Jeff Lewis Calls Jill Zarin ‘Thirsty’ but Defends Her Over ‘RHOC’ Return Feud With Tamra Judge

Bravo’s Jeff Lewis was put in the hot seat on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen when he named Jill Zarin from The Real Housewives of New York City as the thirstiest Housewife.

He had to choose between Zarin, Vicki Gunvalson, and Dorinda Medley – all three he considers to be close friends. Despite naming Zarin, Lewis defended her after Tamra Judge came for her after she revealed Judge was returning to The Real Housewives of Orange County.

Jeff Lewis defended Jill Zarin when Tamra Judge got angry at her

Instead of saying Zarin was “thirsty” Lewis simply said on the After Show, “I think Jill would like to be back.”

Jill Zarin poses at a luncheon holding a large bouquet of flowers
Jill Zarin | Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Host Andy Cohen asked Lewis for his thoughts on how angry Judge was at Zarin for spilling. “I defended Jill,” Lewis said. “Because there were a lot of reports this was happening, that Tamra was coming back. And then she announced it.”

Cohen said that Zarin actually confirmed the rumor. “I know,” Lewis said. “But I feel like we all knew about it. We all heard about it. Jill talked about it. Tamra was very angry about it. I actually spoke to Tamra about it. But I don’t blame Jill.”

Even Cynthia Bailey thinks Jill Zarin should return to ‘RHONY’

Co-guest Cynthia Bailey from The Real Housewives of Atlanta confirmed she also heard the rumor that Judge was returning. Adding about Zarin, “And she’d love to come back [laughs].”

Cohen recalled that at one point Zarin asked Bailey to call him to “petition” for her return. Lewis asserted that Zarin is a “great” Housewife too. Cohen rolled his eyes and said, “I know!”

“She’s a really kind person,” Lewis said. Cohen shook his head, sharing “You don’t have to sell me on Jill.”

“Jill honestly means well,” Bailey said. “She’s really a nice lady.” Lewis joined Bailey’s remarks about Zarin and added again that she’d like to be back on RHONY. Cohen said he had no argument with Lewis.

Why was Tamra Judge mad at Jill Zarin?

The notion that Zarin was “thirsty” to return to RHONY took on a life of its own when Medley went after her on The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip Ex-Wives for asking to sit in on Eva Marcille’s radio show. Laster, on WWHL, Taylor Armstrong and Brandi Glanville from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills referred to Zarin as being thirsty.

So after Zarin shared the news that Judge was going to return, Judge slammed her. Judge tweeted, “Go f*** yourself @JillZarin! You thirsty b****!” Then Judge made a video captioned, “I have an announcement.”

Judge said in her video, “Hey guys, I have a big announcement. Jill is the thirstiest b**** I’ve ever met.” 

Zarin later addressed Judge’s anger in an Instagram video, sharing that she had no malice behind her remarks. “I use an expression often, breaking news but it doesn’t mean that there’s anything breaking that wasn’t broken to me,” she said. “And I have read online that Vicki was not coming back and Tamra was. And I said that. I just repeated what I had read. I don’t have any inside information. Nobody talks to me at Bravo. I know absolutely nothing.”

Adding,  “I just repeated the news that was already printed. So I don’t know why Tamra attacked me today, calling me a thirsty b****. Thirsty about what? We’re so happy for you! Congratulations.”

RELATED: ‘RHOC’: Tamra Judge Slams Jill Zarin – Tells Her to ‘Go F*** Yourself’ After Spill