Bethenny Frankel shocked fans last week when she announced that she was leaving Real Housewives of New York. Though the 48-year-old didn’t say exactly what caused her to step away from the show that made her famous, except that she wanted to focus on her career and family, a source revealed to Page Six that it allegedly all came down to money.
Reportedly, Frankel was in negotiations with Bravo for her ninth season on the show – the 12th season of the series – when things fell apart. While the Skinny Girl mogul was willing to appear on the show, it seems that she was also ready to leave if things during negotiations didn’t go as planned.
Frankel “was confident there were options out there for her. She’s happy in her personal life with [real estate exec and film producer] Paul Bernon,” said a source.
Given her strong starting position, the insider says that Frankel offered up a seriously impressive number that Bravo would need to meet in order to keep her around, and when they refused, she left. In fact, she made the announcement that she was taking off to Variety magazine so quickly that her fellow castmates on the show are apparently still in shock, according to Hollywood Life.
“They felt blindsided and shocked with the exception of the couple she told,” a source said.
Some of her castmates doubt that the decision was last minute and suspect that Frankel had been contemplating the move for some time.
“The ladies don’t believe it was a last-minute decision on her part and wished that she would’ve shared with all of them as they were all under the impression she was coming back since that’s what they were told,” the insider added.
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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
A source close to Frankel said that the reality star wanted to be sure that she controlled the narrative of her exit and that she did it decisively.
“She wanted her departure to be communicated in her own words. This was a business decision and action, and Bethenny makes those choices on her own,” the insider said.
As for what she plans to do with her new-found free time, Frankel says that she is focusing on her family as her battle to divorce her ex-husband Jason Hoppy and to get custody of her daughter continues. She has also signed on with MGM Television and Mark Burnett to create her own reality television.