You love her or you hate her, but Bethenny Frankel was one of the original Real Housewives of New York and its biggest star, and she used her time on the show to successfully advertise her brand, Skinnygirl, and score a spinoff, Bethenny Ever After.
She left RHONY after Season 3 in 2010 and returned in 2015, but announced on Wednesday she’s exiting the franchise once again, telling Variety she wants 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.”
“With the changes in modern culture, I want to highlight the strength, confidence and unstoppable power that women have. 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.”
So, in other words, Frankel is definitely not done with reality TV.
Following the news on Wednesday that Frankel is exiting the Bravo reality series, Ramona Singer — who began on RHONY with Frankel and has never missed a season of the franchise — told People exclusively that she “respects the fact that Bethenny has decided to go on with other endeavors.”
“Bethenny found love in her life, and it’s so fantastic that she’ll be taking the time to grow that relationship away from the cameras and to explore other business opportunities,” said Singer, 62, noting Frankel’s relationship with boyfriend Paul Bernon.
“When she left in season 4, we found out through the press she was doing her spinoff, Bethenny Getting Married. She was upset we never congratulated her, but we were upset she never told us! And that’s how we feel now. There is a camaraderie among us as a cast. Love us, hate us, not like us — we are a team. To hear this from the press and not through her is upsetting,” she explained.
Singer added, “I really wish her well, though. The show’s a machine and it will continue on. We’re all just a cog in the wheel. No one is irreplaceable.”
Still, Singer admitted, “I’m only disappointed that Bethenny did not inform her costars that she’s not coming back to the show.”
Frankel later spoke out in a lengthy “personal note” to her followers on Instagram.