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Bobby Frankel

While her former Housewives costars continue to bicker on Bravo, Bethenny Frankel continues her attempt at world domination by gracing the latest cover of Forbes magazine.

The issue is fitting for the Bethenny Ever After star as it lists the top 100 most powerful celebrities (Lady Gaga takes the #1 spot from Oprah this year). Bethenny comes in at #42 after earning an estimated $55 million from May 2010 to 2011.

Forbes states Bethenny “represents a new breed of media-savvy entrepreneurs, who see reality television not as an outlet to feed their narcissism, but as airtime to promote their products.” Bethenny admits, “What’s the point of being on TV if you don’t have something to sell?” Below are excerpts from Bethenny’s cover story -

How Much Did Bethenny Earn? – According to Forbes, Bethenny sold her Skinnygirl drink line to Fortune Brands’ Beam Global for $100 million and not the widely reported $120 mil. The deal features a multi-year payout. When you add in the sales from her expanding line of Skinnygirl products, sources close to Bethenny reveal she earned an estimated $55 million in the past 12 months (Bethenny refused to confirm the numbers). That amount is huge, especially in comparison to the estimated $700,000 she earned from Bravo for her reality show. Bethenny makes it clear this mega success is all still new to her. “Seriously,” she reveals, “it wasn’t until two years ago that I made more than my assistant.”

Growing Up Bethenny – Growing up on New York’s Long Island as the child of top-ranked horse trainer Bobby Frankel, her childhood was far from a fairytale. Bethenny grew up with multiple divorces, allegations of childhood neglect, 13 different schools, and two cross-country moves. “I had my first drink when I was 7 years old; I was betting at the track by 8,” she recalls. “My father never called me on my birthday. He never congratulated me or told me he was proud,” she says, tearing up. Bethenny would go on to attend NYU, graduating with a degree in communications and psychology.

Can Bethenny Crack a Billion? – Bethenny reveals her goal is to turn the Skinnygirl empire into a billion-dollar business. In addition to selling her Skinnygirl drink line, she also has a number of other “Skinnygirl” products in the works. And despite selling the drink line, Bethenny still retains the rights to use Skinnygirl for anything she wishes. “It would be great for Beam to sell Skinnygirl shot glasses as a complement to the cocktail,” she jokes. “But they can’t. Only I can.” New products in the works include a line of Skinnygirl nutritional supplements, with partner Matt Hesse, which has already seen wholesale orders topping $1 million in the first quarter of 2011. Her shapewear is also predicted to bring in $5 million this year (it makes its QVC debut in August). Also in the works — an online personal-training service, a fourth book and a skin-care line called Skinnygirl Face & Body. She is also contemplating soft drinks, sauces and a children’s clothing line.

“It’s a formula,” says Bethenny of the successful brands she launches with strategic partners. “They’re the expert, the formulator, manufacturer. I’m the marketer, the media person, the face–and we each know our roles.” You can read more on Bethenny’s cover story on Forbes.

Meanwhile, following her second season of BEA, Bethenny reveals she plans to lay low until filming on the third season begins in July. “I have really checked out of my own life a lot,” she told PEOPLE. “I’m laying low. I really hit the wall going 90 miles an hour.” She adds, “We’re starting filming in July for season 3, and I need the hiatus.”

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON BETHENNY’S FORBES ARTICLE? DO YOU THINK SHE CAN CRACK A BILLION?

In an all new interview, Bethenny Frankel, star of Bethenny Getting Married reveals her mother has yet to meet her daughter Bryn Hoppy.

“My mother hasn’t expressed any interest in meeting Bryn, which was shocking to my husband,” says Bethenny to Parade. “Life is hopefully long, so I don’t know what the future will bring. Right now, I would say no. I only want positive energy around her for as long as possible. Life will be difficult enough before she knows it.”

This comes just days after Bethenny’s cover story with PEOPLE magazine during which she opened up about her childhood abuse. “I never had a true childhood,” she tells People. “There was a lot of destruction: alcohol abuse, eating disorders and violent fights.”

Bethenny’s father is the now deceased highly known horse trainer Bobby Frankel. According to Bethenny, Bobby walked out on she and her mother, Bernadette Birk, when she was just 4 years old. Bethenny’s mom re-married another horse trainer named John Parisella when Bethenny was 5, which led to them moving homes seven times in over 10 years. Bethenny says her father cut her off when Bernadette accused him of keeping money from them. She also says her father seemed to resent her and punish her for the actions of her mother.

Things then got hostile with Bernadette and her new husband John. “The house would be in shambles,” Bethenny says of her mom’s vicious outbursts in which she would smash “dishes, pictures, the TV — anything she could see” and physically fight with John. Bethenny says she would either have to hide in her closet or call the police to break things up.

Bethenny also sheds light on her troubles with her weight and drugs during her teen years. She began starving herself and purging at the age of 13. “I was owned by dieting,” she says. “I hated myself.” Her situation worsened when she began clubbing in her teens, drinking heavily and even doing cocaine.

As for Bethenny’s relationship with her mother today, she says the two have barely spoken in the past 10 years. Bethenny however makes it clear she is over the past and is now in a better place with her husband and daughter. “I just want to give her the life I didn’t have,” says Bethenny of baby Bryn.

CLICK HERE FOR A PHOTO OF BETHENNY WITH HER MOM AND STEPFATHER -

Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel graces this week’s cover of PEOPLE magazine.

Bethenny, who can be seen on the cover with 8-week-old daughter Bryn, is opening up about her painful past.

“I never had a true childhood,” said Bethenny, 39, the only child of legendary horse trainer Bobby Frankel and his first wife, Bernadette. “There was a lot of destruction: alcohol abuse, eating disorders and violent fights.”

Bethenny also reveals to the mag that she has long been estranged from her mom, whom she describes as “extremely volatile. She was never a mother to me.”  Bethenny is however now grateful for the chance to create a stable home with hubby Jason Hoppy and their daughter: “I live for this baby.”

You can read more about Bethenny’s story in the latest issue of PEOPLE. In other Bethenny news, she did a phone conference interview just days ago and below are some of the tidbits she revealed -

On whether she’s ever wished she hadn’t done something in front of the cameras:
Bethenny Frankel: No. It’s who I am and I’m never going to edit myself or not do something . . . everything that happens on the show, my life really is. That’s the one good relationship that I really do have with my fans: the honesty. If someone asks me if I’m pregnant, then I say “yes I am” if I am. That’s the thing I really take pride in, is telling the truth. It is what it is.

On whether there will be a second season of Bethenny Getting Married?:
BF: We haven’t discussed it yet, but I imagine that there will be.

On the pros and cons of begin married to Jason:
BF: There are so many pros; the man was in the hospital with me for six days from the minute my water broke to when I had the baby, that’s the kind of person he is. He’s there and a total partner. I have to say, I don’t think there’s any cons to being married to him.

On her relationship with the other Real Housewives Alex and Ramona:
BF: They’re in my repertoire of friends, we email each other, see each other once in a while; it’s all very clean. It just is.

On why she thinks Jill has turned her animosity toward Alex:
BF: I’m the one who had the baby and all that stuff, so you can’t be mean to the pregnant girl, so I guess she had to find someone new to have an issue with. Alex is the wrong one [to target], I have to say — there’s nothing underhanded about her at all.

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