The Real Housewives franchise has announced its newest star — and she already has Cynthia Bailey's stamp of approval.
On Thursday, PEOPLE confirmed that lawyer and TV host Eboni K. Williams had signed on to join the cast of The Real Housewives of New York City as the show's first Black star. Speaking to PEOPLE, Real Housewives of Atlanta star Bailey, 53, says it's "amazing" news.
"Wow, I'm just finding out now," the supermodel says. "I lived in New York for many years before I moved to Atlanta, and I've always thought — and a lot of my friends have been on New York, and are New York-like. I've always felt New York is so diverse. I always thought the one thing that was missing from New York was actually having an African-American woman on the show."
And Bailey's fiancé Mike Hill, who works at Fox Sports 1 out of Los Angeles, knows Williams personally.
"Eboni's a friend of mine," Hill, 50, tells PEOPLE. "So that's great. She's smart, she's articulate. Obviously she does a lot of shows, she does a lot of broadcast, she's a lawyer. She's going to add a lot to that show. I've never watched that show before, but whatever Eboni does, she adds a lot to it, so she's going to be a great asset."
Williams, 37, is currently the host and executive producer of Revolt Black News. She also has hosting credits on Fox Sports, Fox News Channel, NBA 2K and more.
"NYC is filled with successful and dynamic Black women. I'm excited to join this legendary franchise as the first Black housewife," she said in a statement on Thursday. "Can't wait to share a slice of life in this city that hasn't been seen before. Anyone who's aware of my work knows I don't hold back. I'm going to keep it just as real here as I do everywhere else."
In an interview with Essence, she added that she was "thrilled" and "honored" by the opportunity. "This franchise historically has not had a Black lens and now it will for the first time in 13 years," she said. "It is my great hope that my presence on this show will just do it justice. Do Black women justice. Do our culture justice. I can only hope to touch on the magic that are Black women."
Williams will be joining returning Housewives Luann de Lesseps, 55, Ramona Singer, 63, Sonja Morgan, 56, and Leah McSweeney, 38.
Her addition comes after Tinsley Mortimer and Dorinda Medley exited the show. Mortimer, 45, left RHONY mid-season to move to Chicago to be with her now-fiancé Scott Kluth, and Medley, 55, announced her departure in August after five seasons. (She recently revealed that she was not asked back by Bravo.)
"One thing I take very seriously is meeting each one of these women in a real-life, authentic capacity — not bringing any preconceptions [based on] what I may or may not have seen on television before as a viewer or a fan," Williams told Essence of her costars. "These women are now a part of my real life, and a part of my real world, and I welcome all that comes with that. All the ups, all the downs, and all the bumps along the way."
Williams' casting comes after actress Garcelle Beauvais, 53, joined The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills for season 10 this year, becoming the first Black Housewife in a predominantly white cast.
The Real Housewives of Potomac and RHOA historically feature all-Black casts, with the exception of original RHOA star Kim Zolciak-Biermann, who left for her own spinoff, Don't Be Tardy, in 2012.
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