The Real Housewives franchise tends to sequester their casts of spritzer-swilling, rhinestone-body-con-dress wearing female stars along racial lines. Their Beverly Hills, Orange County, New York and New Jersey women have all been white. Atlanta, with the exception of former cast member Kim Zolciak, was black. The Miami cast, primarily Hispanic. The short-lived D.C. spinoff featured mostly white characters, particularly striking in a majority-black city.
But this may be on its way to changing, since It's now rumored that Baroness Monica Von Neumann, widow of the millionaire Volkswagen importer Baron John Von Neumann, has been talking to Bravo's producers about joining the cast of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
She would be replacing the recently departed Adrienne Maloof. Von Neumann, whose husband passed away of cancer in 2003 after 26 years of marriage, is a scented candle entrepreneur who's been referred to as "the black Martha Stewart" (although Her background as a working class kid sounds more Sandra Lee than Martha-esque). Born Monica Jones in Detroit, her family moved to L.A. when she was five. She was introduced to her late husband by Sonny Bono in Palm Springs in the early '80s.
While no official offer's on the table yet, a source says that "[The meeting] went really well. She had them cracking up. The producers asked about her past, where she lived, and why she's a Baroness. They appear to really love the idea of having her on the show."
Von Neumann also just filmed a separate reality pilot about her life for E! Here's hoping that even though she's nobility, she won't be as insufferable as Countess LuAnn de Lesseps of Real Housewives of New York. (There's only so many times you can refer to your husband as "the Count" without making me want to puke in your Loboutin.)
'A Real ‘Royal' Housewife? Hollywood's Baroness Monica Von Neumann In Talks To Join RHOBH' [Radar Online]
'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in Talks With Baroness Monica Van Neumann to Join Cast' [E!]