After four of the seven cast members of Real Housewives of New York City were fired after season 4, Bravo was forced to hire some new faces to join those who remained (Ramona Singer, Sonja Morgan and LuAnn de Lesseps). Yesterday we profiled Aviva Drescher and next up is the second new cast member, Carole Radziwill.
Carole is a bestselling author and award-winning journalist, and like Aviva Drescher, she was born and raised in New York. And unlike many of the other ladies of the Real Housewives franchise, she was pursued directly by Bravo exec Andy Cohen (the two of them go way back, darling) as opposed to groveling for a spot on the show.
“I could probably count on one hand the number of conversations I’ve ever had about the Housewives show with him,” Carole said in an interview with the New York Post. “But last summer, we had dinner with some mutual friends. And he kind of asked me if I would consider it. My impulse was to say, ‘Are you crazy? Hell no!'”
Carole only started to change her mind after meeting with the producers and being able to relate to them as someone who has worked behind the cameras herself on PrimeTime Live and 20/20.
Although Carole is a very successful journalist who covered major news events such as the Afghanistan and Gulf War, she may be most famous for being a widow. In 1994, she married into both European and American royalty when she wed Polish prince Anthony Radziwill, the son of Lee Bovier Radziwill, the sister of Jacqueline Kennedy. Jacqueline’s husband’s cousin was John F. Kennedy, Jr., who was the best man at their wedding, while Carolyn Bessette Kennedy was Carole’s close friend.
Carole’s husband was diagnosed with cancer shortly before they were married and in 1999, JFK Jr. and Carolyn died in a plane crash. Less than a month later, Carole’s husband Anthony lost his battle with cancer. Carole’s 2005 memoir What Remains details the story of her loss and is a national bestseller.
“Critical acclaim is great, and it gets you the corner table, but commercial success pays the bills,” she told the NYP, while also admitting that she was treating the Housewives gig like any other job. “I feel like after what I went through with my husband, there’s a much bigger curiosity about life that I have. I had this to-do list after they all died of all the things that I’d never done. I’m not even a quarter of the way through, but the general consensus of the list is: try everything, and don’t be afraid.”
Carole is a regular contributor to Glamour magazine and is releasing her first novel, The Widow’s Guide to Sex and Dating this summer, the writing process of which will be part of her story arc on season 5.
“If a reality fan watches the show and is intersted in me, and wants to read one of my books because I had a disagreement with one of the ladies, I’m cool with that,” Carole said. “There’s a risk in everything; this is just another risk I’m willing to take and not know how it turns out. And that’s okay.”
Get to know Carole a little more by seeing her show off her West Village apartment:
(Image courtesy of Bravo)