Bethenny Frankel Says That Reality TV Isn’t Always Real During Custody Battle

In what must be one of the ugliest divorces and custody disputes of all time, Real Housewives of New York star Bethenny Frankel and her ex-husband Jason Hoppy continue to spar over custody of their only child, Bryn Hoppy. The couple’s toxic marriage finally came to an end in July of 2016. The drama did not.

In August 2018, Bethenny suffered a major loss when her boyfriend (and possible fiancé) Dennis Shields was found dead of a suspected opioid overdose. RHONY viewers saw how Bethenny handled her grief. Eventually, she decided to move on with a new man, Paul Bernon. She even met with a grief counselor on the show.

In March 2019, the battle between Bethenny and Jason re-ignited when Bethenny fought for sole custody of Bryn.

According to an article from Page Six, Bethenny was back in court on May 13 testifying about, of all things, reality television. Jason’s attorney, Robert Wallack, sought to prove that Bethenny lied when she said that she didn’t know that Dennis died of a drug overdose. Wallack brought up the April 3 RHONY episode. In that the episode, Bethenny spoke about Dennis’ death with a grief counselor.

During that session, Bethenny stated, “I kept in the middle of the night waking up and asking my friends, ‘Is [Dennis] really dead?’ I [was] going through denial because I would imagine a sudden death from an overdose is extremely different than just knowing someone is going to die from cancer.”

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“What is it you want me to answer? About the show or about my life?” Bethenny asked the attorney. Bethenny also explained that the show is heavily edited. Oh, yes—the “bad edit” defense which is used all the time by Housewives.

Bethenny stated,“[It’s] a show you shoot for seven days to get 40 minutes. I can never specifically say that’s what happened. Even if you have a transcript, it might not be what I said.”

Jason’s lawyer continued to question Bethenny about the show. The reality star quipped, “I don’t know. You are more of a fan than I am.” Jason’s attorney responded that he could show Bethenny the episode. “We can have a viewing party,” he commented.

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Apparently, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Michael Katz isn’t a fan of RHONY, at least not in court. “I do think it is bizarre [to ask about the show]. We are taking this reality television show that was meant for entertainment value and supplanting testimony,” Judge Katz said. Jason’s lawyer has implied that Bethenny’s relationship with Dennis was not good for Bryn. He also remarked that Bethenny discussing her divorce with the media was also detrimental to Bryn.

In an article from US Weekly, Bethenny detailed Jason’s alleged abusive behavior. “The father’s behavior before and after their marriage is extremely harmful to Bryn. His abusive behavior towards her not only damages her relationship with her mother, but to everyone else in her life,” Bethenny’s attorney stated as the proceedings began on March 4.

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But wait—there are even more accusations about Jason! Bethenny’s attorney added, “[He was] physically pulling the child away from Ms. Frankel, leaving negative articles out about Ms. Frankel, [and] doesn’t flush the toilet. [He] locked up Cookie [Bethenny’s late dog], in a storage closet and wouldn’t reveal her whereabouts for hours.” Yikes!

The attorney also brought up Bethenny’s former RHONY bestie, Carole Radziwell, in a bid to discredit Bethenny’s use of the term “harassment” and demonstrate that Bethenny has anger issues. He quoted Carole saying that Bethenny was “a master of public promotion” and “quick to insult.”

Bethenny told him Carole’s comments did not constitute harassment. “I don’t think that’s harassment, no. That’s a comment, that’s not calling me a name.”

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He referenced an appearance on Watch What Happens Live where Bethenny called Carole “a b—h and a f–king moron,” and asked Bethenny if that was harassment. The judge finally shut down that particular line of questioning. Sure –just when it is becoming entertaining for RHONY viewers. Carole would have loved being in court, munching on some popcorn and grinning at Bethenny.

I wish that Bethenny and Jason would stop acting like children and take care of their precious daughter and peacefully co-parent. I don’t think that will happen anytime soon. Sigh.


[Photo Credit: Bravo]