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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of New York City

Who Is Jill Zarin's Daughter, Ally Shapiro?

The RHONY alum's daughter has grown up a lot since we first met her as a 14-year-old on Season 1. 

By Talia Ergas

Jill Zarin’s daughter, Allyson “Ally” Shapiro, has been in the Bravoverse since Season 1 of The Real Housewives of New York City, which premiered in 2008.

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“I have Allyson, who’s from my previous marriage, and she’s 14,” Jill explained in the show’s first episode. “Ally’s the joy of my life.”

In 2012, Ally reflected on her time on the show in a interview with Glamour.

“I was a freshman in high school when we started the show, and my family and I thought it would be similar to having a home movie," she said. "Reality shows are everywhere now, but at the time, I was the first person any of my friends knew to have everything completely exposed on television. My friends thought I was giving too much away, but my family and I just wanted to have fun and do something different."

“For the most part, filming was really fun, but sometimes I would get upset when my mom was being taken away from me to film the show," she added. "Plus, even when she was home, there would still be 20 guys in the house.”

Of course, a lot has changed for Ally over the last 15 years: Since she and Jill left RHONY, Ally graduated from college, the two opened successful businesses together, and Jill’s husband (and Ally’s stepfather), Bobby Zarin, sadly passed away in 2018. 

Ally keeps fans updated on her personal life and her day-to-day happenings via her TikTok and Instagram pages. One of the most surprising of such updates came in 2020 when Ally accidentally discovered that her father, Steven Shapiro, was not her biological father

Here’s everything you need to know about Jill’s daughter, Ally. 

Ally's Ongoing Health Struggles

Ally Shapiro and Bobby Zarin at a fabric store in New York City.

In Season 1 of RHONY, Ally checked in to a detox center on Martha's Vineyard for a dietary reset amid her battle with juvenile arthritis.

When she was 19 years old, Ally spoke with Glamour and reflected on the decision. “I went to a detox center when I was on the show,” she said. “I don't regret going, but I don't think we thought through the decision well enough. I'm a different person now than when I was 14 years old.”

In 2020, she shared more about the situation in an Instagram Story. As part of a Q&A, one of Ally's followers asked, "Did you feel shamed by your mum trying to make you lose weight when you were a child?" to which Jill responded: "I don't think I tried to shame you, do you?"

"That wasn't really the point of the detox center but that is how it came across," she said. "I think everyone's insecure, no matter what age you are."

Ally's Degrees from Vanderbilt University and Sotheby’s Institute of Art

Jill Zarin and her daughter, Ally Shapiro, pose for a photo together.

In July 2018, Jill spoke with The Daily Dish about Ally’s life after her graduation from Vanderbilt University, where she'd studied film and photography. 

After graduation, Ally tried out a few jobs "and she wasn't really satisfied," Jill shared. So it was then that she suggested that Ally go back to school. "I told Allyson, we're fortunate enough that I can afford to continue her education, and I said, 'If you want to go back to school and pursue something that you really love, [you should].'"

Ally's next move was inspired by her “incredible eye for art,” Jill noted. "What she always loved every year, Ally and I would go to Art Basel in Miami starting about eight years ago. It became our thing," Jill explained, adding that Ally always helped her pick out art and together they would attend dinners and showings. So, Ally decided to attend Sotheby's Institute of Art, where she got her Master's Degree in contemporary art at.

For her graduation in May 2019, Jill shared a touching post on Instagram. "My Ally is graduating today from Sotheby's in London with her Master’s Degree!! I am so proud of you and truly blessed to have you as a daughter!!" Jill wrote alongside throwback family photos. "How time flies!"

Ally's Relationship with Her Stepfather, Jill’s Late Husband Bobby

Ally Shapiro Bobby Zarin Tribute

In RHONY Season 1, Ally said, “My mom always puts a lot of pressure on [Bobby] and me to have a perfect relationship. And she doesn’t realize that’s not how it’s going to happen.” 

Still, it was clear that the two had a special bond. Bobby had been in Ally’s life since she was “a very little girl,” as Jill noted in RHONY Season 1. When he ultimately lost his battle with cancer in January of 2018, it was devastating to everyone who knew him. “Your legacy lives on through your beautiful children and grandchildren," Jill wrote on Instagram shortly after Bobby’s passing. 

On the two-year anniversary of Bobby’s death, Ally shared a heartfelt tribute to her stepfather on Instagram. “Men like you are of a different time. They don’t make people like you anymore. A true gentleman with traditional and steadfast values and morals. You will be preserved forever as that person, who I was lucky to know for over 20 years, who raised me and took care of us as much as we took care of you," Ally wrote, in part. "We love you and thank you."

Ally and her mom have successful businesses together

Jill Zarin Ally Face Masks 06

In the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jill and Ally were hunkered down at their home in Boca Raton, Florida, along with Jill’s boyfriend, Gary Brody. Jill and Ally were determined to do what they could to help during the global crisis so, together, they launched Noshes for Nurses, which donated meals to over 30,000 healthcare workers nationwide, and raised more than $60,000. 

They also created a line of home tie-dyed face masks, Masks by Jill & Ally. “We found it’s a great way to continue giving back in a different way,” Ally told of the endeavor in 2020. The masks gained popularity for their fun and colorful designs, and even the Kardashian-Jenners took notice.

Later, under the Jill & Ally umbrella, the mother-daughter duo launched lounge sets and socks, all with their signature tie-dye aesthetic. Their latest product is an adorable line of pickleball paddles.  

Ally's Discovery that She Was Conceived Via a Sperm Donor 

Daily Dish Rhony Ally Shapiro

“I tried for three years to have Allyson and we were finally successful," Jill said in the show's first episode of her difficulties conceiving. "We had almost given up.” 

Many years later, Ally accidentally stumbled upon the information that she'd conceived via a sperm donor.

When Ally was in college, Jill received an email from Steven’s ex-wife threatening her to reveal the information. A few months later, Ally was snooping through Jill’s emails, found the note and confronted her mother about it. 

"Never in a million years would have thought that. I had no inkling," Ally said, noting that she was "shocked" but was not mad at her parents; rather, she was mad at her stepmom "for all of this pain she was trying to cause us."

After Ally found out about the sperm donor, she discovered six half-siblings conceived by the same donor that Steven and Jill had used after Bobby registered Ally on

But there was a major plot twist: In 2019, Ally received a message through 23andMe from a different man, who found that he was a 52% genetic match. He turned out to be Ally's biological father: The clinic had mixed up the sperm donors, and the one Steven and Jill had chosen wasn't actually used to conceive Ally.

Ally opened up about whether she’d want to meet her biological father. "I'm just not in a rush," she explained in a 2020 interview. "I think a lot of this I didn't really have a say in. I didn't have a say in who my mom chose and didn't choose to be the sperm donor. I didn't have a say in when I was told or how I was told or who my siblings are now, and I feel like now I can choose now when I meet this guy, and relationships and boundaries... I think I want to meet him when the timing is right for both of us."

In October 2022, Ally shared an update on the Tamron Hall Show, revealing that she had in fact communicated with her biological father. “We quickly started emailing [and] I’ve been emailing him over the years,” Ally said on the show. “I emailed him telling him I was coming here today. He wants to keep his privacy, but he is open to meeting with me.”

How Ally Keeps Fans Updated

If you want to get a peek into Ally's life today, just check out her social media pages, where she regularly shares updates. In September 2021, she took to her Instagram Stories to show off a beautifully decorated new apartment that she had just moved into. On her TikTok, she posts videos that share the latest on her and her mom's business ventures as well as her daily happenings

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