After over a year of arguing about custody for their 4-year-old daughter Bryn, Bethenny Frankel and Jason Hoppy have finally ended up in trial. Bethenny is demanding primary custody, while Jason is fighting for joint.
The former spouses are locked in a contentious argument that led to bitter finger pointing that frankly (no pun intended) makes both of them look like crappy parents! It was rumored that their attorneys botched up a filing to make the courtroom proceedings private and the press would have free reign – well that appears to be the case!
With both spouses repped by famed divorce attorneys the argument became about who is the biggest famewhore, sadly. Bethenny's attorney Allen Mayefsky portrayed Jason as the vengeful ex, spiteful over losing the limelight when Bethenny filed for divorce, thus ending their reality TV career. Which seems odd considering it was widely reported that Jason refused to sign on for a third season of Bethenny Ever After as Bethenny was already pursuing her talk show (now also canceled).
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Mr. Mayefsky continued, as reported by the NY Daily News, "[Jason] He threatened to destroy her. He had her followed and spied on, along with their daughter." He also accused Jason of sometimes holding a recorder up to Bethenny's face and has "hundreds of tapes" he planned to use against Bethenny. "He hacked into her most private personal email,” Bethenny's attorney claims. Bethenny previously took Jason to court over this, he also took her to court for a gag order after she spoke about their divorce to the press and on her talk show.
Bethenny's attorney cites Jason's motive as revenge. ”He has consciously placed his desire for revenge … over the best interests of this family and particularly the child,” Mayefsky concluded, as reported by Page Six. “He has sought to obsessively control their every move through their daughter," attesting that Jason's "true side" emerged away from the cameras.
Bethenny's counsel presented that she is a devoted, “very, very involved mother” whose media success is a benefit to Bryn. “Ms. Frankel
's nanny is the more balanced, objective and fit custodial parent," Mayefsky concluded. [OK, I laughed here. Sorry - couldn't help it!]
Jason's attorneys painted a drastically different portrait; accusing Bethenny of using Bryn "as a prop" to further her Skinnygirl and television empire. “Bethenny Frankel’s priority is Bethenny Frankel,” Jason’s lawyer, Bernard Clair contended. He stated Bethenny used Bryn "in the pursuit of her own career and her own brand.” Jason's attorney said Bethenny's strategy since filing for divorce has been “attack, attack, attack.” Indeed it was Bethenny who struck first requesting sole custody of Bryn.
One particular example used is Bethenny's upcoming children's book which she seeks to publish using Bryn's likeness and story - despite Bethenny insisting she has no plans to put her daughter in the limelight. Bethenny was previously blocked in her attempts to have Bryn appear on her talk show.
Mr. Clair stated that Bethenny, "embarked on a secret endeavor to have a children’s book published” this coming September about Bryn’s life. “Ms. Frankel even arranged for the illustrator to come to her home to follow this child around so that every likeness and every sense of the child could be presented.”
“And that’s not all: This children’s book has the Skinnygirl logo, Skinnygirl being the brand of Ms. Frankel, throughout its pages,” Jason's attorney revealed. They accuse Bethenny of staging photo-ops with Bryn, and often prominently displaying Skinnygirl logos during these staged opportunities.
The couple also argued over their living arrangements. Until recently they were sharing the loft they bought and renovated together. Bethenny finally moved out, in a move her attorney classified as positive for Bryn in that Betheny was removing herself from the "toxicity" of living with Jason.
Jason's attorney rebutted that when Bethenny moved she took every single one of Bryn's favorite items from the home. "The clothes were gone, the favorite stuffed animals gone, the favorite dollhouse gone,” Clair recounted. When Bryn discovered the missing items she panicked and was sent into a "tailspin" of confusion.
Clair further alleges that Bethenny went so far as to remove all the kitchen items. Jason "found that every single utensil had been taken but replaced with plastic knives, forks and spoons like you would pick up from a takeout place. One pot was left.” Jason's counsel says this illustrates how "petty" Bethenny is.
After the counsels argued, Bethenny took the stand. She revealed that during the course of filming Jason enjoyed it – especially the fancy vacations and meeting celebrities. “He’d say, ‘This is fun,’” Bethenny recalled. Adding that during the course of the show, "Nothing was off-limits. Except sex.” Yep – we remember! Unfortunately…
That seems diametrically opposite to the Jason we saw the final season of BEA. And I agree, I think initially Jason did enjoy the limelight, but he did not seek it like Bethenny did. Clearly when the novelty wore off, he hoped to live a normal life. Meanwhile Bethenny embarked upon a talk show and hoped to temporarily move the family to LA before filing for divorce. Some say her reason for filing was Jason's refusal to 'get on board' with her plans.
I'm not sure what to think except both of these people are beyond petty. Given that both of them seem to be fit and loving parents you would think they would stop the bickering for Bryn, the child they claim to love so much, and both agree to joint custody with no to limited child support.
[Photo Credit: Joseph Marzullo/WENN.com]
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