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Bethenny Frankel sat down for a one-on-one interview with Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live and talked divorce, returning to Real Housewives of New York and so much more!

Andy starts right out by sharing that Bethenny is coming back to the show at a time in her life when she’s suffering from two huge failures – of her marriage and her talk show.  Ouch.   She says “Yes.  I don’t really view them as failures.  I don’t think of them that way.  I don’t think of them as successes, don’t get it twisted, but I don’t think of them that way.  I think of them as experiences.  And I really can’t compare the two, they’re very different experiences.” 

Bethenny says the two things are so different that she has to talk about them separately.  She says the talk show wasn’t a negative experience.  “It was an amazing opportunity and there were so many great people that worked there.  I don’t think, in fact, that that was a failure. I didn’t enjoy being a talk show host.  I don’t think it’s what I should be doing. I think if you don’t love what you do, you’re not going to be good at it. And I just didn’t feel good, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. That was also because of what was going on with me personally. Everybody wants a talk show and everybody thinks it’s so easy and particularly Housewives all want a talk show and it’s not easy.” 

On marriage: “As far as my personal life, do I find it to be a failure?  I’ve been through some pretty negative stuff.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  So you’re catching me on the back nine right now.  I wouldn’t have been able to do the show a year and a half ago.  That would not have been enjoyable for anyone.”

Does she regret that her dating, marriage, etc all happened on camera for reality TV?  “Is it a little crazy now that I think about it? Yeah.  Would I ever want to be in that kind of relationship in that way, doing that? No.  It’s not natural.”  She doesn’t believe in regret, she is where she is because of her experiences. 

What is the status of her marriage?  Is she divorced yet?  “I am not divorced.”  Andy comments that it’s taking a long time and she agrees. 

Andy asks if she can talk about the divorce or their situation (living together under the same roof, etc.)?  “I don’t want to comment here and start trashing the situation because it’s not good for anyone, it doesn’t help anyone and my daughter is the most important thing.  I made a decision, especially going through all this different press and being in the public eye, to really just not climb into the mud.”

Andy asks where she lives and if they still live together.  She says “I don’t know where I live. I live in a lot of different places. You’ll have to watch the show. I may be sleeping here in your office.” 

Can she isolate one thing that tore apart her marriage? “I write in my book, I Suck At Relationships, about mutual respect and I think people should be in relationships with people that really accept them and I understand them.  Sheryl Sandberg wrote that book, Lean In, about the power struggle between men and women and how hard it is when the woman’s the bread winner and I think fame and attention and money does not bring out the best in everybody. I think that money, in many ways, is the root of all evil.”

What has Bethenny learned from the situation?  “I have learned that you need to go with your gut and as smart as I am in business, it’s why I wrote I Suck At Relationships.  It’s not to beat myself up more, which I do a good job at, but it’s that I learned more from my mistakes than my successes. Women want this biological clock and you want things to be a certain way and you have this idea of what everything is supposed to be, but relationships are really hard and you have to go with your gut because it’s the best shot that you have.”  She wishes she could be more precise but says matters of the heart just aren’t like that.  

She admits that she saw signs along the way and we sometimes brush them under the rug.  Cracks become craters. 

Bethenny says she’d never get married on television again.  “Absolutely not. If anyone wanted to marry me on television, I would run like a thief in the night.” 

Does she believe in marriage? “I will never get legally married again.  It doesn’t mean I wouldn’t commit to someone.  I’m not jaded, I’m not bitter about love.  There are amazing guys out there, it’s not that.  I will never ever be legally married again.”   Bethenny says “Marriage is Hotel California.  You can check out anytime but you can never leave.” 

Why come back to the Housewives? “I don’t think people really know me anymore. I think people have read so many things about me and that’s really most of what they know and even doing the talk show, it’s very controlled.  There was no cursing.  I didn’t realize how liberating this was, to be able to just be on reality television, this way, for me, and be exactly who you are.  I missed the connection between myself and the viewers.  I went through this journey with them.  I went through so many amazing things in my life with them.” 

Andy asked her what it was like to walk back into her first party for filming RHONY.  “It’s what I do, it’s who I am.  It was scary.  It occurred to me recently that I’m a professional reality star.  It’s my calling.  Honestly, as ridiculous as that may sound, it feels really comfortable.  I remember my boyfriend in season one saying to me, I was talking about a scene and he was like ‘you’re not supposed to use the show as therapy’ and I was like ‘why not’? I use everything as therapy. I’m just comfortable in this.”  

Andy says it’s interesting to hear Bethenny say this and asks if there was a time, two years ago, when she thought it was in her past (to be on reality TV).  “I think I thought exposing my life, I had exposed too much. Everybody was in every moment of my life.  I think it’s somehow a little bit different because it’s not everybody around me, it’s just my experience.  It’s not like I’m involving other people.  I’m flying solo in this experience.” 

Andy wonders if there was a point where she thought she was maybe too big for the show.  “There was a point where I was a little embarrassed to be a Housewife.  I felt like it was a little something to not be proud of and there was a time when I was in it that it felt kind of not what I started out as. That’s why I walked away. But now coming back, I feel proud to do it again and I feel it is a different show.  I feel my coming back to the show this season is changing up the dynamic, which is what people say, it’s what you’ve said.  And I think it’s something I’m proud of again.  It just seems honest and real and old school.” 

Andy says that Bethenny is coming to the show a more vulnerable person than even he has seen her in the last few years.  “Yeah. I’ve been through some insane stuff in the last couple of years and I’ve been beaten up in the press so much so I’m a little more resilient but I’m definitely more vulnerable. I have a different perspective and also being a mother changes you.  Everything else just becomes being so not important.  It’s the one thing that’s the most important in the world and it’s pure and you have to protect.  And there’s that.”

Will we see Bryn on the show? “No. She’s a little girl and I just don’t want that for her. We’re adults, we make these decisions for ourselves, I’m not gonna put my kid on a reality show.” 

Andy says he was surprised to see Ramona and Bethenny interact in the second episode of the new season and Bethenny’s refusal to get on the Ramonacoaster.  “I thought, ‘Oh God, we’re still here? I went on this big journey and came back and we’re still right here?'”  She was wondering what she got herself into. “But it evolves, it is a ride and we’re all going through very different things than we ever have.  It really is a season for transition, I will say that. “

On the new cast members like Carole: “I get along with her well.” 

On Heather, “Heather really worked my nerves on the show.  Heather loves the art of therapy and analyzing people and kind of getting into your grill.”

Andy asks her about the stories that are out right now about how difficult she is supposedly being during filming and reportedly refusing to walk their ‘step and repeats’ at events, etc.  Does she think the stories are coming from her cast mates?  “Yes, they are. I’ll go to “X” person’s event and the very next day it’s in the press.  I can’t believe that people sell stories about each other.  Or place stories about each other.  We’re all working together, people are ratting me out left and right and you have to kind of know what you’re dealing with.”

Is she guilty of leaking things about her co-stars?  “No, no. Absolutely not.” 

Andy brings up that she was on the cover of Forbes when she sold the liquor portion of Skinny Girl.  He tries to ask her if she has a $100 million in the bank. She laughs, “first of all, how much do you have in the bank?  Who asks that?”  She jokes that Andy can come with her to the ATM and get a print out of her bank statement.  He tries again to get her to give a ballpark of what she sold it for and she says she doesn’t want to talk about the money part.  She does get a little cheeky and points out that the huge reported sum was only for the liquor portion and she has 14 other successful categories of the brand.  “The brand is thriving.” 

They joke about Kelly Bensimon getting credit for her upcoming Skinny Girl salad dressings and about her owing LuAnn de Lesseps a car for the Skinny Girl margarita idea.  She says they’ll stop off at her special ATM with the Swarovski crystal door to withdraw her special daily limit of $10 million.   Kidding aside, Bethenny says that she and Kelly are friendly when they see one another at cocktail parties, etc. 

Andy asks if she’s in touch with Alex McCord or Jill Zarin and she says she wishes them both the best and she did see Jill and said hello at a party over the summer. 

Andy picks her brain for thoughts on the other Housewives like NeNe.  She says that NeNe makes her laugh. He then asks what Bethenny thinks about Teresa Giudice since Teresa had made a few digs about Skinny Girl in the past.  “It’s been contentious but from afar. It started years ago when I was just watching this show with these women and I was blogging for somebody, it wasn’t just the Bravo blog, and you just write what you see and I think it just started a “thing” and she would talk about me and it was quoted in the press and on Twitter and it became kind of like a real cowardly, not face-to-face, battle because I don’t know her.  The only thing I can think of now with her going away is being a mother now and being away from your kids. I can’t even think of something worse, I really can’t. If she went to jail and all that’s true, it would be amazing to me the person that would go on reality television with skeletons in the closet, whether it’s someone who’s having an affair or someone who’s bankrupt or anything.  It’s almost like someone who has something that they don’t want anyone to know, they put a camera in front of them. It’s weird.”  Bethenny says that when people ask if they should reality TV, she warns them if they have any skeletons, they’re coming out.  She mentions how funny it is that people she knew before the Housewives are now doing shows, like Lisa Rinna

Bethenny says she is not dating right now.  She wishes her dating life was as colorful as the press claims it is.  “Right now I’m kind of at a standstill.  I’ve dated this year, I’ve had a lot of different experiences, but I have a daughter and I am still married and I don’t know where my judgement is.  I don’t know what I’m looking for.”  She says she’s a lot to handle and has a daughter so someone would have to be willing to take all of that on.  She reiterates that she believes in love and marriage but just not marriage for herself.

TELL US – DO YOU THINK BETHENNY’S DIVORCE WILL EVER BE DONE AND BEHIND HER?  ARE YOU EXCITED FOR HER RETURN TO RHONY?

 

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