Real Housewives of New York Casting Drama

Bravo execs yanked an offer to New York socialite Annie Churchill to appear on season 5 of “The Real Housewives of New York City.”

The NY Post is reporting that Annie Churchill was on a short list of contenders to be added to the newly revamped 5th season. Producers then discovered in August her husband Andrew Albert was arrested and charged with grand larceny and fraud after several investors accused him of using over $600,000 collected for a proposed online-shopping website On1Ave.com for personal expenses.

Bravo had been looking for new cast members for the fifth season after dumping “Housewives” regulars Jill Zarin, Kelly Bensimon, Alex McCord and Cindy Barshop. Sources told Page Six that Annie was offered a spot on the reality show to join remaining cast members Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, Ramona Singer and Sonja Morgan.

Sources said the network wanted to avoid involvement with anyone facing criminal charges, particularly after the Russell Armstrong tragedy during filming of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”

Michael Farkas a lawyer for Andrew confirmed that Bravo decided not cast Annie in the wake of what happened adding that his client is completely innocent and currently working to fight the charges, which he claims are “baseless.” Although Annie is not included in the cast full-time, her rep is claiming she may still make a small appearance in the upcoming season.

Bravo is not commenting on the latest gossip. “We haven’t finished shooting this season yet, so we haven’t made any kind of casting decisions for season five yet,” a rep for the network stated.

New cast members Carole Radziwill, fashion designer Heather Thomson and Aviva Drescher are currently filming the new season.

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