For years, Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel has been at war with her ex, Jason Hoppy, over custody of their 8-year-old daughter Bryn. Currently, they have a joint custody agreement, but now the former couple is going head-to-head in court, with Frankel requesting full custody so she can protect her daughter.
According to Radar Online, the trial started this week, with Hoppy taking the stand to ask the court to keep the joint custody agreement in place.
Bethenny Frankel Alleges Ex Jason 'Manhandled' Daughter Bryn, Locked Up Dog, and Disparaged Her Looks & Mental Health in Custody Trial, Bethenny Forced to Cancel Press Appearances #RHONY https://t.co/UVoLWvbaPp
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Frankel appeared in front of Judge Michael Katz with her lawyer, Allan Mayefsky, and Hoppy was with his attorney, Robert Wallack, to address Frankel’s motion to modify their current custody agreement because the RHONY star believes it is “no longer viable.”
Mayefsky gave his opening statement and explained why Frankel is fighting for sole custody of Bryn.
“Why are we doing this? To protect the child,” Frankel’s lawyer argued. “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.”
He continued by arguing that the court needs to protect the mother, and Hoppy’s anger at her is evident because she requested a restraining order which continues to this day.
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Mayefsky also brought up over 500 emails that Hoppy sent Frankel over a 90-day period where he attacked her age, her looks, and her mental health. The attorney said that Hoppy’s abusive behavior is evidence that he refuses to take responsibility, so the custody schedule must change.
Frankel’s lawyer then accused Hoppy of degrading his ex-wife in front of their daughter, and said that he would “continue to be controlled by his emotions.” He explained that Hoppy signs up for every field trip and hovers when Bryn is in contact with her mother, and this shows that he is all about “competitive parenting” which is not in Bryn’s best interest.
In Wallack’s opening statement, he said that Frankel and Hoppy reached a joint custody agreement in June 2014. And, even though Hoppy’s past actions were wrong, he and Frankel have still been able to make education, medical, and extracurricular activity decisions together.
Still, Wallack says, Frankel gathered up a bunch of emails and took them to the police to get Hoppy arrested.
“And Jason’s response through his lawyer was this: we’ve had a contentious divorce that’s played out in public for nearly seven years. I just want to move on. Bryn is doing great, and my focus is on raising her in an environment free from unnecessary litigation and invasive media attention,” said Wallack.
He continued by saying that Frankel seems intent on making the trial about the issues between her and Hoppy, instead of what is best for Bryn.
After the opening statements, Hoppy took the stand and said he takes responsibility for his past actions and just wants to move on.
The trial is expected to last a few days.
Bethenny Frankel returns in new episodes of the Real Housewives of New York City Wednesday, March 6th on Bravo.