Bravo’s Real Housewives of New York is in disarray with insiders fearing there may be ‘no coming back,’ from the catastrophic breakdown of relations between newbie Eboni Williams and the rest of the cast, DailyMail.com can reveal.
Earlier last month we revealed that filming for the season 13 reunion, which had been due to take place on August 5, had been delayed.
Now, DailyMail.com has learned, that producers have postponed the filming ‘indefinitely,’ because the rift between Williams and key cast members has grown so toxic, they fear there is ‘no going forward and no coming back.’
One well-placed production source said: ‘At this point they could just shut it down. Eboni’s saying she’s traumatized; the rest of the ladies are just shocked.
DailyMail.com can reveal filming for the RHONY season 13 reunion has been postponed ‘indefinitely’ as the rift between Eboni Williams and her co-stars deepens
The 37-year-old – who claims to be self-made – was engaged to financial big-shot Steven Glenn, 53, Managing Director, CFO and COO at Warburg Pincus, a private equity partnership (pictured together in 2017) for three and a half years
‘I don’t know how they sit down together and figure this out. I don’t know if it’s even possible.’
Williams, 37, has drawn harsh criticism and been branded ‘preachy’ and ‘woke’ for foisting a ratings withering agenda of race and social justice onto the frothy reality TV staple.
But, in the weeks since filming wrapped, the newcomer has kicked back comparing the women to ‘white supremacists’ and telling USA Today that they treated her as ‘less than human.’
She has sparked further outrage by blaming the season’s poor performance on production and editing.
Glenn’s firm has invested more than $94billion in 940 companies in the 50 years since its inception
Doubling down on her on-screen choices, Williams told Insider: ‘As long as I hold the apple, I’m going to use the platform according to my discretion and my discretion is that they were allowed to have an all-white, pretty ridiculous f***ing show for 12 years, that I enjoyed too! But now I’m here…Imma talk about Black excellence all day.’
Series stalwarts Luann de Lesseps, 56 ,and Ramona Singer, 64, have been left ‘reeling,’ show insiders say.
One explained: ‘[The women] were under attack and the network was shocked. She has put everyone in a really s****y position.
‘What makes it even harder to stomach is the level of her hypocrisy.’
Because according to several well-placed sources who spoke with DailyMail.com, the public persona that Williams is pushing today bears little resemblance to the life that she has led to this point.
DailyMail.com can reveal that the man to whom Williams was engaged when she was first cast in the show is financial big-shot Steven Glenn, 53, Managing Director, CFO and COO at Warburg Pincus, a private equity partnership that has invested more than $94billion in 940 companies in the 50 years since its inception.
The divorced father of three lives in an idyllic $2million house in New Jersey (pictured). Sources revealed Williams showed little to no interest in her ex-fiancé’s children and did not engage in their lives – despite having presented herself as a woman torn between forging a career and longing for family
Eboni K. Williams and Steven Glenn gave a joint donation to Safe Horizon – a nonprofit supporting domestic violence victims – in 2018
The divorced father of three sons ages 21, 18, and 14 lives in an idyllic $2million house in New Jersey.
And while she initially presented herself as a woman torn between forging a career and longing for family, DailyMail.com has learned that she showed little to no interest in her ex-fiancé’s children and did not engage in their lives in the three and a half years they were together.
At an introductory brunch at Sonja’s townhouse in the season’s opening episode Williams told the women that seeing her ex with his children really made her understand that ‘there is nothing like that parental love, that bond.’
She waxed lyrical about ‘this beautiful legacy’ but according to one insider a person could ‘count on the fingers of one hand’ the number of soccer games or events to which Williams showed up during her relationship with Glenn.
The source said: ‘The kids barely knew her, and she barely knew them. She just wasn’t engaged in that part of his life at all.
‘They really weren’t a New Jersey couple. She didn’t really engage with his life there; they were far more about New York.’
The relationship had foundered before filming even began.
According to Williams, she ended the engagement when she got Covid at the beginning of the pandemic and Glenn chose to quarantine close to his kids in New Jersey while she remained alone in the city.
‘When he saw family, he didn’t see me,’ she said by way of explanation.
However, one familiar with the situation raised an eyebrow at this version and said: ‘The quarantine thing was just a convenient public excuse. The relationship wasn’t going anywhere. It wasn’t really heading towards marriage.’
But then, according to several sources, Williams is not one to let reality – or others – stand in the way of her brand.
She is a woman who spoke with pride of being self-made while sitting in the three-bedroom apartment in New York’s Four Seasons residences paid for by her then fiancé, and whose ‘type’ according to one associate is ‘rich white, Jewish men.’
EBONI WILLIAMS HAS HER SAY: NEWCOMER DENIES FALLING OUT WITH CAST MEMBERS
Eboni Williams ‘wholeheartedly disputed’ talk of a rift when DailyMail.com reached out to her for comment and claimed that any questions raised about her were part of a ‘systemic attack on the credibility of black women.’
In an exclusive and wide-ranging talk, Williams told DailyMail.com that it ‘simply was not true’ that she had fallen foul of her cast-members despite numerous extremely well-placed sources telling DailyMail.com that she has.
According to Williams: ‘I just finished taping my last confessional interview and shared some wonderful words with Leah McSweeney and hugs and kisses.’
She said that she spoke with McSweeney five out of seven days a week, always took Sonja Morgan’s calls, and had dinner with Ramona Singer just last week.
But when asked if she had dinner or spoke with Luann de Lesseps she said: ‘Nope. Nope.’
Asked if De Lesseps was somebody with whom she was in touch Williams said: ‘No, not at this point in time.’
Williams and De Lesseps famously first came to blows when the women visited De Lesseps’s house in Sag Harbor early in the season and De Lesseps took issue with Williams’s assertion that she was ‘the most educated person at the table.’
Where she has been criticized for ‘lecturing’ the other women ’24/7′ Williams said simply: ‘Do I wish we lived in a utopia where racial micro and macro aggression, aspects of white fragility and white supremacy and black oppression didn’t exist? Yes. I wish we lived in that utopia…[but] that’s not what we as a society have to deal with.
‘I don’t feel burdened [by speaking to those issues]. I think I get to do that, not that I have to do that.’
According to Williams she is ‘uniquely provisioned’ to do so, due to her ‘classical education, experience as a journalist, experience as a lawyer, and natural temperament.’
She is, she said, someone who ‘doesn’t lean heavy into emotion.’
Williams defended her history at Fox, rejecting the notion that she had left amid any ill-feeling.
Williams and De Lesseps famously first came to blows when the women visited De Lesseps’s house in Sag Harbor early in the season
She said that she had instead asked to be released from her contract with America’s most-watched cable network so that she, ‘could go onto pursue other interests.’
Addressing her past shoplifting Williams said she was ‘proud’ to be a product of the deferred prosecution process.
This meant that when she was charged with stealing one pair of Stuart Weitzman pumps in 2002 the judge could use his discretion and dismiss the case as it was a first-time, non-violent offense.
Commenting on the fact that she let her license to practice lapse in 2011 when she stopped paying the dues required to maintain it she said: ‘It’s not improper [to have let it lapse]. If I purported to practice [it would be] but I have voluntarily withdrawn from the practice of law since 2011.’
When speaking to camera about her level of education following her Sag Harbor set-to with De Lesseps, Williams claimed: ‘I’ve been practicing law since I’m 23.’
She practiced between the ages of 23 and 27.
Williams told DailyMail.com: ‘Because of the optics quite frankly I’m probably two weeks out of re-instating the license. I’ll be active and reinstated in two weeks.’
And she did not rule out the possibility of returning to practice one day saying: ‘Never say never. I am a believer, and I will always lean into my spiritual gifts and do work that inspires community and people.’
To that end, Williams said, she was ‘proud’ of how she had presented on her first season of RHONY and insisted that she received a great deal of positive feedback, adding: ‘It’s not on y’all’s page on the Daily Mail or Page Six but if you go to other outlets, you will see what I see.’
She said: ‘From a broader context there is a systemic attack on the credibility of black women in America right now. I’m not sure if you’re aware of that.’
Williams went onto compare herself to Olympians, Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka and hammer-thrower Gwen Berry. She said: ‘I feel like this line of commentary is right in alignment with [what has happened to them].
‘It’s seeking to indict my credibility as a lawyer, as a co-worker, as a fiancé, as a woman…really I’m one of the most credible people you’ll ever come across.’
As for her future on the show she said: ‘I’m not going anywhere. I will never be silenced. If that’s the best they [haters] got, they gotta do a lot better.’
Williams has drawn criticism and been branded ‘preachy’ and ‘woke’ for foisting a ratings-withering agenda of race and social justice onto the reality show
Tough conversations: At one point throughout the season, Eboni told Ramona ‘Your white fragility is killing me right now’
Relative newcomer McSweeney joked on the show that a key difference between her and Williams is that, ‘Eboni’s very good at dating rich guys.’
Williams is also good at straddling political lanes.
The former Fox News contributor claims that she took the position at the right-wing network to be a ‘disruptor’ but, DailyMail.com has been told that Williams supported Trump’s Wall, ‘dragged’ Beyoncé for her ‘hypersexual performances’ on the Bill O’Reilly show, and didn’t speak up against the former president until after Charlottesville.
One insider said: ‘Her own mother voted for Trump, and she defended that but she’s taking aim at Ramona and talking about white supremacy because she hangs out at Mar a Lago.
‘She’s a hypocrite. She cow-towed and tip-toed round the issues when she was at Fox and now, she’s created this uber progressive woke persona.’
The source pointed out that Williams reposted a tweet from her former Fox co-contributor Tomi Lahren which showed a picture of them together during their days at Fox and included a ‘shout out’ of support from Lahren to the newest RHONY cast member.
Lahren has been dubbed, ‘white power Barbie’ for her strong right-wing views.
Williams quickly took down the repost but not before many had screen-grabbed and questioned it.
An inside source at Fox, who remembers Williams’s time there as fraught and unpleasant, dismissed the notion that she was ever a ‘disruptor’ calling it, ‘spin.’
In fact, according to the source, Williams, who the network had initially thought of as a ‘rising star,’ was ‘horrible,’ to work with and ‘beyond a diva.’
The former Fox News contributor claims that she took the position at the right-wing network to be a ‘disruptor’ which sources have disputed. Williams also reposted – then deleted – a Instagram story from her former Fox co-contributor Tomi Lahren (pictured) which showed a picture of them together during their days at Fox
Sources said Williams supported Trump’s Wall, ‘dragged’ Beyoncé for her ‘hypersexual performances’ on the Bill O’Reilly show, and didn’t speak up against the former president until after Charlottesville
Williams was also seen posing alongside Trump associates in photos shared on Twitter, including Kimberly Guilfoyle in 2016 and former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci in 2017
They said: ‘The way she behaved was beyond what you might expect from an established anchor.
‘She came in as a contributor in September 2015 and in 2017 she was offered a three-year contract and made co-host on the short-lived show The Specialists.
‘She wasn’t brought in as any sort of disruptor. She was offered a dream opportunity but wherever she was put or whatever she was offered, she didn’t want.
‘Nothing was good enough – we put her on opinion she wanted to do news, we put her on news she wanted to do sport. Trust me she wasn’t capable of anchoring a news show. It was a disaster.
‘The network was really in a very tumultuous time – there was a class race action, the sexual harassment cases, Bill O’Reilly had been fired…Eboni took advantage of it to demand all sorts of things knowing that Fox was doing its best to make thing work.
‘But she was delusional when it came to money. She was extremely well remunerated but when she came in, she was trying to negotiate millions.’
According to the insider: ‘It got to the point where she just wasn’t showing up for work. On one occasion she pulled out two hours before she was supposed to be on air. No reason, just a no show.
‘So, when she eventually went to bosses and said, ‘I don’t want to be here.’ They said, ‘Fine.’
‘She wasn’t fired but she was let out of her three-year contract after one year by mutual agreement.’
They continued: ‘She is a whip-smart, beautiful, African American, attorney. In television terms she should have been golden.
‘But this is a small industry and word gets around and the residual feeling at Fox, even after all this time, is that she was horrible to work with.
‘She treated the women at the network like s**t. When people heard she was going to be on Real Housewives of New York everyone was like, ‘Ohhh this is going to be interesting.’
Taking out insurance: According to TMZ, Ramona Singer ‘negotiated terms’ with producers so that Williams wouldn’t call her a ‘bigot’ during the reunion
Politics: On another occasion Williams tried to broach the subject of politics with Singer during a one on one sit down to which she said: ‘Let’s just have a nice evening, I don’t want to talk politics’
‘Honestly some people at Fox can’t watch it because it brought back how awful it was dealing with her.’
They added: ‘She has also consistently overstated her role at Fox. She was never a solo host, and she was not the first or only black female host on the network.’
William’s consistent referral to herself as an attorney is similarly questionable as she has not been licensed to practice in any state since her license in her home state of North Carolina was suspended in 2011 when she stopped paying her dues.
One source said: ‘I don’t think she has any intentions of ever practicing law again. She’s all about television and her brand now.’
According to one who worked with her closely on the RHONY, one of the things that rubbed cast and crew the wrong way with Williams was the fact that ‘nobody was allowed to be less than perfect. You couldn’t change your mind or say, ‘Maybe I misspoke,’ she always took the moral high-ground and was just so preachy and judgey. Like she was beyond reproach.’
But, DailyMail.com can reveal, Williams’s own past is far from spotless.
She has spoken openly about having her car repossessed a couple of years ago and of having made bad choices that saw her run up debts and bad credit.
But a police report obtained by DailyMail.com reveals that the newly minted Real Housewife has done more than just make bad choices – she has acted upon them.
Today she wears Louboutins, but, in 2002, an 18-year-old Williams was detained at a mall in Durham, North Carolina for trying to steal a pair of Stuart Weitzman pumps worth $245.
Today she wears Louboutins, but, in 2002, an 18-year-old Williams was detained at a mall in Durham, North Carolina for allegedly trying to steal a pair of Stuart Weitzman pumps worth $245
The case was ultimately dismissed, allowing Williams to get off without a criminal record
Had it not been for a judge’s discretion and his decision to dismiss the case she would have had a criminal record and been barred from going on to practice law.
One source said: ‘Look, nobody’s perfect. People are allowed to change their minds and make mistakes but don’t make yourself out to be someone you’re not and don’t build your own brand on the backs of others and then trash-talk them all over town.
‘All of the women work hard on this show and Eboni’s come in and walked all over it and them.
‘They rolled out the red carpet for her and this is how she repaid them.’
Another told DailyMail.com: ‘Perhaps it should have rung alarm bells when she showed up for her first scenes in her BLM face-mask and sweatshirt with the names of the Central Park Five written on it.
‘When she did her audition reel, she was talking about how she was marrying this guy, but did she want babies? Did he want babies? Because he already had family and didn’t want more so she was working through that.
‘She seemed sweet and smart and beautiful, and everyone was like, ‘Yes, she’s great! Green light it’.’
‘There was nothing about this mission that she showed up with. The truth is everyone has been blindsided by Eboni.
‘She presented herself as one thing and when it came time to film, she revealed herself to be something very different.
Chaos behind the scenes: The Real Housewives of New York – featuring Sonja Morgan, Leah McSweeney, Ramona Singer, Eboni K. Williams and Luann de Lesseps – is in turmoil amid nosediving ratings
‘She’s blamed the edit – well she didn’t give them any other material to show. The producers were gently suggesting maybe lighten up [on the race issues] and show us more of yourself but she didn’t.’
One who asked not to be named said simply, ‘Eboni was a big mistake. Bravo knows it. Everybody knows it. But nobody knows how to fix it.’
The source said: ‘Everybody respected her hustle, but she didn’t just come in with an agenda, she came in with an agenda that came at the expense of other people.
‘Ramona and Luann and Sonja have been doing this for years, and she comes in and lectures and race-baits and the show has suffered for it.
‘Look let’s be honest the other housewives are four white women how can they speak to matters of race? It just shuts down the flow of the show. It doesn’t make for bonding and while they’re all open to learning nobody wants to be lectured 24/7 and that’s how it always went down.’
According to one insider, there may be a glimmer of hope. They said: ‘Maybe it’s possible to regroup. Maybe she can come back next season and do it different and do it better.’
But, they added: ‘The women don’t trust her.
‘You know sometimes the people who talk the loudest are the ones with the most s*** to hide.’
When approached for comment Bravo said, ‘Bravo invited Eboni K. Williams as the first Black woman to join the cast of The Real Housewives of New York to be her authentic self, which has brought a new perspective to the show. We support Eboni in expressing her views, and we are proud that the show is addressing these important and relevant issues.’
They also pointed out that despite ratings slipping RHONY remains a top 20 reality cable show.