'Real Housewives' Kelly Bensimon & Jill Zarin sympathize with Danielle Staub

Kellybensimon The most hated member of "The Real Housewives of New York" cast, Kelly Bensimon, wants people to give her New Jersey counterpart, Danielle Staub, a second chance.

Chatting with People at yesterday's Gracie Awards in NYC, Bensimon weighed in on Staub's insane past, which includes an arrest on charges of kidnapping and extortion. "Everybody deserves a second chance," she said. "If you've made a mistake in life, you have two choices, you can either sit in the Lazy-Boy and eat popcorn and talk about it, or you can get out and do something fun. And I think that's what she's doing. I like her courage."

Jill Zarin, one of the more well-liked New York women, had words of sympathy as well: "This is something that happened a long time ago. It's dead and buried in her real life, and it should never have been brought up. But because she's on a reality show, if you've been arrested and have a record, it's going to come out. If you're divorced, it's going to come out. If you've lied about things, it's going to come out."

Zarin, however, was not shy about condemning Staub's inappropriate on-camera behavior, especially given that she's a mother to two young girls: "There are so many other things her kids should be upset with her about, [like] asking a 25-year-old to come into the bathroom with her [and using] profanity when they were out by the restaurant, which I'm not a big fan of."

Of course, the van Kempens were around to add their two cents as well. "I hope she knew that when you go on a reality show, everything that ever happened in your past is going to come straight up," said Alex McCord who dealt with nude photos of herself surfacing online last year after the first "Real Housewives of New York" season. "[Danielle] made some mistakes, but she was very young. It was the innocence of youth," Simon offered.

The Countess, however, was on her usual high horse, recalling her first encounter with Staub. "She walked up to me at a Reality Cares party and said, 'Countess, we have to talk' and I looked at her and said, 'About what? What could we possibly have to talk about?,'" LuAnn shared. Sounds like she was pulling a bitchy Bensimon, no?

"But maybe she wanted my advice," LuAnn continued. "In retrospect, I think maybe she really needed to talk to me. Maybe she was going to ask me who my lawyer is. I think if I had that kind of a past, an arrest, if I had any skeletons in my closet, I don't think I'd be on a reality show."

Hmm, wonder what Ramona's opinion is...

Oh, wait, no I don't.

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