The next season of the Real Housewives of New York City starts filming Thursday, but one cast member is reportedly not going to be returning. According to OK! magazine, breakout star Leah McSweeney is demanding a pay increase, which has prompted producers to proceed with filming without her.
Reportedly, she is earning a fraction of what some of the other stars who have been in front of the cameras longer are getting. Leah, who garnered a lot of attention during her first season on the franchise, is said to be insulted by the low pay offer for her second run.
"Leah is trying to strong-arm them into paying her double, putting her on the same money level as old-timers LuAnn [de Lesseps]. and Sonja [Morgan]. However, Bravo is not budging. They are starting to film without Leah and think she will back down after a few weeks of them not needing her," an insider revealed.
The source added no one is paid a great deal on the show, including Leah, despite the fact she quickly became a fan favorite.
"Bravo is super tight when it comes to money. None of the ladies earn millions on the show. The reason the franchise is so successful and won't be canceled like the Kardashians is because Bravo watches the bottom line like a hawk. The only person making a ton of money off this franchise is Bravo," the source explained.
Leah has been critical of the series and suggested it should include more diversity to reveal to viewers that not all New Yorkers are like the women portrayed on RHONY.
A rep for the network responded to the claims about Leah's demands, saying the report is inaccurate, but didn't offer further details about the cast for the upcoming 13th season. Reportedly, there will be several new faces on the show after Tinsley Mortimer and Dorinda Medley left.
Tinsley left the series to be with her fiancé, Scott Kluth, in Chicago. Dorinda confirmed she was leaving Real Housewives, but didn't explain why. There have been rumors she was fired by the network because she was a "mean drunk" or because she broke the fourth wall while filming, as The Inquisitr reported previously. She was repeatedly filmed fighting and verbally attacking her castmates after imbibing alcohol.
Alicia Quarles is said to be joining the series as a friend with the potential to become a full-time Housewife.