As a part of the Real Housewives of New York City
cast overhaul, four of the former housewives (Jill Zarin, Alex McCord, Cindy Barshop and Kelly Bensimon) were fired and three new faces will be filling the vacancies. To prepare for the upcoming new season of RHONYC
(premiering Monday, June 4), we'll be profiling each of the new cast members. First up is Aviva Drescher
Aviva is the first of the housewives over the last five seasons to have been born and raised in New York City (more specifically, Manhattan).
"I was embarrassed by my cast mates from earlier seasons. Very embarrassed," Aviva told the New York Post
in an interview earlier this month. "They have been social climbers. I was born and bred here. I don't think my predecessors have done a good job of representing Upper East Side moms. I weighed it all very, very carefully."
When Aviva was 6, she was injured on a farm that resulted in the amputation of her leg. Being an amputee is one of the reasons Aviva decided to do the show.
"If I can take the silliness of the show and use it to get a message out to other amputees, particularly young girls--yup, I'll take it," Aviva told the NYP
. "I hope to bring some dignity to it. There may be teenagers missing limbs or who have other physical limitations and see this silly blonde on TV and then realize, 'Wait, that woman's an amputee with a family. She's a lawyer. I can do that.' When I was that age, I didn't think I could ever get married."
Now Aviva has been married twice, currently married to investment banker Reid Drescher; the two have four children together.
Aviva also has an extensive educational background
. After attending the esteemed New York's Fieldston School as a child, she went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from Vassar College, a Masters degree in French from New York University and a Juris Doctorate from The Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
Although she is licensed to practice law, Aviva has put her career aside to raise her family as well as work with different philanthropic organizations. She is the national spokesperson for One Step Ahead, an organization for amputees, and works with Cancer Schmancer/Trash Cancer for cancer awareness and research.
"Last week, I told my 10-year-old son, 'A lot of people don't like this show. It's very possible your friends will make fun of you, but I want people to understand people who have a "special leg.''' That's what we call it."
View a video of Aviva giving a tour of her family's summer Miami home here: Gina PusateriContributing Writer(Image courtesy of Bravo)