Real Housewives of New York star Ramona Singer was a "key player” behind-the-scenes in having cast member Countess Luann de Lesseps demoted from being a full-time to part-time cast member on the hit Bravo reality show, RadarOnline.com has exclusively been told.
Noticeably absent from a recently released cast photo was Big Apple veteran De Lesseps, 48, who we reported will now appear less-frequently in the season.
Dished one source: "Ramona has been trying to get Luann off the show for years. The two have been at each other's throats for years. Ramona saw an opportunity to pounce when Luann was in a contract stand-off with Bravo. She pointed out that Luann had no storyline since she and her much younger boyfriend had broken up."
"In Ramona's opinion, Luann didn't bring anything to the show and was only dragging it down,” added the production insider.
"Ramona is now acting like the queen bee on the show!"
The Countess put a different spin on why she would be having a much smaller role on the show moving forward, declaring: “I just made the decision to step back so I can spend more time doing my things with business and my family."
RadarOnline.com has learned De Lesseps will be missing from the first three episodes of the new season because she hadn’t signed her contract with Bravo by the time cameras started rolling on season six.
Adding to the drama is newcomer Kristen Taekman, the 36-year-old model and mother-of-two who is married to EBOOST co-founder Josh Taekman.
Said our source: “Privately, it's killing Luann that she won't be a series regular. She loved being on the show and wanted to use it as a vehicle to promote her singing career and books."