Kelly Bensimon, The Real Housewives of New York City

Bravo/Andrew Eccles

If the original five castmembers of The Real Housewives of New York City weren't enough personality for you, Bravo has gone and added a sixth into the mix.

Her name is Kelly Killoren Bensimon.

So who is this Kelly? The leggy beauty is many things.

She's a model, author, magazine editor, fashion designer and an equestrian. She's also a single mom to her two daughters with her ex-husband, world renowned fashion and celebrity photographer Gilles Bensimon.

In other words, Bensimon was a boldfaced name in NYC way before RHNYC came calling. So why on earth did she sign up to join Bethenny Frankel, Luann de Lesseps, Alex McCord, Ramona Singer and Jill Zarin for the series’ second season?

I caught up with Bensimon during a recent trip to Build-A-Bear with her daughters to get some answers.

Why are you doing Real Housewives of New York City?
Everybody wants to know that. I thought it was a great opportunity to explore a single working mother who is living and navigating the crazy city of New York.

When you're first introduced on the show, Bethenny says that, unlike the other women on the show, you're a real socialite. That you're the real deal. You agree?
I don't think of myself as a socialite. I think of Nan Kempner as a socialite. If you say I'm anywhere near her, I'm incredibly flattered, but you know, I'm a mother, writer and an equestrian. That's who I am. I don't like to give people titles.

What did your friends have to say when you told them you were the new Housewife?
Some were like, this is a great opportunity and you should go for it. They're like, you have such a crazy vivacious personality the masses are going to love you. But other friends were like, what are you doing? Don't do it. Putting your life on television? It's not like I'm doing anything I'm ashamed of. You know, I'm riding horses and writing articles and hanging out with my kids.

Have you become good friends with any of the original Housewives?
I think they're all really great, unique women. I had a lot of fun doing the show.

So did you have any good fights with any of them?
There are definitely some altercations. You know, this is New York City, so it gets a little feisty. But, you know, that’s par for the course. You can't have six dynamic magnetic personalities and not have something happen.

Are we going to see any romance for you on the show?
There is a little romance. There's a smokin'-hot romance.

Is the smokin'-hot guy still around?
I'm single. I'm newly single and I've just been dating around. I got married when I was really young, so it's just been really fun, but it's also uncharted waters for me. Also, the bar is different this time. It's not like I can just go out on a date whenever I want. I have my two girls to think of. The first time I meet someone, I'm like, who are you? What do you do? And where do you come from? [Laughs.]

Were you filmed on any of your dates?
I would never put a date on camera. I think that would scar a relationship. It's like, I love you, can you be on TV with me? And if he did say yes, I would be like, I don't want to talk to you.

Did your ex-husband have any problem with your daughters being on the show?
He knows that I would never do anything that is inappropriate or put them in a situation that I wouldn't put them in normally. He knows exactly how I stand with them. I mean, we’re at Build-A-Bear right now—on a Friday night!

The second season of RHNYC premieres tonight on Bravo.

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