If you couldn't believe how uncomfortable Jill Zarin's surprise visit to the ladies' Caribbean getaway was last week, The Real Housewives of New York star says the awkwardness was "100 times worse in real life."Alex "attacking" her and why she says she didn't go on the Bravo-paid trip.
TVGuide.com: Was your surprise visit to the beach house as awkward as it came across on TV?
Jill Zarin: It was 100 times worse in real life. And that's hard for me to say because I've never been in a situation like that. I felt like I walked into a firing squad. Thank God, I had Bobby with me, because I wasn't prepared for that. I mean, I knew I wasn't getting along with Bethenny, that's one of the reasons I went — to try to make up with her. But I think had Alex not cared whether I stayed or left, I could have gotten past it. But for whatever influence Alex has over Ramona right now worked.
TVguide.com: What do you think was the deal with Alex?
Jill: Alex wants to make herself more important on the show, and I totally respect that. And this was her way of doing it. This was her way of creating a place for herself to stay on the show. Without the drama of what she's been doing, she really doesn't have a place on the show. In the finale, you'll see there's a moment with Alex where she wants to talk to me. I just remove myself from it. I have nothing against her, I'm just not going to give her another shot at me since her history with me is to attack me unprovoked. I've done nothing to her. In the first two seasons I was the only one who supported her, and now all of a sudden she found this voice and wants to attack me.
Real Housewives of New York's Alex: Jill is a "master manipulator"
TVGuide.com: Why was Bobby there if it was a girls' getaway?
Jill: I thought I'd be able to have lunch with them, see Bethenny, try [to] make up [with her], and I wasn't really sure if I was going to spend the night or go back to the hotel with Bobby. He got a room on the island for the night and was never planning on staying. He was just going to drop me off, leave and pick me up in the morning. I knew it was a girls' thing, I even brought gifts.
TVGuide.com: So why do you think Ramona got so upset?
Jill: First of all, I forgot Ramona hates surprises. I handle surprises so differently. I remember when Simon showed up at my house with Alex during my dinner party in the first season. Ramona wanted me to throw them out, but I said, "No, they're my guests." Ramona should have done what I did, and say, "Jill's my friend. She's my guest. She's welcome in the home." And by the way, you know who paid for the trip? Bravo. I don't understand why all of a sudden this is her trip and under her control. This was a Bravo trip, and we were all invited on equally.
TVGuide.com: Then why didn't you go?
Jill: That's another thing that upset me. The reason why I couldn't go was barely touched upon and edited out. When I was at lunch with Ramona at the Four Seasons, I was very clear I couldn't go because that was the weekend before Allison's applications for her early decision [for colleges] was due. And Ramona knew it. Of course I would have gone. Why would I turn down a free trip to the Caribbean? I thought if I made the effort to go out of my way to go, she'd really appreciate it. Who would think in a million years that she would not even offer me a glass of water? She just told me to get out. You didn't even seen half of what went on. It was much worst. It's hard to talk about, it was so bad.
TVGuide.com: So how did you get past it?
Jill: I have my friends and my family and wonderful fans who have been unbelievably supportive and kind. I have a book that just came out, Secrets of a Jewish Mother, and I usually get 100-300 people to show up at my book signings, which is fantastic.
TVGuide.com: Do you think you're getting editing this season making you come off as the bad guy?
Jill: I certainly think I don't think I've come off very well this season. You don't have to be a brain surgeon to figure that one out. [Laughs] However, I will say they are cleaning it up a bit in the last two episodes. People say it's the old Jill coming back, but I never left. I'm the same. I'm not perfect, and they certainly caught me at some embarrassing moments, but there's nothing I can do about it but move forward.
The Real Housewives of New York City Season 3 finale airs Thursday at 10/9c on Bravo.