Kelly Bensimon

Courtesy of Tesla Group

Don't count Kelly Bensimon out just yet.

Just because she won't be returning to The Real Housewives of New York City, that doesn't mean she's done with reality television.

In Bensimon's first interview since news broke that she was one of the four stars that Bravo didn't ask back, she tells me...

She's mulling over other television projects. "I get approached all the time about doing different shows and everyone always has a different angle," Bensimon says.

"But this is the time for a bigger and better deal, I'm not going to lie," she continues. "Whoever gives me the greatest deal that is synonymous with my brand, that's something I want to do."

Original cast members LuAnn DeLesseps and Ramona Singer will be back next season as will Sonja Morgan. Bensimon, Jill Zarin, Alex McCord and Cindy Barshop will reportedly be replaced by journalist Carole Radziwill (she is the widow of Jackie Onassis' late nephew, Anthony), fashion designer Heather Thomson and Aviva Drescher, a wife of a Wall Street exec and a mom of three.

Bensimon pauses when I ask if she's "sad" about not returning. "Sad is a big word," she said. "When my dog died, I was sad. You know, nothing lasts forever...I really want to stress that the show isn't about Kelly Bensimon. It's about my intersection with different women of New York City. It was a really heavy learning curve."

Forever the optimist, Bensimon says, "Change is good. In adverse situations—and I've dealt with so many adverse situations [on the show]—I've always opened the door and came out smiling. Tomorrow is a new day."

Here's hoping Bensimon's tomorrow is lined with satchels of gold—or at least some gummy bears.

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