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Bethenny Frankel

When it rains, it pours. Just days after it was reported the Whole Foods supermarket chain yanked her Skinnygirl drinks, Bethenny Frankel is now facing a class action lawsuit over just that.

The AP is confirming that not one, but two new class action lawsuits have been filed against the Bethenny Ever After star and Beam — the company that purchased the Skinnygirl drinkline from her for a reported $100 million — alleging they lied to consumers about the contents of the Skinnygirl margarita mix.

Whole Foods released a statement last week confirming it pulled the products because “it contains a preservative that does not meet our quality standards.” Beam also released a statement admitting that while the Skinnygirl Margarita does contain the preservative sodium benzoate, it is in “very low levels.”

TMZ reports that in one of the class action lawsuits filed in California, a consumer claims she and many others were duped by Beam Global Spirits for making “deceptive statements” on the label of Skinnygirl. The label says the drink is “all natural.”

The lawsuit further claims that Beam’s advertisement that the drink is “all natural” and contains no preservatives are false because the drink contains sodium benzoate. Those behind the lawsuit want to force Beam to “engage in a corrective advertising campaign” and pay unspecified damages.

Beam released the following statement in response to the lawsuits: “In today’s litigious society, nothing is surprising. The litigation filed in relation to the labeling of Skinnygirl Margarita is frivolous. We will defend our case vigorously, and we are fully confident we will prevail.”

As for Bethenny, she has yet to respond to the lawsuits though she did defend her drink line yet again this week on her website. Her statement is below -

“We would not sell anything that I don’t personally drink. I’m a natural foods chef and health is a top priority for me and my family. The Skinnygirl Margarita is made with natural ingredients and its label is consistent with U.S. federal regulations, which is why it is carried in stores nationwide and continues to fly off the shelves.

I built my brand on trust and honesty. I don’t take lightly obvious attempts to put my integrity in question. I will always answer your questions and concerns directly and truthfully.”

Photo credit: WENN.com

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE CLASS ACTION LAWSUITS? DO YOU THINK IT HOLDS ANY MERIT?

Well for all of you who haven’t gotten your fill of Bethenny Frankel (or her opinions) – good news – and for the rest of you, I apologize in advance – because Bethenny is now in the business of writing “fiction.” Yes, Bethenny has just inked a book deal to author her first work of “creative writing.” The novel titled Skinny Dipping, is tentatively expected to be out next spring, will be the first novel in a three-book deal.

Skinny Dipping will, of course, be another foray in the Skinnygirl empire (which unlike the frame of it’s figurehead, isn’t dwindling anytime soon); and will feature a character that sounds a lot like… Bethenny.

“It’s about a girl’s journey and what she wants, and trying to have it all. It’s about the lessons and the people along the way, about naysayers and rising above. There will be a lot of juiciness and people wondering what it’s based on and if any of it was influenced by my life.” Here’s guessing that character will also start a diet drink company and appear on a reality show with a bunch of catty b*tches like herself.

Bethenny plans to write her first novel from her home office, where she explains she employs part-time childcare for Bryn: “I have a part-time nanny there at 8 a.m., and I usually have her leave at 2. I like to be with the baby.” Bethenny continues, “I have an easy baby — and it’s exhausting. She jumped into the dishwasher today. She’s really structured, and she’s still a terror.”

And speaking of Bryn, Bethenny recently blogged that her 15-month-old is strictly vegetarian! Unlike some of her other food decisions, which are viewed by some as controversial (and unhealthy), Mama B seems to have a fairly sensible approach to Bryn’s diet, writing: “As far as raising Bryn as a vegetarian, that was a personal choice. If Bryn is older and wants something at a party that isn’t vegetarian, I don’t want her to feel ostracized. She’ll find her way.”

Explaining her decisions to feed Bryn a vegetarian diet, Bethenny references her own insubstantial eating habits: “I eat almost everything, but I eat a mostly vegetarian diet. However, I occasionally eat meat if I’m really craving it or if there is literally nothing else around, but I’m fortunate to love vegetables, grains and all things healthy. As a child, I ate sushi, escargot, venison– anything and everything. I wasn’t squeamish about food and I’m proud to say that I’ve never ordered off of a children’s menu in my entire life.” As for Bryn, she will not be eating off the children’s menu either – which, good for Bethenny on that!

Don’t confuse vegetarian with vegan, however, because Bethenny incorporates dairy products into Bryn’s menu: “I chose not to have her be vegan because I believe she needs the fat and protein in milk. Sometimes I need her to fill up on organic cheese. Her health comes first.”

Bethenny’s blog goes onto include more advice for feeding baby and importance of an organic diet. Organic like the cocktail that was recently dropped from the natural-foods giant, Whole Foods? Or organic like the groceries Whole Foods usually sells?

Apparently the latter because Bryn eats an “all organic” diet, but Bethenny isn’t totally uptight about it: “If we are in a Mexican restaurant where I know the guacamole isn’t organic, it’s OK,” she said. “Obsession isn’t the point here. Doing the best we can is.”

And last but not least, Bethenny recently revealed what’s going on in her uterus: “I’m not pregnant yet. We’re not trying. We’re not not trying,” she over-discloses. “We’re not having a plan. We’re not doing fertility tests or being proactive.”

Bethenny’s pictured above with daughter Bryn in NYC on August 29, 2011.

Picture by: PPNY / GSNY / Splash News

Thoughts on Bethenny’s newest career and her advice for feeding babies? Will you be reading Skinny Dipping or are you over The Skinnygirl? What do you think of Bethenny’s approach to feeding Bryn a vegetarian diet?

Bethenny Frankel is speaking out today after it was revealed the Whole Foods supermarket chain yanked her Skinnygirl cocktails off the shelves for not meeting their standards.

According to reports, Whole Foods removed the Skinnygirl drinkline after discovering it wasn’t as natural as it claimed to be due to the use of a preservative known as sodium benzoate. The Skinnygirl margarita claims it uses “all natural ingredients” and “no preservatives.” Whole Foods stated the following in a statement released: Skinnygirl “had been offered in 16 of Whole Foods Market’s 310 stores. After discovering that it contains a preservative that does not meet our quality standards, we have had to stop selling it.”

In a statement released, Bethenny shrugs off the controversy. “Skinnygirl cocktails were created to solve a problem: to create a line of guilt free cocktails allowing women to drink the indulgent drinks they actually want to drink with as few ingredients as possible,” said Bethenny. “I’m not making wheatgrass here. If I could put an agave plant and some limes on a shelf I would. [The Skinnygirl Margarita] is as close to nature as possible, while still being a shelf stable product.”

Beam, the company who purchased the Skinnygirl drinkline from Bethenny for a reported $100 million, also chimed in. “Skinnygirl Margarita contains very low levels of sodium benzoate (a preservative) so it can stay on the shelves,” said a spokesperson for Beam, adding that the preservative is “very common.”

Bethenny also makes it clear this move by Whole Foods will not make a dent in her rapidly growing Skinnygirl empire. “With all due respect to Whole Foods, we were in a dozen of their stores and have decided not to continue in these stores. They represent an infinitesimal fraction of our business. We are, in fact, the fastest growing spirits brand in the US,” her statement continued. “We were bound to piss someone off and everyone loves to try to tear down a success. This is a non-event. I haven’t lost even a wink of sleep.”

In other Bethenny news, she also spoke out on the recent suicide of RHOBH’s Russell Armstrong. In typical Bethenny fashion, she was very blunt in her comments, making it clear she does not feel Bravo is to blame for his death.

“It’s preposterous to blame a TV show for someone’s suicide,” she told USA Today. “When the show started filming, I’d heard he wasn’t so kind to his wife. But I know nothing about them.”

Bethenny goes on to make a valid point when she adds that people who sign on to do reality shows typically know what comes along with it. “People sign very lengthy documents and they know what they’re getting into. Life is stressful. It’s unfair to blame a TV show for something personal,” she added. “I believe that. I really do. If I go through something horrendous, there’s no discussion that Bravo had anything to do with that.”

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE LATEST? DO YOU AGREE WITH BETHENNY’S COMMENTS ABOUT REALITY TV NOT BEING TO BLAME FOR THE SUICIDE?

Bethenny Frankel finds herself on the receiving end of some negative publicity today after her Skinnygirl drinkline was yanked from the Whole Foods supermarket chain.

The reason? Apparently some of the supposed “natural” ingredients in the Bethenny Ever After star’s drinkline were discovered to be not so natural. “There are no ingredients listed on the bottle,” one nutritionist tells the Huffington Post.

“Bethenny has been promoting the drink on and off-camera for years [as] full of ‘natural flavors, lightly sweetened with agave nectar and made with premium Blue Agave clear tequila,’ but that’s about all we know about its ingredients,” the nutritionist states. A store worker adds, “The store prides itself in selling the best quality whole products that our high-end consumers expect. Not novelty products that are shaded with secrecy.”

A Whole Foods employee in Michigan also confirmed the news to TMZ. The employee states the products were briefly sold at his store while confirming the line was recently pulled because “it was learned the ingredients are not natural.” Yikes.

Neither Bethenny nor the Whole Foods chain have yet to comment on this issue. No word yet on how big a blow this will be to the Skinnygirl cocktail empire. As reported, Bethenny sold the drink line earlier this year for a reported $100 million when counting the incentives and payouts — which are likely contingent on the line’s continued success.

TELL US – THOUGHTS? DO YOU THINK THIS WILL HAVE A BIG IMPACT ON THE DRINKLINE? HAVE YOU TRIED THE SKINNYGIRL COCKTAILS BEFORE?

UPDATE – The Absurdtosublime blog reports they were told the products were yanked because of an unnatural ingredient that was found: caramel color. The site adds that the bottle does indeed read “made with blue agave tequila with natural flavors and caramel color added.” The site however points out that a number of items in the Whole Foods stores, such as frozen foods, contain one “unnatural” ingredient or two.

UPDATE #2 Beam, the company that owns the Skinnygirl line, tells TMZ Whole Foods never “pulled” the product, but simply decided not to reorder. Uh uh. The company adds that the “Skinnygirl Margarita contains very low levels of sodium benzoate (a preservative) so it can stay on the shelves.”

After contemplating a move to California on the last season of her Bravo hit show Bethenny Ever After, it appears Bethenny Frankel is staying put in New York City after purchasing a plus-size condo!

But then again, with her reported $100 million deal to sell her Skinnygirl drink line, it’s fair to assume she can afford to buy a home in both NY and LA! According to new reports, Bethenny just dropped a cool $4.995 million dollars on a high end condo in the fancy TriBeCa neighborhood.

The NY Post reports Bethenny and hubby Jason Hoppy just closed on the 195 Hudson St. pad, which is more than 3,000 square feet, comes with 4-bedrooms, 3-bathrooms, a coveted private parking spot as well as a maid’s room.

The home also includes some other features such as: 16 large windows that line the walls, a decorative fireplace with Bateig Azul limestone as the centerpiece of the formal living/dining room including a wet bar with wine fridge, sink and ice-maker; a sunny east-facing kitchen which features Pietra di Bedonia stone counter tops, glass tiles, Sub Zero refrigerator, Thermador professional stovetop, warming oven, and a Miele dishwasher. Photos of Bethenny’s condo are below!

Meanwhile, the Huffington Post is now reporting that Bethenny’s days on Bravo might be numbered now that she has a new talk show in the works! If you recall, Bethenny taped her pilot two months ago and Telepictures, the company behind the show, is reportedly very pleased with the results.

“Telepictures couldn’t be happier with the pilot Bethenny shot. They know they have discovered the next great talk show host and it’s Bethenny,” a TV insider reveals. “This is 100 percent on the fast track. Plus, with Ellen [DeGeneres] behind her this will be huge.”

So does this mean Bethenny is done with Bravo? According to a source, that answer is a likely yes as Bethenny no longer wants to be associated with the Housewives/Bravo, especially following the tragic suicide of Russell Armstrong.

“Bravo has been good to Bethenny but at the same time, Bethenny has been good to Bravo,” a friend of Bethenny states. “This is business and making the right move for her future. She will always be grateful for everything they have done but at the same time, after the tragic news of the suicide of a cast member of the Beverly Hills ‘Housewives,’ she doesn’t want to be part of an organization that rewards bad behavior.”

Wowzers. This makes sense as Bethenny has repeatedly stated she no longer wants to be associated with the RHONY which she feels rewards women for bad behavior. And just last month, she stated: “I’m getting tired of reality TV, of every moment being documented.” The new season of Bethenny’s Bravo show is currently being filmed and she reportedly wants it to be her last.

The Huffington Post also states that Bravo has decided to name the 3rd season of Bethenny’s show “Bethenny Goes L.A.” Bethenny however took to her twitter page this morning to deny that. “My show isn’t called “bethenny goes LA.” Bit of advice:50%of what you hear is true (if that),” tweeted Bethenny.

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON BETHENNY’S NEW CONDO? BITING THE HAND THAT FEEDS HER OR DOES SHE HAVE A VALID POINT ABOUT BRAVO?

CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO SEE MORE PHOTOS OF BETHENNY’S CONDO!


Housewives Hostile Takeover!

“Do mean girls grow up to be mean women?” That’s the question Real Housewives of New York City uber mean woman, Jill Zarin was asked on Joy Behar‘s show recently, where the topic was bullying among adult women. After being shown a clip of Teresa Giudice‘s infamous prostitution whore table flip, Jill commented on how “embarrassing” Teresa’s behavior was, but does admit it is “not a proud moment,” for the NJ housewife who’s flipping outburst is largely what led to her fame!

Well, I have a couple points to make here: One: Yes, Jill is an expert on mean desperate for celebrity, bullying, immature women – I mean she pretty much wrote the book on that, and Two: while Teresa is totes embarrassing, that’s a bit rich coming from the woman who’s embarrassing breakdowns and screeching fits have made her one of the least popular housewives ever. Far less popular than Mrs. Giudice!

Jill goes onto explain that the drama on Real Housewives is authentic, and often the “emotions get to you when you’re in one of these scenes,” adding “They’re not staged, but I wouldn’t be friends with some of the girls on my show had I not been cast on a reality show. We have to, sort of, travel together or be together and what really happens between us is real.”

“ … but mean girls, I wouldn’t really be friends with them, so there wouldn’t be any meanness, but sort of when you are thrown into together, these things happen.”[sic] Wait – isn’t Jill biffles with Kelly “Krazy-legs” Bensimon and [Countess] LuAnn de Lesseps? And wasn’t Jill previously friends with Bethenny Frankel and Ramona Singer before she possibly, maybe, perhaps out-mean woman’d them? Ok, that’s what I thought!

Moving on, the RHoNYC ex? stars, Jill and former? fellow castmate Alex McCord are preparing for their post-housewives careers by heavily hawking their wares. Jill’s Skweeze Couture, which is a distant second place finisher to Bethenny Frankel’s Skinnygirl Shapewear line, recently debuted a bridal collection which: “has little blue hearts sewn into it, so you get something new and something blue, and it takes off about two inches, so everyone looks amazing.”

According to Jill, Skweeze is “projected to reach $50 million in sales by 2012,” and she has plans to add shoes, sunglasses, handbags, skin-care products, perfumes, watches, and jewelry in the near future! Beat that, Frankel! Will these two ever stop competing against each other?!

“She is really building an empire, brick by brick,” alleges a source. “She will be joining other reality stars like Jessica Simpson and Lauren Conrad.” Ok, seriously who is buying this stuff? Her mom? Bawby? Who?

Alex McCord is also branching out into product pimping now that her modeling attempts have failed and announced she will serve as President to Aluxe Home, a bedding company featuring 18 lines of bathroom towels and 24 different bedding selections – all made of 100 percent Egyptian Cotton and manufactured in Egypt.

“This new venture was cemented when we visited and inspected the factory last month to ensure that we were happy with its quality, professionalism and working standards for its employees,” Alex stated via press release.

Add this one to the list of housewives products we can all avoid and roll our eyes over! Here’s hoping it goes more successfully than Simon Van Kempen’s mean tweeting social networking or singing careers!

Can you believe Jill Zarin was asked to serve on a panel about “mean women?” Can you believe Jill thinks she is going to be selling $50M in products by next year? Delusional Much? Do you think Alex’s new “career” indicates she may be leaving RHoNYC?

Paging Captain Obvious! The Skinnygirl herself, Bethenny Frankel recently told Life & Style: “I’m too thin.”

“Because I’m so busy, I’m not always hungry. I have to make myself eat more because of my busy schedule,” Bethenny explains. Perhaps, Bethenny who has always been thinner than the average gal and lately even more so, is becoming worried that her brand may suffer as a result of her recently very svelte appearance, as she expands into the skincare and shapewear businesses.

In the past fans have expressed concern over her dwindling frame. Or perhaps, she and husband, Jason Hoppy are hoping to add another little one to their family and she is concerned about her tiny frame making it difficult to conceive again? Mere speculation on my part.

Whatever it is that is responsible for her recent weight loss, Bethenny admits: “I have to eat more because I burn off a lot of calories,” adding that now she is eating more than ever in the form of sensible meals and even, desserts!? Well, not a whole dessert, but part of one! “I love dessert so I eat dessert,” she said. “If I had eaten a brownie five years ago, I probably would have had to have 12 brownies. Now, if I want a brownie, I’ll have a little bit of a brownie.”

Crediting her lifestyle, including being a mommy and running several business devoted to health and well-being, for making her realize how important it is to enjoy foods and alcohol in moderation, she reiterates -it’s all about a balance! “Girls put a lot of pressure on themselves to be skinny. They don’t understand that it’s not about a quick fix — but a healthy lifestyle.”

A healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, among other things (like low-fat alcohol). Yoga buff Bethenny released a yoga DVD last year and is often seen walking around Manhattan with her family.

Best of luck to Bethenny in getting her weight back on track to a place she is comfortable with.

Photo credit: WENN.com

Do you think Bethenny is too thin? Do you think Bethenny’s recently itty-bitty appearance has been negatively affecting her Skinnygirl Empire?

Guess what – Kelly Bensimon isn’t nuts – she says so herself! In a new interview for Shape magazine, the 43-year-old Real Housewives of New York castmember talks about all the boring stuff, like her diet and exercise routines, and the important stuff: like how she just plays a wackjob on TV!

Kelly informs Shape that her infamous St. John’s breakdown, oh excuse me – break through, was simply her responding to other people: “people called me crazy,” she acknowledges. “But what they saw was me reacting—in an honest way— to a situation that wasn’t honest. Then everyone ganged up on me. So of course I looked crazy!” Oh, yeah… that’s what happened – Al Sharpton ganged up on her and forced her to eat jellybeans and undercooked meat!

After the tumultuous third season of Housewives in which everyone on Earth decided she was a few jellybeans short of an Easter basket, Kelly felt she had to return to the show – for her daughters, of course: “Teddy said, ‘You have to show them the real you.’ So this season I’m sort of the voice of reason. I’m listening to the others and giving advice and focusing on being a good mother and friend.” Wow – if this past season was Kelly demonstrating listening skills, then yeah… she’s crazier than we all thought!

Despite the fact that Bethenny Frankel was apparently the administrator of the “Systematic Bullying” that plagued her during Season 3, Kelly alleges she reached out to Bethenny following filming to clear the air. The mag reports: “After Bethenny left the series, Kelly says she offered to meet for coffee and a talk.” Kelly claims: “She wrote back saying she’d moved on from it all. That really upset me. She created all of this chaos, and then she moved on?” Interesting…

Kelly address the idea that she’s not the brightest bulb. I mean she went to Columbia University, after all! “I find it hilarious when someone says I’m not smart. I’ve written three books, including American Style, a review of U.S. fashion, which is a textbook in some schools.” In fact, Kelly is so smart she has a fourth book – a fitness and lifestyle guide – in the works.“The premise is that you can be healthy, happy, and hot,” explains Kelly. If you haven’t had enough of Kelly’s advice, you can pick up the book next year.

Finally, Kelly debunks the rumors that she abuses drugs: “My body is like a Ferrari,” says Kelly. “I know what it needs to run well—and that doesn’t include drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes.” If you want to know what Ms. Krazybeans eats for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – you can check out the article yourself, because I’m all crazied out!

The September issue of Shape is on newsstands now. Run – don’t walk – and get one!

So, what do you think of Kelly’s declaration of sanity? Are you interested in buying Kelly’s new book? Thoughts on the cover photograph?

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