When Jill Zarin came on the scene on The Real Housewives of New York City back in the day, we got to know the Big Apple mom and her family, including daughter Ally Shapiro and husband Bobby Zarin, who passed away back in January. However, there was another important person in Jill's life we didn't get to meet: her first husband and Ally's dad Steven Shapiro, who owns the NYC Seminar and Conference Center located in the Chelsea/Flatiron neighborhood of Manhattan.
And while he never ended up showing up on RHONY during her time on the series, Jill recently shared he probably would have — if given the chance. "Well, Steven would have come on the show. It's just that we never got that far filming. My ex-husband totally would have come on the show; at least he would now. I mean, I don't know about then. I think he would have then," Jill said. "But Steven would have come on the show with Ally if it would [help] Ally. Anything that would help me or Ally, he would totally do. We are still best of friends."
Jill and Steven, as she explains in the video above, were married for about a decade. They divorced 20 years ago. And as we all know, she later married Bobby; Steven also remarried and had more children with his second wife. "He remarried and had three children and then, unfortunately, got divorced," Jill explained. "Fortunately or unfortunately, depends on who you're talking to. I say fortunately. [His ex-wife] wasn't very nice to my daughter, and I don't care if she hears it. So thank God my ex-husband got out of that situation. [Ally] has three beautiful siblings from them."
After they separated, Steven lived in New Jersey, and the pair found the right balance to co-parenting their daughter. "We were always on the same wavelength," Jill said.
In fact, when they decided to divorce, Ally was their only priority. "When we got divorced, we sat down at the kitchen table and said, 'What do you want?' Not that we had so much by the way, you know? Like I said, he even has my oriental rug from my apartment with Bobby. So, yes, we are besties, and he's checked in on me a lot since Bobby passed and came to the funeral and came to the shiva, and his parents came."
Jill and Steven are clearly very, very close to this day. "And I'm going to his brother's son's wedding [over] Labor Day. I'm still a part of that family. I love them. I still call them Mom and Dad," she shared. "I love his parents, and that's the way it should be. Why isn't it? Divorce is a legal term, but you can't divorce your children. ... Steven and I always put Ally first — that was our deal."
And in reflecting on her first marriage, Jill had this advice for anyone out there looking for a partner: "Pick someone you wouldn't mind being divorced from. Does that make sense?"
Check out throwback photos of Jill, below.