The BravoUniverse is still trying to right itself after the shocking exit of Real Housewives of New York star Bethenny Frankel, and details are continuing to emerge about what really sparked the SkinnyGirl mogul’s departure. Even though Frankel claims she was ready to start a new chapter in her life, an insider says that the real reason she left was a “contract dispute.”
According to Page Six, Frankel went into her contract negotiations for Season 12 with “one foot out the door,” and she gave Bravo a huge number that they weren’t prepared to say yes to. However, instead of giving the network a chance to counter, Frankel told Variety she was done, and producers apparently didn’t find out that she was leaving until they heard about it on social media.
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I wanted to take a moment to write a personal note to you. I am so grateful to you for sticking with me through everything. You started this journey with me in my tiny apartment in my late 30s, wondering what would happen to me. I was broke, single, had no family and no idea what the future held. I had big dreams and I never stopped, but I honestly didn’t know if I would ever get here. You helped me to get here. I would read your letters and messages and grow from your struggles. You would give me your honest opinion about my products and projects and helpful advice about divorce, relationships, motherhood, miscarriages, health, and surviving the death of a loved one and almost my own. You have shared your ideas with me and I have been inspired by and learned from you. I am fortunate to have created a business and career that some people only dream of. I had a beautiful baby girl who is now 9 years old, and she has changed me as a human being. I was able to give back and help people all over the world who have been hit with the worst of unforeseen circumstances, which we will all continue together. GO for it. Whatever it is. Reach for your dreams in life and love and make the impossible happen, because it can happen and it WILL happen. Come from a place of yes and it’s yours for the taking. Thank you so much for your love and support. And stay tuned, you haven’t seen the last of me. There are many amazing things to come. I love you all and am so lucky to have you in my life! PS: New York City is still my playground. . ♥️xo♥️ . B
“[Frankel] was confident there were options out there for her. She’s happy in her personal life with Paul Bernon,” says an insider.
Another source claims that Frankel’s decision to leave RHONY was “sudden,” and it happened hours before they started shooting Season 12. It isn’t clear why Bravo wouldn’t have a contract with Frankel in place ahead of time.
Frankel didn’t tell her co-stars in advance about her decision to leave, but Ramona Singer says she did reach out to everyone individually after the news broke.
Now, the big question is who will replace Frankel in the Season 12 cast. Shooting has already started, and there really isn’t time to bring in a newbie with the current shooting schedule. Will the network bring back a vet? Or, will they put the schedule on hold and give themselves time to regroup?
An insider claims that Bravo has tested a few women previously for a spot on the show, like Tinsley Mortimer’s friend Leah McSweeney. But, it’s too soon to tell which way Bravo will go.
Bethenny Frankel lives under the compulsive assumption that she is destined for better television than the Real Housewives of New York and she’s wrong. It’s the greatest show of all time and she’s making a big fat mistake.
— ᴘᴀᴛʀɪᴋ sᴀɴᴅʙᴇʀɢ (@PatrikSandberg) August 22, 2019
OG Housewife Jill Zarin – who has made appearances in the past couple of seasons – has talked about a possible comeback, but she says she prefers a “guest” or “friend” role instead of being a full-timer. However, that could change this season since Bravo is in quite the bind.
“All I can say is that they’ve started filming, and I’m here,” said Zarin before her tennis match at the Brookfield Place Open in New York City. “I’m at the tennis event today. Watch and see what happens, as Andy Cohen says.”
Season 12 of Real Housewives of New York – sans Bethenny Frankel – is expected to premiere in early 2020 on Bravo.