THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ORANGE COUNTY -- Episode 1402 -- Pictured: (l-r) Vicki Gunvalson, Shannon Storms Beador -- (Photo by: Phillip Faraone/Bravo)

Vicki Gunvalson Says Bethenny Frankel Left Real Housewives Because She “Can’t Handle The Hardship”

When Bethenny Frankel announced on August 21 that she was leaving Real Housewives of New York, everyone was stunned. Viewers were stunned. Her RHONY co-stars were stunned. It was the departure that no one expected.

Bethenny’s new man, Paul Bernon, is very private and doesn’t want to be on camera, so that could be one reason for Bethenny’s departure. There were also rumblings that Bravo executives were angry for months that Bethenny had plans to produce unscripted shows for television with Mark Burnett.

It didn’t take long for Housewives from other franchises to sound off on Bethenny’s decision. And that includes the newly demoted “OG from the OC,” Vicki Gunvalson.

Vicki told US Weekly that Bethenny will be okay in her post-Housewife life. “She’s obviously got the money, and she’s good,” Vicki said. “She’s doing a lot of great work for the Bahamas right now, and truly, I wish her the best. This is not for people that can’t handle the hardship. I mean, it’s a tough gig. … She’s gonna be fine.” Wow!

RELATED: Andy Cohen Thinks Bethenny Frankel Could Eventually Return To Real Housewives Of New York

Bethenny has recently weathered a vicious divorce and custody battle with ex Jason Hoppy, and the death of her on-and-off boyfriend Dennis Shields. She has shown her work in the business world, and her philanthropic efforts. Bethenny has proven she is more than tough enough to deal with the drama on camera.  Bethenny may have left the franchise for four years, but she was never demoted. Are you taking notes, Vicki?

Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Melissa Gorga also commented on an RHONY world sans Bethenny. “I am in shock. To me, this is the worst news ever. I enjoy her,” Melissa remarked. “I love her so much. But good for her. She’s moving on. She’s been very respectful to the Housewives and Bravo and to the franchise.”

RELATED: Tamra Judge Bashes Bethenny Frankel’s Reasons For Leaving Real Housewives: “We Work Three Hours a Day!”

And, of course, Tamra Judge was running her mouth had something to say. You know she is all about keeping her spot on RHOC, and she is talking about ANYTHING she can. “Bethenny’s a smart girl,” Tamra told Us Weekly. “She’s very successful. If it was her time to leave on her terms, then good for her. I don’t have any doubt in my mind that Bethenny’s gonna go on to do something else. She’ll be fine.” Does Tamra have any idea about what Bethenny does? Just wondering.

RELATED: Gizelle Bryant Predicts Bethenny Frankel Will “Be Back” On Real Housewives Of New York

Tamra also wanted to set the record straight about some previous comments that she made about the Skinnygirl mogul. “But last week, I did an interview and I talked about other Housewives that had left, and they made it sound like that’s what I was talking about…Bethenny being fired. But I never said that.”

Maybe Tamra was talking about her interview with E!’s Daily Pop where she shaded Bethenny big time. Tamra said, “I hate when a Housewife either gets fired or says she quit. But when they go on record and say, ‘I just need to spend time with my kids.’ That’s what I just like, really? Cause you weren’t spending time with them? Because we work three hours a day!” So much for support among Housewives!

RELATED: Bethenny Frankel Details Plan For B-Strong Mission to Amazon Rainforest

Bethenny issued a statement to Variety outlining her future plans. “I have decided to leave the ‘Housewives’ franchise to explore my next chapter. It’s time to move on and focus on my daughter, my philanthropy and my production partnership with Mark Burnett, producing and starring in shows which represent a shift in the conversation for women,” Bethenny said. “My experience at Bravo has been an incredibly magical ride. I am so grateful to them for highlighting my entrepreneurialism and allowing me to pave the way for many women to achieve their goals. I am excited for my future. The best is yet to come.”


[Photo Credit: Phillip Faraone/Bravo]