Leah McSweeney quickly made a name for herself when she joined the cast of The Real Housewives of New York City last August for season 12 but could her debut season be her last?
According to a new report, Leah’s future with the Bravo series is far from guaranteed after the Married to the Mob founder received a low-ball offer from the network to return to the show for season 13.
On September 15, TMZ revealed that after confirming she is now being represented by powerhouse talent agency, WME, Leah is reportedly holding out when it comes to her potential contract for the new episodes.
After describing Leah as a fan favorite, the outlet noted that she could be one-and-done if Bravo doesn’t agree to up their offer after reportedly presenting their newest cast member with a “minuscule” pay raise for her sophomore season, which made the newbie feel completely disrespected.
Currently, Leah is said to be waiting for Bravo to present her with a new offer that she believes is more deserving considering what she brought to the show during its 12th season. And, if they fail to do so, she will reportedly not hesitate to walk away from the series completely.
As for the offer Bravo allegedly presented to Leah, TMZ told readers it quite similar to her contract for season 12, which paid her just $3,000 per episode, for a supposed grand total of $60,000 for the entire season.
While Leah hasn’t directly addressed her potential exit from the show, she sparked rumors of a series departure on Instagram when she removed the show’s hashtag from her bio.
Bravo is Reportedly Cutting the High Salaries of the Real Housewives
Earlier this year, it was noted that after years of spending millions of dollars on their talent for the Real Housewives, Bravo was planning to make cuts.
“Bravo has rolled out a new talent agreement which doesn’t guarantee the ladies will be featured in every episode,” an insider told Radar Online. “No one is safe. They will no longer be giving huge contracts to the returning ladies.”
According to the report, women of the Real Housewives franchise will no longer be paid for the season as a whole. Instead, they will be paid for each episode they appear on. Although it is unclear if the new system has been adapted by the executives behind each of the franchises, it was said that the ladies of The Real Housewives of New Jersey were the first to be paid on a per episode basis.
“The ladies are uneasy about the new contracts and now they know they have to deliver the drama or risk not getting paid,” the source explained. “Everyone is going to have a negotiation about their money.”
Tinsley Mortimer and Dorinda Medley Will Not Be Featured on ‘RHONY’ Season 13
In November of last year, after getting engaged to Scott Kluth after a couple of years of on and off dating, Tinsley Mortimer revealed she was leaving the show and moving to Chicago, where Scott resides.
“I, of course, am going to miss my new friendship with Leah and Sonja’s crazy antics with me,” Tinsley said during her final episode, via Us Weekly. “I have changed so much since coming back to New York and moving into Sonja’s townhouse. … It’s taken me a little bit of time, but I finally feel like myself again. I feel confident again.”
Months later, in August of this year, Dorinda took to her Instagram page to confirm that she too was leaving the series.
A short time later, Andy Cohen reacted to her departure from The Real Housewives of New York City on an episode of his Radio Andy series, Andy Cohen Live.
“She was in a bad place, her house had been flooded, her dad was sick. We lost Bethenny right as filming began and we lost Tinsley halfway through the season. So maybe Dorinda didn’t feel like she could take the year of,” Andy explained.
Throughout the 12th season of the series, Dorinda made waves with her often mean antics and heavy drinking. Then, during the reunion special, which was filmed last month in New York, she admitted that she should have taken the year off.
Looking back, Andy said that Dorinda likely should have taken some time to herself before nothing that he would love to see her return to the show at some point in the future.
“Sometimes taking a pause is a good thing and I am really hopeful that this is indeed a pause and that she would rejoin the show at some point,” Andy shared. “I think a pause is a good thing and she will come back renewed and refreshed.”
‘RHONY’ Season 13 is Expected to Have More Diversity
After years of spotlighting white women on its series, The Real Housewives of New York City is expected to return to Bravo for season 13 with at least one or two new faces. And, when it comes to the newbies, they will reportedly break the mold of what a New York housewife has looked like over the first 12 seasons.
“Bravo is planning to shake things up with The Real Housewives of New York next year,” an insider told Us Weekly last month. “There’s going to be some changes.”
According to the source, a handful of white women simply doesn’t represent what all of New York City stands for.
Leah herself has spoken out about the show’s need for diversity and did so earlier this year during an August interview with Page Six.
“I hope that there’s not only diversity of race but an even deeper diversity of where someone lives or what their interests are,” Leah shared. “I hope that there’s just more diversity all across the board because New Yorkers are not a monolith, obviously. I think that it is gonna head in that direction.”
Alicia Quarles Could Join the ‘RHONY’ as the Show’s First Black Cast Member
Back in July, months before filming on The Real Housewives of New York City‘s new season was set to begin, OK! Magazine shared a report in which it was suggested that Daily Mail TV correspondent Alicia Quarles could be added to the series for season 13.
At the time, it was noted that the former E! host was deserving of the role due to all of her accomplishments. Not only did Alicia graduate summa cum laude from the University of Southern California, she also served as the Global Entertainment and Lifestyles Editor for The Associated Press before joining the E! Network.
“Alicia deserves to be on the show because of who she is,” the magazine’s source explained. “But there is no doubt that recent events across the country provided a reckoning for television producers, and the [Real Housewives] have not been immune to that.”
While Alicia has ties to just about every member of The Real Housewives of New York City, Bravo shut down OK! Magazine’s report about her joining the cast for season 12, explaining that while she did meet with their casting department, no final decisions had been made.
“She has absolutely not been cast,” the network confirmed.
“Alicia has just simply met with the casting agency for RHONY as have numerous other women who have been recommended by the current New York housewives. That is as far as the discussion with Alicia has gone,” a source added.
The Real Housewives of New York City season 12 airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on Bravo.