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OTRC: 'Real Housewives of New York' cast members Jill Zarin, Kelly Bensimon and Alex McCord will not return

The cast of 'The Real Housewives of New York' appear in a publicity photo. (Bravo)

Jill Zarin, Kelly Bensimon, Cindy Barshop and Alex McCord are officially out of "The Real Housewives of New York" season 5, the network confirmed on Saturday.

Rumors began early last week that Zarin, 47, Bensimon, 43, and McCord, 37, were fired from the show. However, the cast members and the network initially remained mum about the rumors, with the exception of Zarin's spokesperson who claimed that she was still negotiating with the network.

"Ramona Singer, Sonja Morgan and LuAnn DeLesseps will be returning for season five of 'The Real Housewives of New York City,'" a spokesperson for Bravo said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "We've had a fabulous run with all the ladies and appreciate them sharing their lives with our viewers. It is a friendly departure among the other ladies and we continue to have ongoing discussions with them."

Singer, 54, and DeLesseps, 46, are the last two original cast members to still appear on the series. Morgan, 47, joined the show in season 3.

Zarin and McCord were also original cast members while Bensimon joined the show in season 2 and Barahop came on to the show in season 4.

When the industry paper reached out to Zarin, her spokesperson said that the reality star was out of town but "is humbled by the extraordinary amount of media interest in her response and looks forward to personally opening up about all of this very soon and announcing some exciting new projects."

Meanwhile McCord's husband Simon van Kampen, who also appeared on the series, released a statement to the Hollywood Reporter that said, "Alex and I are sad that it's come to this. We had a great four years. We don't intend for this to be the final time you'll see us on television. Everything happens for a reason. We are not happy, we're not sad. It is what it is. We thank our fans."

He added, "It might not be the end of seeing us on Housewives. It might not be the end of seeing us on Bravo. We don't know that yet either. There's a lot to be discussed in the upcoming weeks. We wish the next season well. We're not going away. We remain happy and long may that continue."

Barshop told the industry paper on Saturday, "Bravo and I parted amicably and I will not be returning for the show and I'm absolutely thrilled with the opportunity, really am thrilled. And for me, it's a great decision personally and for my business. It's going to be an amazing year next year."

"The Real Housewives of New York City" debuted in 2008 and is one of several shows in the hit reality television franchise, which is known for airing heated squabbles between its cast members. Its fourth season began airing in early April.

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