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Skinnygirl Margarita


Bethenny Frankel has been the subject of constant controversy as of late; it seems every other day she is embroiled in some sort of issue causing a media tail-spin! Needless to say — it’s been quite a year for diet drink maven and wannabe mogul.

Bethenny has made no secret of her desire to leave reality TV behind in the hopes of landing her own talk show. Recent reports stated Mama Frankel had shot a pilot for her own show, but was having trouble hooking a network even going so far as to hire a coach to soften the abrasive, no-nonsense style that made her famous in the reality world.

The Bethenny Ever After star’s dreams of being the next Oprah were apparently closer than we all thought, as The Hollywood Reporter is revealing NBC was jonesing to pick up some new talk show blood and Bethenny made a short list of contenders that included Survior host Jeff Probst and Ricki Lake (formerly of talks show’s pasts, currently of Dancing With The Stars).

The Hollywood Reporter describes that launching a talk show is a precarious situation for a network with all the competition from already established shows, thus they must carefully weigh who will gain the most traction with viewers nationwide. Basically, a show must stay in a holding tank and be demoed across a variety of markets before it is “cleared” in the “three-quarters of the country” needed to garner a launch. Once it gets a “launch” a network will back it and air the show.

“If NBC stations pass on her Warner Bros. Telepictures’ show, the former Real Housewife of New York could find it difficult to get the clearances she needs to launch despite support from Ellen DeGeneres,” THR explains of Bethenny’s predicament.

Well, unfortunately for Bethenny it seems NBC made the decision to go with Jeff’s show instead, while Ricki’s show is headed for the Tribune group of stations that helped launch Anderson Cooper’s now popular talk show. “This shuffle is probably bad news for Frankel who must now struggle to find enough carriage to make a launch likely,” the article alleges. Currently there is no expected launch for Bethenny’s show as she is still waiting to be picked up by major networks.

And there is more bad news for the reality star resulting from continued scrutiny over the contents of her “all natural” Skinnygirl Margarita! The New York Post is reporting an expanded lawsuit from former fans of the product, taking issue with the label’s assertion that the cocktail is concocted using “100 percent blue agave tequila.”

Christopher Rapcinsky and Erin Baker, currently taking action against the brand, have amended their $10M class action lawsuit for having “falsely claimed the drink was ‘all natural’ with ‘no preservatives’.”

Upon further investigation into the tequila used to produce the beverage the duo discovered it was actually “a lower quality and purity tequila by-product called mixto — essentially a mash of tequila and some unknown additives (rarely organic) which may comprise as much as 49 percent of the final mixed liquor.” Blech. All-natural, say what?

The duo’s lawyer, Tom Mullaney stated: “100 percent blue agave is not stuff people mix.” Additionally, he says comparing the mix to pure tequila is like “comparing Thunderbird wine to a fine Chianti. They’re both wine, but very different.” I’ll let you wine connoisseurs argue the veracity of his statement, as I’m an $8 a bottle kind of a girl.

The suit isn’t entirely blaming Bethenny (who is not named as a defendant) for the misconceptions, as it notes the discrepancies began occurring after Beam Global acquired the brand and the label changed at some point to say the drink was made “with premium Blue Agave Tequila,” removing the “’100 percent’ reference,” which the suit claims is “highly misleading.”

“Only time and pretrial discovery will tell what was really in the ‘tequila’ that went into the phony ‘all-natural’ margarita. What is certain is the fact that consumers would not have purchased Skinnygirl Margarita had they known it was manufactured with inferior mix to tequila,” the suit insists.

Beam Global is fighting back calling the suit “frivolous” and defending the label’s claims that the cocktail is made with premium tequila. “We will defend our case vigorously, and we are fully confident we will prevail,” the company’s rebuttal stated.

Bethenny’s reps have declined to comment on this latest attack on her product and she has not confronted the controversy via Twitter, opting instead to promote more products in the Skinnygirl line-up. Perhaps all the drama surrounding Bethenny might have something to do with networks passing on her talk show?

THOUGHTS ON BETHENNY’S LATEST DILEMNAS? ARE YOU SURPRISED HER TALK SHOW HAS NOT BEEN PICKED UP – WOULD YOU WATCH? THOUGHTS ON THE LAWSUIT: FRIVOLOUS OR WITH MERIT?

Bethenny Frankel‘s mother Bernadette Birk is speaking out against her estranged daughter yet again, this time around slamming her marriage.

Bernadette has kept a fairly low profile in the press recently considering all the harsh allegations Bethenny has made against her (and her father, Bobby Frankel). Although in the past Bernadette has called Bethenny “demented and beyond help,” in response to Bethenny’s portrayal of her childhood.

Bethenny has described her childhood as unhealthy and dysfunctional on her reality show and in interviews, and maintained that Bernadette was “never a mother” to her, among other complaints. These assertions have been called into question by fans, the media, and acquaintances’ of both Bethenny and her parents.

Bernadette is now making some pretty serious claims herself, alleging that Bethenny is a user and, perhaps, not the involved mother she purports to be. Raising doubts about the security of Bethenny’s marriage, Bernadette describes Jason Hoppy as “too weak” for Bethenny; and although she has never met him, she expects their marriage “won’t last.”

“Her husband seems like a really nice guy, but it won’t last. He is really too weak for her.” Bernadette predicts. “Right now, he is a good father, but soon she won’t need him and she will dump him.” Ouch.

Bernadette also takes digs at Bethenny’s mothering skills. “I find it amazing that she discusses having another child with her husband, but she barely has time for the first one,” she muses. I guess we know where Bethenny developed her ability to deliver scathing remarks!

As for why she and Bethenny stopped communicating ten-years-ago, Bernadette claims Bethenny wrecked her car and then refused to apologize. “I called her to tell her and she started yelling at me and hung up… and we have never spoken since,” Bernadette explains of their last conversation.

Bernadette also goes on to allege that Bethenny stole the idea for her highly successful Skinnygirl drink mix from her! “When she was young, her godmother, Eleanor Mogavero, would come and visit, and her drink of choice was a margarita. She was overweight, so I’d make her really low-fat ones,” said Bernadette. “But [Bethenny] would never give anyone credit, it goes against her narcissistic point of view.”

Bernadette finishes off with these choice words: “She only puts herself around people who can do something for her. It is amazing how she turned out just like her father.”

Bethenny has previously stated that her mother came to the hospital while she was in labor with Bryn, but she did not want to see her. Bernadette has never met her only grandchild. In an interview Bethenny remarked of her mother’s opinion of her career: “I don’t know what she makes of my success. I’m sure it’s quite shocking and overwhelming to her.”

Bethenny has not responded to her mother’s latest comments, but she recently Tweeted: “I always believe 50% gossip. You decide what to believe.” By that reasoning, is she admitting there may be some truth to Bernadette’s claims? I predict this incident will be thoroughly covered on the upcoming season of Bethenny Ever After !

There’s never a dull moment for the Skinnygirl ! In the middle of a year defined by incredible successes, drama, controversy, and negative press after the Skinnygirl Margarita ingredient-gate – it’s all paying off. Literally!

Mama Frankel has landed herself on Forbes’ 2011 list of the Highest Earning Women in Entertainment after racking up a whopping $55M from her Skinnygirl empire! I blame sorority girls everywhere for buying the swill in droves in the hopes of avoiding the Freshman 15!

Bethenny’s skinny butt ranked third on the list, following Oprah Winfrey (naturally) and Lady Gaga (strangely) but she did manage to beat out her formal idol Martha Stewart – who didn’t even make the list!

Credit: Pena/Hall/INFphoto.com

Thoughts on Bernadette’s shocking comments? Do you think there is some merit to her claims or is she just hurt and angry that she no longer has a relationship with her daughter? Do you believe Bethenny’s stories about her childhood or is she exaggerating? Are you surprised she made the Forbes list?!

As the second season of Bethenny Ever After comes to a close, everything Bethenny Frankel has been working towards throughout the season culminates with the speaking tour to promote her new book A Place of Yes and the sale of Skinnygirl Cocktails. Bethenny’s reason for going on tour: the most rewarding part of what she does is talking to women and sharing her experiences and the only way to accomplish this is to sell tickets to hear Bethenny espouse her knowledge and ideas since we don’t get to hear this weekly in the form of her show. This episode also contains lots and lots of talk about babies! Not just Bryn, but future Hoppy offspring presumably arriving in the very near future! Guys – here’s your trailer for next season: Bethenny: Baby Number Two? Since this show took place on a speaking tour and a tour bus, it was very dialogue heavy, with lots of footage of the tour and the bus, until the end when the results of the big sale of Skinnygirl are revealed. Then things get a little exciting.

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