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Skinnygirl

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.”

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?

Skinnygirl Advice Guru, Bethenny Frankel is giving a sneak peek of things to come on her new talk show in an interview with More, where she dishes about the keys to a good marriage and finding the right Mr. Frankel.

Bethenny has admitted she picked Mr. Wrong a couple of times (including Jason 1.0 during RHoNYC) which led to a failed marriage and being the single woman, aka punching bag on Housewives. Describing what went wrong in her first marriage, Bethenny clarifies: “I was simply too young. It taught me not to try to fit everything into a perfect Tiffany box.” Instead go for a custom ring from a boutique jeweler (I love Bethenny’s ring set, I must admit).

She also explains trying to date a good on paper guy never works out – instead look for someone who can deal with you: “You can’t sleep next to an 8 x 10 piece of paper. Choose someone who takes care of you, who cares for their family and who will be a good partner and parent, and someone who you actually like, respect and laugh with.”

Bethenny encourages those who are in a relationship due to a fear of being alone (and being eaten by an Alsatian) to recognize they need to move on: “You know you’re holding on to a relationship because of fear when you think no one else will want you or love you, or you worry you will never find someone as good. You shouldn’t try to negotiate and rationalize; you should just feel.”

Mrs. Hoppy, who we all know likes her c*ck comments, is never one to shy away from difficult topics, as she confronts the sticky issue of sex in a relationship and opines: “It’s awkward, but sex must be discussed. It constantly changes: honeymoon stage, while pregnant, after baby, with children, in your 50s, etc. Communicate.”

As for what led to her finding Jason 2.0, aka her hubby, Bethenny believes being happy with who you are instead of being a desperate loser is the key to finding love: “Being ok with who you are and where you are in your life, whether alone or with someone, is the secret to finding what you want and need. Desperation and fear will take you to the wrong places and the wrong relationships.”

When asked what advice she has for daughter Bryn on finding the right guy, Bethenny replies: “I would advise her that getting men to respect you and want to marry you — as much if not more than they want to get physical with you — is an art form.”

In other Bethenny news, the diet drink mixologist just released Skinnygirl Sangria and here’s hoping it’s as, uhhhh… good(?) as Skinnygirl Margarita!

Even if it’s not, no worries, as Bethenny has some friends in high places; Bethenny tells Celebuzz: “Lea Michele is a big fan of Skinnygirl Margarita, so I sent her the Sangria before the launch, and she loves it!” And just who else is a Skinnygirl aficionado? Apparently: Kate Hudson, Snoop Dogg, Anne Hathaway, and Hoda Kotb! Wow – Bethenny really gets around!

Bethenny is pictured above on Aug. 3 during the launch party for her new Skinnygirl drink!

Will you be trying Skinnygirl Sangria? What do you think of Bethenny’s advice on love and marriage? Are you excited to watch her new talkshow?

Proving that her fame is international, Bethenny Frankel is talking about the same old things her reality shows and her struggles in an interview with Australian newspaper The Daily Telegraph!

In the interview, Bethenny explains she enjoys doing a reality show, but having dueling reality shows Skating With The Stars and Bethenny Ever After was a bit too much: “I foolishly took on another show, Skating with the Stars, at the same time (as Bethenny Ever After). To take on two shows, a new baby, a new marriage, the negotiation to sell my company took a lot out of me.”

Bethenny who is dedicated to famewhoring her fans generally doesn’t mind the cameras in her face, as she discloses why she never requests any private moments away from the glaring lens of Andy Cohen: “I don’t do that because it would compromise the integrity of the show. Sadly, most reality shows aren’t real at all. I feel a responsibility to be truthful.” We’ve noticed, Miss ‘I can’t go to the bathroom without a boom mic’!

This is also why she feels it’s important to make her therapy sessions part of her show: “Therapy itself is difficult to do to begin with, but not difficult to have filmed because you forget the camera is there. If I can help other women understand a little better about themselves by seeing me go through therapy, that’s the most enlightening thing about the show. I run to the therapist. It’s valuable, I certainly need it, I’m proud of it.”

In other Bethenny news –it’s all about one-year-old daughter, Bryn and like mother, like daughter it seems Bryn has a lot to say! In a recent interview with SheKnows, Bethenny gives us the skinny on Bryn’s new loquaciousness: “Yeah, she’s talking. She says mama, balloon, wow, and her newest word ‘ma-na-na-na,’ which means banana.”

And speaking of food, Bethenny who describes her daughter as a “mama’s girl” also disclosed that the two bond over food – which Bryn loves and Bethenny tolerates a couple bites at a time: “She eats everything and since that’s one of my passions, I find it fun.” Apparently Bryn has quite the diverse culinary repertoire: “Her favorite food is Mediterranean. She eats grape leaves, artichoke pesto, mango cilantro salsa, baba ganoush. Just this week she had Indian food and Thai food.” Here’s hoping Bryn won’t be on the Skinnygirl diet anytime soon! Although, I am counting the days until Bethenny releases some sort of baby food cookbook.

Also, next for Bethenny and hubby Jason Hoppy aka Team Frankel is, of course, Skinnygirl Baby No. 2! “We’re preparing, I want another girl,” says Bethenny. Does that mean season three of Bethenny Ever After will feature the same thing as season one of Bethenny Getting Married a new pregnancy and preparation for the upcoming Hoppy?

Bethenny is pictured above during a June 17 ‘Skinnygirl Margarita’ bottle signing at LCBO store Toronto, Canada. Photo credit: WENN.

So would you buy a Skinnygirl Babyfood Cookbook written by Bethenny? Are you going to be watching Season Three of Bethenny Getting Married?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know Bethenny Frankel recently got a whole lot richer (a whole, whole lot) due to a deal with Beam Global in which she sold her Skinnygirl brand of beverages.

Since then, her former manager has sued her for upwards of $100 million for what he thinks was his input into her business. In a recent interview on the Today Show, Bethenny touched on the lawsuit drama. “I work really hard; I have always had a conscience and integrity (which is what you do when no one is looking). I can’t control what other people are doing nor do I want to. I’m happy where I am and I only sweat the small stuff. I torture myself more over a $40 Gap T-shirt than a multimillion-dollar lawsuit,” said Bethenny.

Bethenny also hit up the Tonight Show with Jay Leno this week, during which she quipped that she wipes her bum with dollar bills when Jay asked about her wealth, and tried to hire fellow Leno guest Kevin Bacon (love!) to entertain her and bartend. There was an enlightening moment in the interview where she admits that Jill (or should I say Bobby) Zarin secured her a place with the Real Housewives of New York. She admits that she and Jill were friends before the show (which she recognizes is weird among reality show stars…they aren’t usually close to begin with), but vaguely cites the show as the downfall of their relationship. Regardless, she knows the show was an amazing platform for her business plan.

And of course, having a multi-million (potentially billion) dollar empire, isn’t enough for the one time New York housewife. She has several spin-off Skinnygirl products launching that are sure to keep the money rolling in for years to come. Her newest endeavor? A cleanse.

A non-preggos looking Bethenny was pictured above this week during the launching of her Skinnygirl Cleanse at a GNC in Los Angeles. She elaborates, “It gently cleanses the system on a daily basis while replenishing and restoring the system with vibrant greens. On a day-to-day basis, depending upon how I feel, I alter whether I take it at night or during the day and whether I take it once per day or more.” To coincide with the Skinnygirl cleanse is also her lifestyle website Skinnygirl Daily.

Having raked in $50+ million last year, I’m sure her diehard fans will jump on with a vengeance. It certainly can’t hurt after imbibing all those margaritas.

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON BETHENNY’S COMMENTS & LATEST ENDEAVORS?

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