Bethenny Frankel

We all heard about some of the Real Housewives of New York cast pushing for higher salaries last season. The moves didn’t work and as a result many of them were pushed into having smaller roles and believe it or not one of those people was Luann de Lesseps. You wouldn’t know it since most of the season focused on her controversial relationship with Tom D’Agostino and her discord with Bethenny Frankel.

Now, Luann is accusing Bethenny – and her camp – of spreading some nasty rumors about her, and the ladies are back at it with the push for higher salaries. Some things will never change when it comes to the Housewives.


In a weird way, Luann’s love square with her new fiance was one of the best things to happen to her. I don’t mean that on a personal level, but on a professional one. In my opinion she was the star of the season which is pretty interesting since everyone knows that Bethenny gets top billing, stands in the middle for all promo shoots, and earns the most money. It makes me wonder if any of that played into the ongoing feud between the two OG cast members.

I have always been curious about how much “spin” plays into the perception of celebrities and reality stars. I want to know who these “inside sources” are who are sharing such personal information and I can’t help wondering if the stars themselves create stories to suit their own interests. And that’s exactly what Lu is accusing her nemesis Bethenny of doing!

Page Six revealed that someone tried to plant an obviously false story about Luann and her fiance.

The giveaway here was that Luann wasn’t even in New York City like the gossip alleged since she was at a funeral in Philadelphia. Instead of just dismissing the claims from the supposed “insiders” and “eye witnesses,” Page Six still ran the story but added that someone is trying to make Luann look bad in the press. Of course, Luann suspects these sources are on Team Bethenny.

The story alleged: “An anonymous tipster tried to fool Page Six into believing de Lesseps and fiancé Thomas D’Agostino slipped into a bathroom stall in NYC’s Regency Hotel, where the sketchy ‘source’ claimed that de Lesseps performed an unspeakable sex act on him for 45 minutes, while ‘audible moans’ and ‘whispering in French’ could be heard.”

That is the most outrageous story. Not the hooking up in the bathroom thing, but all of the unnecessary details about the moaning and speaking in French. It just seems like whoever the anonymous source was really did the most with this rumor, but obviously they didn’t do enough research, as Luann was out of town at a funeral. Maybe if this person tried to spread rumors that coincided with Luann’s actual activities, they would be believable.

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About the rumor, Luann told Page Six, “Obviously a desperate attempt by the Housewives camp to ruin my reputation and my upcoming marriage. Not going to happen! It’s really sad how desperate these women can be. I think the show should be renamed ‘The Desperate Housewives.’”

That last part wasn’t exactly clever, but I get what she’s saying. Now, I just wonder who was responsible for trying to fabricate such an embarrassing story.

This drama between Luann and Bethenny almost makes me uncomfortable, but it really does make good TV. It also makes me think that Luann needs a salary increase, not that I actually know how much she gets paid for RHONY. Love her or hate her, you have to admit that Luann brings a lot to the show and in my opinion that should equate to more dollars. 

As per usual, there is talk that the cast members are miffed by the amount of money that Bethenny makes. Page Six reported, “’There is the usual back-stabbing, claw-digging, and nastiness,’ since all the women want as much as Bethenny, ‘who’s been deemed reliable reality TV . . . She is controlled chaos.’” Wow. “Controlled chaos” really is the perfect way to describe Bethenny as a reality star. She has had iconic outbursts, but she has always been very lucid and together (which I cannot say about all of the ladies in the Real Housewives franchise).

So how much is that “controlled chaos” worth? Apparently Bethenny will be paid $1.5 million for the next season which sounds like a lot of money to me. After all, the show pays Bethenny to promote her own empire, go on free vacations, and eat lunch with her friends on camera. However, some “inside source” said, “Based on Bethenny’s previous deals, that figure seems to be very low.” I have to assume that this person is a Bethenny ally because that $1.5 million is a lot of money to be yourself on reality TV. This statement is especially true since it’s reported that the other ladies will end up with $400,000 to appear next season. Damn. Well, it’s very clear that Bravo blatantly favors believes in Bethenny.

If Luann is still dating Tom by the time the next season starts filming, she deserves a raise in my opinion. Not only that, but I feel like Dorinda Medley’s boyfriend John Mahdessian should be a paid cast member as well. At this point, he should be holding an apple in the opening credits, but I’ve obviously digressed a little with this topic.


[Photo Credit: Charles Sykes/Bravo]


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