Days after the Huffington Post reported Bethenny Frankel only received $8.1 million for the sale of her Skinnygirl drink line, and not the widely reported $120 million, both Bethenny and Forbes are now firing back!

First Forbes is stating they stand by the $100 million figure. If you recall, the Bethenny Ever After star graced the cover of Forbes back in May during which they declared she sold the drink line for $100 mil — $20 mil less than the amount originally reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

So what exactly was the $8.1 mil figure about? Well according to a financial analyst, the $8.1 million is merely the value of the goodwill attributed to the brand.

“The $8.1 million was just the amount of intangible assets purchased in the Skinnygirl transaction, essentially the amount Beam paid for the Skinnygirl brand rights—not the total purchase price,” said analyst R.J. Hottovy to Forbes.

So how did Huffington Post’s Rob Shuter get it wrong? Well for starters the actual price Beam paid for Skinnygirl is missing from the 10-Q statement and Bethenny cannot publicly disclose the amount due to a confidential agreement. Beam is also refusing to disclose the amount and they can actually get away with doing that under accounting rules.

“We will continue to disclose accounting data as required to be included in financial filings,” said Beam Global spokeswoman Paula Erickson, “but do not expect that a black-and-white lump sum ‘purchase price’ figure will be made available. Suffice to say, this was not an $8.1 million acquisition.”

So the BIG question now is how much did Bethenny really receive for the sale of her drink line? According to Forbes, that figure is at least $39 million. See Beam listed $39 million in their financial disclosures for acquisitions made in the second quarter of 2011. And as financial analyst R.J. points out, the only acquisition the company made during that period was for the Skinnygirl Drinkline.

“The only deal they announced over that period was Skinnygirl,” said R.J. “This means [Beam] paid at least that much for Skinnygirl [during that period].” He goes on to add that there may be additional elements to the deal not accounted for or visible in company filings, including stock options that could yield Bethenny additional long-term returns.

In addition to the $39 million Bethenny likely received upfront, she also stands to earn up to an additional $25 million. The company’s financial statement revealed “the Company may be required to record contingent consideration in an amount not in excess of approximately $25 million.” That basically means Bethenny stands to earn up to an additional $25 million based on future sales, incentives, meeting high targets etc.

Bethenny herself confirmed this to Forbes stating she’d get “on-going back end”—payments based on how well Skinnygirl’s cocktails sold after Beam took control. Experts say Bethenny should be getting that $25 million as “sales of Skinnygirl have exceeded expectations for 2011 and that threshold will be met this year.”

According to Forbes, this brings “the value of the deal to at least $64 million in this year alone, without accounting for any further payments or other compensation for Frankel.” Bethenny adds, “The acquisition was structured with various potential payout levels based on sales of Skinnygirl products.”

Bethenny of course also fired back at critics. When asked about the reported $8.1 million figure, Bethenny said laughing: “Come on. That it could be the fastest growing booze brand on the market and have sold for that little is just preposterous… I’m going to be paying a hell of a lot more than $8.1 million in taxes.”

As for the Huffington Post, they have since retracted their original errornous report stating they “regret” it.

However, some things are still not adding up. For example, where did the $100 million figure come from? It appears Forbes can only put a $64 million figure on the deal and cannot account for the remaining $36 million. Yes, it’s clear Bethenny potentially stands to earn more, according to her, but it would have been nice if Forbes could further explain how exactly they were able to put a $36 mil figure on that potential income.

Other things that make you scratch your head is the fact that immediately following the Huffington Post’s report, Bethenny quickly removed the Forbes $100 million cover story from her website. Why remove the article if it’s accurate?

Also more odd, Forbes released the statement below to the Huffington Post before they ultimately decided to back Bethenny and themselves on the issue –

“We’re taking this very seriously. We based our numbers at the time of reporting on solid sources. We’re aware of the new information and we’re looking into it right now,” Dan Bigman, Forbes executive editor stated. “We’re going to review all the information thoroughly and talk to Ms. Frankel before taking any steps. If there are any inaccuracies, we’ll correct them. If clarification is required, we’ll do so.”

As for Bethenny, she also tweeted: “Most people are morons. Stay tuned.” She later added, “Only listen to sources you trust. Irresponsible journalism is a waste of your time.” Bethenny also changed her Twitter profile picture to her Forbes cover. That cover is below.

Must say Bethenny should be giving thanks that this Huffington Post report came out just in time to distract the public from Lost-at-sea-gate!

Photo credit: Roger Wong/


They say when it rains, it pours and unfortunately for Bethenny Frankel it continues to storm.

Just days after the towboat operator who “rescued” her publicly stated she faked the whole ordeal for her reality show, a new report by the Huffington Post is now stating Bethenny did not receive the widely reported $120 million for the sale of her Skinnygirl drink line earlier this year. Just how much did she earn? $8.1 million — a far cry from the reported amount.

The Huffington Post uncovered the SEC quarterly financial disclosures posted on Fortune Brands’ (the company Bethenny sold her line to) website yesterday which revealed the acquisition of the Skinnygirl cocktail business was for $8.1 million. The statement read, “…the acquisition of the Skinnygirl ready-to-drink cocktail business ($8.1 million).” Below is another excerpt from the disclosures –

“In March 2011, we acquired the Skinnygirl ready-to-drink cocktail business. The acquisition included inventory and identifiable intangible assets. In addition to goodwill, we recorded contingent consideration, which is based on the achievement of certain sales targets. In future periods, the Company may be required to record contingent consideration in an amount not in excess of approximately $25 million. Any change in the Company’s estimated liabilities for contingent consideration will impact operating income in future periods.”

To sum this up, Bethenny received $8.1 million upfront and stands to earn up to an additional $25 million based on future sales, incentives, meeting high targets etc. W.O.W.Z.E.R.S. That puts the full possible sum of the sale at $33.1 million. While still definitely impressive — it is definitely a far cry from the reported $120 million.

Ramona Singer expressed her doubts about that amount back in May citing the amount was likely closer to $30 million. Who would have thought Ramona had it right? “I was thinking before that figure came out she got about $30 million total,” Ramona said. “And divided that between her and her partners David, and usually they do a pay out, they don’t give you the money up front, they pay you out over time.”

In Bethenny’s defense, she has never confirmed that $120 mil amount, but then again she never denied it. I guess the question now is should she have spoken up and publicly stated the number was way off? It will be interesting to see how Bethenny responds to this. She has yet to comment on this latest finding.

Moving on to Bethenny’s other dilemma aka Lost-at-sea-gate. The original story by Bethenny, star of Bethenny Ever After, was that she alongside her husband Jason Hoppy, her therapist and a Bravo camera crew were lost at sea for over 20 hours after their GPS malfunctioned.

Bethenny first gave an interview to E! News recounting the ordeal which she described as “traumatic.” And then during an appearance on The Ellen Show, she told host Ellen DeGeneres that she tipped tow boat operator Tim Russell $2,800 for safely returning her to shore.

Right away, some questioned the authenticity of Bethenny’s story which led the Jewish Journal to find Tim and interview him about what really happened. Tim had some very harsh words to say about Bethenny as he revealed she was never in any real danger while insisting that the navigation system was working when he received the call. Tim also added he was only called to help after the Coast Guard refused due to the lack of danger. To top it off, Tim said he never received the $2,800 tip from Bethenny.

Wowzers. Bethenny is now firing back in an attempt to defend herself. She is still sticking to her story as she tells E! News she was indeed lost at sea.

“Fiction? For some reason the craziest things just happen to happen to me,” she tells E!. “Not many people have an iguana poop in their suite on their honeymoon or their baby nurse attempt to baptize their child.”

“I wish that boat trip were fiction rather than the nightmare it actually was,” added Bethenny. “My truth is stranger than fiction.”

Bethenny also made the following tweets: “I will ALWAYS be honest with my fans. I know you know that!” She added: “Let’s review last week’s idiocies 1)I have a”nice”coach 2)I’m getting divorced 3)I’m pregnant 4)I lied re:being lost at sea Anything else?”

For someone as brash and honest as Bethenny, I was expecting a better defense of herself especially if someone is falsely accusing her of lying. I personally feel she should have answered the tough questions such as did she really tip Tim $2,800? And why would Tim come out and state her story was fake? I can’t imagine a man who was tipped $2,800 woould publicly state that he wasn’t.

Photo credit: WENN


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/

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?!

Bethenny Frankel is talking exercise and alcohol – two of her favorite subjects – as she announces the addition of two more products to the Skinnygirl empire!

The uber skinny star of Bethenny Ever After recently did a sit-down with Self to talk exercise and her newly released, Bethenny’s Skinnygirl Workout DVD.

Revealing her exercise philosophy, Bethenny admits that in the past she was a “binge exerciser,” but has since changed her ways. “Now I’m a person who fits it into my lifestyle. It’s consistent, but not regular. I do it when I can. It ends up being 2 to 3 times a week.”

Bethenny’s workout DVD is yoga-centered and is divided into three 15-20 minute segments all geared towards the total body. “This morning, when my baby was sleeping, I did 45 minutes of yoga,” she says. “Each 15 minute section works out the entire body, so if it’s a day when you’re really crazed and you just want to get something in, you can do one segment and actually feel good instead of beating yourself up because you couldn’t fit in the whole thing.”

A big yoga fan (I can tell by her zen-like attitude), Bethenny describes the practice as “the only thing that I consistently need to do in my life.”

“It’s like getting a massage and exercise at the same time and it just keeps you lean,” she says of her new DVD, which includes a book of recipes to encourage healthy eating.

In other Bethenny news – guess what?! She is hawking even more products! I know you’re all totes excited to give her more of your hard earned money, so here’s your opportunity. In addition to her workout DVD, 150 Calorie Skinnygirl Bars full of ingredients “you can trust,” (like sodium benzoate?) will soon be on the market.

And Bethenny just debuted the newest Skinnygirl cocktail flavor: Skinnygirl White Cranberry Cosmo!

Announcing the newest low-cal bottled beverage from her website, Bethenny describes the drink as “the most fun, flirty and sexy cocktail you can drink.”

“I created the Skinnygirl White Cranberry Cosmo to give you a more elegant twist on a classic without the guilt. Finally, a pretty, flirty, clear cocktail that won’t stain your carpet or couch!” Hmmm… I don’t see the ingredients listed…

Thoughts on Bethenny’s New Workout DVD – Would you try it? Are you excited about the new Skinnygirl White Cranberry Cosmo?

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:


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.”


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.


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.”

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