It was a shock when “OG” Real Housewives of New York star Bethenny Frankel decided to ditch the show after Season 11. After the death of her on-and-off boyfriend Dennis Shields in 2018, a heartbroken Bethenny had found love again.
Her new love, Paul Bernon, literally saved her life during a scary allergic reaction. Bethenny’s new man is all about privacy, so her decision to leave RHONY might not have been difficult. Or else, Luann de Lessep’s relentless obsession with her cabaret show might have been a factor.
In a statement to Variety in August of 2019, Bethenny said, “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 added, “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.”
In an interview with HollywoodLife, Bethenny explained why she left RHONY at just the right time. “So, there’s a lot of stuff going on with the business end, but I’m more organized, calmer, balanced, and able to focus on my entire business than I was when doing the Housewives, because it’s a pretty taxing process.”
Bethenny also revealed the downsides of being a full-time Housewife. “It’s a more stressful, unnecessarily stressful, and less healthy of a lifestyle,” she shared. “I’m confident I made the right choices because I feel healthier, calmer, I have more balance in my life, and I have more quality time with people around me. It’s just not a frantic frenzy. It’s not the healthiest of experiences for many people, so this is a healthier lifestyle [now],” the Skinnygirl mogul explained.
What is up next for Bethenny? She told HollywoodLife, “It’s going to be announced very soon, so you’ll get all of that. But, it’s basically seeing more of having the day to day, and it’s basically more of like a powerhouse business/my personal life shell; how you’re balancing being a CEO and the stresses of that — What it takes? What it requires? How it’s difficult? How I manage the staff, and just how the whole sort of operation runs,” Bethenny remarked. “So, it’s got a lot of business hustle, and it’s got a bit of personal.”
Not everyone is sad about Bethenny’s departure. Bravo’s The Daily Dish reported that at a panel for BravoCon, the RHONY cast was asked what the show would be like without Bethenny. Ramona Singer, that shy and delicate flower, responded, “I think we’re better, we’re stronger.”
In December, Luann told HollywoodLife of Season 12, “It’s such a great season. We all get to show ourselves and have more time to talk about our own life and our own stories, and it’s not always about Bethenny [now].” Ouch! I wonder if Bethenny expected a fond farewell?
TELL US: DID BETHENNY PICK THE RIGHT TIME TO LEAVE RHONY? WILL YOU MISS HER? ARE YOU GOING TO WATCH SEASON 12?
[Photo Credit: Heidi Gutman/Bravo]