&squot;s 3rd Annual "Night Of Generosity" Benefit - Arrivals

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