Real Housewives of New York star Carole Radizwill would like to set the record straight. She didn't have a ghostwriter for "What Remains," her bestselling memoir, contrary to what Aviva Drescher told the world in the second episode of the sixth season of RHONY.
In the episode, Aviva, who revealed in the first episode of the season that she got a book deal for a memoir, meets with Carole for lunch and blindsides the Emmy-winning journalist with reported gossip that she used a ghostwriter to pen her bestseller. Then Aviva takes that "news" to all the other ladies of New York.
"Let's just say what Aviva calls ‘silly show drama' or whatever—however she characterizes it—the entire legal community calls slander," Carole told E! News. "So no, I wasn't happy to see that on television. But I was very weary of Aviva going into this season and it was not an unpopular feeling among the group. Let me be clear, let me break it down. Aviva is on a reality show, she got a book deal and she hired a ghostwriter. It's not that complicated. I do not use a ghostwriter. I never have. I think it's clear in the show that she has little understanding of publishing and very clear that she has little respect for single, working women. She doesn't know the difference between a writer, an editor and a ghostwriter...She has very little understanding and rightly so, it's not her profession. I don't know why she went on the show claiming to suddenly be a writer. Still, to this day, I don't understand that. I don't know what her problem was with me."
In the episode, the two met for lunch to discuss Aviva's book, "Leggy Blonde," and her process in writing the memoir. Then things got weird. "She was very insulting at lunch and very demeaning of my work and sort of generally acting really strange. I still, to this day, don't see what I said that would trigger her to make up these lies and go behind my back," Carole said. "She lied when she told me she didn't hire a writer. When she said that in the scene I was a little taken aback because I thought she was going to bring that process, whatever it is, on camera and promote her book."
Carole said Aviva continued to lie to the other women on the show, especially when she said she wrote the book like writing a long email. "No offense to people who write long emails, I'm sure they're fascinating, but it's not like writing a book," Carole said with a laugh.
"She asked me to help her find a writer to work with, and I did. Under the umbrella of no good deed goes unpunished, I wish I had never gotten involved with it at all," she said. "But again, it's not about books, it's about behavior. She has a destructive pattern of character assassination and we've all seen it and I just feel like I was her latest target.
"To divert attention from her own lies, she made these ridiculous accusations about me. I think it was completely unprovoked. I asked a very innocent question. I thought she was going to bring that process on camera and clearly she wanted the world to think of her as a writer," she said. "I suppose she was looking for a way to promote her book, and I understand that, and she knew by attacking me she'd get a lot of airtime, and she did."
Aviva said Carole worked with former Atlantic Monthly and New Yorker editor Bill Whitworth as the ghostwriter on "What Remains." In reality, Carole said she met him late in the publishing process. "I hired him to do copyediting, even though it is so beneath him and I even hate to say that because he is one of the most well-respected, esteemed, legendary editors in all of publishing," she said. "I was lucky to work with him and it's just unfortunate that she—I don't know where she got that."
According to Aviva, her publisher told her about Carole's ghostwriter. Carole said Aviva's publisher is a professional colleague and personal friend and would never say that and has since apologized for even having her association with it brought up. "This wasn't like an emotional tirade [where] she called me ‘white trash,' this is a very calculated and manipulative attempt to spread this gossip as a way to divert attention from what she was saying.
"So Aviva Drescher is a writer now and I'm not, so it's hilarious. I don't want to demean myself much further by giving her ridiculous accusations any more seriousness than they deserve," she continued. "But, I signed up for a reality show, not an altered reality show. Aviva can be very nice when you're going along with her agenda. But if you don't, whatever, thank her husband enough, or don't give her the support she feels entitled to or you call her out for being less than honest, she can become a very, very unpleasant person and we've all seen it—everyone in the group has seen it—and everyone was weary of her."
The episode ended with the two of them hashing it out at Aviva's housewarming party, but the drama continues into the third episode. It picks up right where the second ends with the two still arguing. As viewers have seen in the preview, things escalate and Carole attempts to leave down the stairs.
"I'm trying to get away from her going down the stairs and I touch her chin…She says ‘Don't touch me.' I just want to be clear. As for touching her chin, do I regret it? No. She was verbally assaulting me, she was making very disparaging remarks about my family, and she was screaming that I had abandoned her and her children. It was crazy and kind of much like you would do to a toddler who's having a temper tantrum, to get their attention, that's what I did. I wanted to slap her across the face like Cher in Moonstruck, but I didn't think it'd be ladylike…I might have an aristocratic last name, but I'm all Italian. Don't mess with me. Say I'm a shitty writer, but don't make up lies. It's very, very disturbing."
Real Housewives of New York airs Tuesdays, 9 p.m. on Bravo.
(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)