“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive”
Sir Walter Scott, (1771-1832)
UPDATE July 12th, 2011 9:30am EDT – Thank you for your comments over the last five days. Comments are now closed.
I have watched, read & listened, sometimes with horror, as Jill Zarin has slandered, libeled and maligned me and/or Alex over the past three years but this past week has really been something else. You saw in the 4.14 episode of Real Housewives of New York City which aired in the US on July 7th, 2011 a sit down talk between Jill & me, with Bobby in attendance and Alex joining towards the end. For those that are interested you can find a transcript of that scene here.
This scene was recorded on January 8th, 2011, (hence Kelly & me wishing each other Happy New Year, (Photos of Sonja’s Burlesque event at Getty Images) and was a follow up to the scene at Kiss & Fly on December 8th, 2010 (Photos of that night here) between Jill & I where we had initially agreed to meet before Jill decided after consultation with Kelly Bensimon to not meet, and ended with me saying “watch out”.
The very next night, December 9th, 2011, Jill & I spoke at an event hosted by Alex at Willoughby’s Camera and photos of that night are also on Getty Images, and I apologized to her for saying “watch out”, it was petty and uncalled for and I said it as I was confused and angry for her about-face, as just minutes earlier she had readily agreed to meet with me. This scene at Willoughby’s and the whole party with Nigel Barker was filmed for Real Housewives; and perhaps it will make it into the “Lost Footage” episode. Also it must be noted back at Kiss & Fly, that at no stage did I ever suggest having lunch with Jill or even that it had to be a meeting one on one. All I said was could we meet (at some to be determined time and place) Yet Jill in her Bravo blog wrote
” …..I felt a little on the spot so I said yes. Then Kelly jumped down my throat saying it was inappropriate. Was it? I didn’t know what to do so I called Bobby. He is always the voice of reason and gives me the best advice. He said to say “No.” Bobby thought it was weird for Simon to want to talk with me alone. ………Even though Simon promised not to communicate with these people anymore, enough time hadn’t passed yet for Bobby to feel comfortable for me to talk to Simon alone.”
So why did she need to twist the truth?
When Bobby came up to me at Avery’s Sweet 16 (now what date was that party held???) this was the entire conversation:
Bobby: Just today, as I was getting dressed this afternoon, they told me about an internet blog, a hate blog, hatemongers, and I was shocked…..
Simon: What’s that got to do with me?
Bobby: They told me that you are actively involved with it
Bobby: And I said that …..
Simon: Absolutely 100% not the case
Bobby: Of course, I am here to protect Jill
Simon: As you should be
Bobby: If there something that’s going on we can solve it right now
Mario: Let’s take it outside
Bobby: You know, both of you know I surround myself with good people. We’re going to say this, peace, love, health, good friends and that’s what we are all about. Do we have an understanding? It’s all good? You’re on my page?
Bobby: Shake on it? Because I know that Jill & Alex all have it straightened out.
You see Bobby & me shake hands
Now let’s see these tangled webs be woven. In Jill’s BravoTV.com blog for that episode she wrote:
In the final scene of the episode you see Bobby, Simon, and Mario at the bar. Bobby had been hearing from multiple sources that Simon was heavily engaging in mean tweeting of Kelly and me. Bobby rarely interferes with any of this as he generally thinks it’s all nonsense. Bobby on his own felt that he needed to have an adult conversation with Simon asking him nicely to stop this behavior. Simon agreed and shook Bobby’s hand. Clearly, Simon was not sincere and is still mean tweeting the both of us.
This is an outright fabrication. Also note that she asserts that I am still mean tweeting her; presumably in June 2011. There was no discussion between Bobby and me that night about mean tweeting (nor has there even been such a discussion on camera or off). Bobby spoke to me about a ‘hate’ blog and said that he’d been told that I was actively involved with it. I am not and never have been. The fact that Jill is now trying to change the subject when the facts don’t support her (or Bobby’s) assertion is interesting but as can be seen from the above transcript it’s false. Not one mention of Twitter, tweeting or heaven forbid, ‘mean tweeting’ was mentioned by Bobby. Why did Jill need to lie in her blog?
Incidentally who’s is the ‘they’ who are talking to Bobby while he’s getting dressed? LOL
Alex addressed this ‘hate’ blog in her 4.13 BravoTV.com blog
Let me try to shed some light. There’s a blog out in cyberspace that isn’t complimentary to Jill. If you read Bravo blogs, chances are you know it or have heard of it. A year ago, Simon and I were on our book tour, and stopped in Chicago, where the founder of the blog is based. The blogger attended one of our book signings, and had contacted us via our website prior to our arrival — asking that if a meet and greet for local bloggers and fans were to be organized by them, would we attend? We discussed it, ran it by our publisher and agreed that a blogger and fan event was good outreach, and attended the event after our signing in June of 2010. We took fan photos and discussed the book and the show.
I don’t know how that translates into Simon or me being investors, content writers, posters, or even members of the blog. We don’t own it, we don’t have money in it. We don’t write for it. There is a link on the blog to a recap of the Chicago fan event held for us with pictures, and as the blog covers the whole Housewives franchise, we along with all other cast members are regularly discussed on it. That doesn’t mean we are doing the discussing.
Alex & I published a book last year and over the summer we went on a book tour to several cities; one being Chicago. Just prior to being in Chicago Alex had taped the Season 3 Reunion Special where Jill had made it very plain that she didn’t like Alex. Jill had said many things to Alex “you (Alex) & I were never friends”, “You were spread eagled in the lobby of your husband’s hotel” “I don’t think I could film with Alex next season” and so on and so on, so yes, let me be honest and frank; Jill wasn’t in our good books. While we were on our book tour we tried to meet as many fans as possible and just as we were planning our Chicago trip I received this tweet:
And I replied
@Simonvankempen Who’s booking out (sic) dinner?
@Simonvankempen: So organize it.
She then asked if she organized it would we attend and I replied?
After the book signing about 40 people moved from the Barnes & Noble to a local bar. Lynn Hudson wrote about it at the time; see here as did another blogger, Absurd2Sublime who was in attendance and here’s her report . Neither of those reports of the evening showed that anything particularly untoward was said by either Alex or me. Nor do you see us attacking Jill.
And that was that.
In September shortly before filming for the 4th season started, Lynn Hudson emailed me asking that I advertise on her new radio show and also give her an interview. I declined on both counts although Sonja Morgan agreed in December 2010 to be interviewed and you can listen to Sonja’s interview here. Has anyone heard Jill accuse Sonja of supporting the haters? No, I didn’t think so. Jill’s selective like that.
In mid-October I received a phone call from a NYC resident who apparently was a regular commenter on Lynn Hudson’s blog and was now assisting Lynn on some business matters, during this call she also asked me to advertise on the new radio show. On the phone I said to her that I wouldn’t & couldn’t during the filming cycle but I would reconsider after filming was over. My statement was akin to many we’ve all made when being cold called for money; often I reply to those calls, “no, I can’t at present”, as it seems less rude than stating outright, ‘no’. As the conversation continued we discovered that we knew many people in common including Henry Buehl who runs the SoHo Partnership (now known as ACE), that LuAnn has featured on the show over two seasons now. This woman is a very successful NYC businesswoman and we had quite a long friendly chat, she was charming and we hit it off. Over the ensuing weeks we chatted occasionally and had discussed meeting at some time. The morning of the New York City marathon (November 7th, 2010) Francois & I were over watching the marathon runners on 4th Avenue in Brooklyn and I received a call from her, later that day Alex & I were having a joint birthday for Francois & Johan, and as we were having several adults and friends of ours attending as well, I asked Alex if she minded if I also invited this woman over. Alex agreed that it would be fine, and so I did. I didn’t know that her visit to our house would end up being posted on Lynn Hudson’s blog (it was a private party in our home) and we weren’t exactly thrilled that it was but we also have nothing to hide. To be fair she did email her blog to me for my approval but by the time I eventually saw the draft it had already been posted. You can read her report here (take note that most of our friends aren’t RHoNY watchers and in fact we tend to not discuss the show very much at all.)
And thus we come back to Bobby’s question of me and my support for the ‘hate’ blog. It turns out that this woman who came to our sons’ birthday party, and since then we’ve gone to the theatre with her, had dinner with her husband and her at their apartment, attended two separate events for the Ace Partnership with her and which LuAnn attended as well, has known the Zarin family for years. And it’s my guess that the catalyst for Bobby speaking to me was this woman’s attendance at our son’s birthday party, although at the time he was told I am pretty certain that he didn’t know that this was one & the same person. Back in the 1970’s Bobby’s father Harry Zarin had been her client and she gave him professional investment advice. In addition she had been a client of Zarin Fabrics since that time and had had them provide drapes for three separate apartments of hers. Plus in July or August 2010 she & Bobby had had a very long and cordial telephone conversation about his father and how their lives had crossed paths over the years.
When Jill and I sat down and talked the only apology that I made and frankly, the only thing I had to apologize for was for stating, in confusion & anger, “watch out” and that’s why the only time the word apology came out of my mouth was when I said ”Again, I apologize for what I said”.
About two weeks after Jill and I sat down (and don’t you just love how we both seemed to be at peace that night yet her talking head interviews that were interspersed within it showed a completely different Jill than the one I sat down with?), she was heading off to Chicago to attend an event to promote her book. Jill & I had spoken that night about my involvement (or rather lack thereof) in this ‘hate’ blog and I knew that this blog’s existence upset her, particularly as she had told me that it was costing her endorsement deals. I don’t know that it was, but that’s what she told me. Initially Jill was going to Chicago in December but her flight was cancelled due to a snow storm. In December I had emailed Lynn about meeting with Jill & also spoken to Jill about it, but as the event was cancelled, the meeting never happened. So with her January trip pending, I decided that I’d again try to broker a meeting between them and so I emailed Jill and she replied:
——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Re: Lynn Hudson wants to meet you.
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2011 20:03:13 -0500
From: Jill Zarin
To: Simon van Kempen
Call me home when you get a chance. Jill
On Jan 21, 2011, at 5:48 PM, Simon van Kempen wrote:
Lynn Hudson emailed me today seeing if I can orchestrate a meeting between you.
It’s completely up to you of course but I think the best chance you have of changing her blog’s name is convincing her in person.
See below email from Lynn:
“I noticed that Jill has rescheduled her trip to Chicago for this Sunday and I remember you asking me about keeping an open mind if you were able to set something up for me to meet her. Is that still a possibility? I would love to meet her in person and I would be nothing but objective and completely open minded.
I don’t know when she’s flying in but if she’d give me 20-minutes over a cup of coffee on Saturday or Sunday before her event (or diet Coke in her case) it could be well worth her time. Is this something you’d consider trying to set up or are we past thinking that is possible?”
I called Jill, as she requested, and we had a very long chat but in the end Jill decided against meeting with Lynn as she felt doing so would be a reward to Lynn. If you follow me on Twitter you know that I often engage with my negative tweeters and try to win them over. If these two women had met would this ’hate’ blog have changed, who knows? But I still think to this day that nothing bad would have come out of this meeting.
Now let’s catch up to the current day. What has transpired between Jill and me in the 5 months since this scene was filmed where we sat and talked and wished a happy new year to each other?
Have I advertised on that blog she hates so much? No.
Have I given an interview to that blogger’s radio show? No, although I did call in to her radio show on May 26th, 2011 and spoke for less than a minute.
Did I get very upset when the first episode aired that Jill would call Alex a “fucking bitch” on national television and accuse her of attending a party that was socially above her? Damn right I did.
Was I critical on Twitter about it? Yes, damn right I was.
Did I say that what she said about Alex was vile & disgusting? I’m pretty certain I did. This is what she must mean about mean tweeting. But remember this happened in April 2011 long after principal (but not talking head) photography was over.
Just this past week Jill has spent a lot of the time when she’s been on TV morning shows and almost the whole 30 minutes she was on her sister’s radio show last Friday making outlandish accusations about me & and threats to me, about cyber bullying, mean tweeting and so on all the while failing to produce one scintilla of evidence to back up her continued lies.
Watch her here on WPIX at the 2:48 mark
On Friday July 1st, Jill called into her sister’s radio show and spent almost the entire time talking about me. Listening to this it’s surprising that Lisa Wexler, who is an attorney by training, would allow her own sister to make slanderous allegations about me and others on the public airways. The recording of this radio show runs 22 minutes and so I have split it into 2 sections:
This is the first 12 minutes
and here are the last 10
In her extended blog that she posts on her own website she also added this:
It appears on the show that the only issue was what Simon was tweeting. That is not entirely accurate. Simon has hosted a person who has stalked me at my home and office, in their home for one of the boy’s birthday parties. He knew exactly who she was, as he met her through another person who has seriously threatened my family to the point we had to call the police and postal service security. For them to deny it now is simply ridiculous as there is a paper trail a mile long thanks to my cyber assistants. As usual Bobby’s instincts were right. My cyber assistants later discovered that Alex actually attended my anti-bullying luncheon the day after she and Simon entertained someone they knew to be my stalker, in their home. Not someone who just stalked me, but was also accused of stalking a former employee of hers. How would you feel?
I went over and told Simon how I really felt about it. I was kind and gentle. I was NOT at all aggressive. Simon was not happy to say the least and actually THREATENED ME! He told me to watch out!! Watch out??? What the heck did that mean? Simon is over 6 feet tall and is an imposing figure. Was he going to hit me? What man threatens a woman? You would never see Bobby say that to a woman, ever. What he meant was that he was going to continue to support people that have stalked my family and sent me personal threats through the mail. Cyber-bullying is an overused word that is defined differently by anyone you ask. It means using the Internet to foster hate. Most of last season and during the time we filmed this season, Simon was doing a lot of that. After he was called out on it by Bobby at Avery’s party, I was informed that he deleted his most egregious tweets. I will not tolerate bad behavior from children, so why would I tolerate it from grown adults? The fact that we are co-workers makes it so much worse. Simon has crossed the line and Alex can’t control him.
I’m a little confused about Alex’s opinion about what’s going on with Simon. First she says if someone is not friends with Simon, she can’t be friends with them. Yet when Kelly confronted her about Simon she says they are two separate people and she wants no part of it. Sounds like a contradiction to me, what do you think? She then suggests that Kelly take it up with Simon directly. Why wouldn’t Alex film a scene with Simon asking him to respect her cast mates wishes and “back off”? First Sonja had a problem, then I had a problem and now Kelly. Why doesn’t Alex deliver “that” message?
Alex has eluded in her blog once again that somehow I was responsible for Simon losing his job. Last summer Simon gave a press release stating that he resigned to start his own company. Which is it? I recently met a friend of the owner of the hotel Simon worked for who told me exactly what happened. If Alex wants to continue to blame me, I will share exactly what he told me really happened.
Here Jill makes all sorts of accusations which is an easy thing to do yet where is any evidence of this stalking? In the above radio interview she talks about how people have taken photos of themselves outside her home and business? Alex & I live in a house and not in an apartment building with a doorman, we often have people who come to our house and take pictures and don’t consider it stalking. Note how Jill isn’t accusing anyone of trying to enter her building just that they took photos outside it as well as in front of her business; presumably Zarin Fabrics. If that’s stalking then she really does have a persecution complex.
She also writes that Alex alluded in her blog that she was responsible for me losing my job. Alex didn’t write that at all, it’s not in her blog so again Jill is making things up. Alex has intimated that Jill’s attacks on me were designed to hurt my career and let’s face it her running to Cindy Adams at the New York Post and having Cindy Adams write about me as a falling down drunk certainly wasn’t going to make me look good in the eyes of any employer. So yes, Jill you have tried to damage my career. However, I didn’t lose my job but am interested in your little threat. You state that you met a friend of the owner and he told you what happened and then you proceed to threaten to out this information if Alex continues to blame you. Petty much?
And so we come to today Friday, July 8th and Jill for once has gotten her Bravo blog in almost on time; and she writes this “I want to end all of this bickering about mean tweets. Bobby and I both talked to Simon about our relationship and hope we can finally move to a more positive place. I decided to not publish or talk anymore about the hate and move on to more positive and interesting things that we are all doing. Honestly? It is so juvenile.”
When did she decide this? If she had decided this when we sat & talked her subsequent blogs and interviews certainly don’t reflect that. Honestly yes, some of it is juvenile but she’s the one who’s been making slanderous accusations against me and now, when she realizes that she’s losing the argument with the wider viewing audience she is now backtracking. Maybe for once her cyber assistants have realized that she’s actually losing more fans and have gotten through to Jill.
I foreshadowed on Twitter early Thursday morning that I would be writing this blog post and you can bet that she or her cyber assistants saw my tweet. She’s now trying to have the last word and dismiss it all as childish, yet you haven’t seen me attacking her in the press and on this occasion she’s not getting the last word.
Anyway, I have a funny feeling that this won’t be the last of it as I have a sneaking suspicion that it just might come up at the reunion. Let’s see what evidence she produces, if any?
Two more episodes to go before the Reunion airs, and that should be interesting. Feel free to post comments and questions and I will do my best to answer as many as possible. Remember, as I told Jill I have nothing to hide.
This was posted Thursday Night July 7th, 2011 at 11pm
I have a lot to say about this episode and haven’t quite gotten it all written yet however in the meantime take a look at this transcript of the conversation between Jill & me from tonight’s episode. And when you read it ask yourself whether the person giving the talking head interviews is the same person that I sat down with at Sonja’s Burlesque party. One was nice and wanting to put past misdeeds behind her and the other……..well, you decide.
Feel free to comment here and make sure you check back late Friday when I will detail as much as I can do to refute her baseless accusation on Cyber bullying, mean tweets and ‘hate’ blogs.
As I said to Jill that night, I have nothing to hide. And Hide I Won’t.