Bethenny Frankel Really Left RHONY Over A Contract Dispute
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.
“[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.
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.