Real Housewives of New York star Bethenny Frankel isn’t being completely honest about the extent of her allegedly rough upbringing, a new book claims.
The reality television star has often claimed that she suffered a difficult childhood, revealing in a 2010 interview that she suffered abuse and neglect at the hands of her dad, renowned horse trainer Bobby Frankel.
“I never had a true childhood,” she told People at the time, via Hollywood Life. “There was a lot of destruction: alcohol abuse, eating disorders and violent fights.”
The report claimed that Bobby walked out on Bethenny and her mom when the reality television star was just 4-years-old. Bethenny later moved in with Bobby to escape the volatility of living with her mom, and she claimed that he lived a freewheeling lifestyle of “drugs and young girls,” and he would frequently have fits of rage — a terrible environment for a young girl to grow up.
Bethenny claims that her stepfather, horse trainer John Parisella, also left an abusive home environment when she wasn’t with her dad. As Bethenny said in a 2010 episode of her Bravo show, Bethenny Getting Married, she was “raised in a cave by animals.”
The reality star later said the childhood led her to eating disorders, saying she fell into destructive dieting when she was just 13. Bethenny said in her teenage years, she fell into partying and drug abuse, even developing a cocaine habit.
But a new biography of John Parisella casts doubt on those claims. The biography by author Denny Dressman claimed that Bethenny grew up in “million-dollar homes” and attended the best schools. Bethenny’s mom did admit that Parisella was a drug user and had beaten her, but said he never hurt Bethenny.
A source told the New York Post‘s Page Six that despite having the luxuries of a great home and exclusive private schools, Bethenny didn’t have an easy childhood.
“Bethenny weathered a tough childhood,” the source said. “She unfortunately grew up in a household with a lot of physical and mental abuse, alcoholism, drugs and a gun,” adding that “her stepfather would beat her mother and Bethenny would oftentimes have to call the police.”
The source said that the difficult childhood helped to shape Bethenny Frankel into who she is today, saying that she “wouldn’t be such a survivor” had she not made it through such a rough upbringing. Frankel did not comment on the claims.