Bethenny Frankel might not be back next season for The Real Housewives of New York. She’s already taken a major step back from the show and the other women this summer, and she’s considering walking away from the entire thing.
She talked to Entertainment Tonight and said, “It was a long year. It's definitely work. This is just a summer of freedom. I'm glad that the audience is enjoying [the show], but I left it behind.”
She wasn’t entirely clear if she meant she’s leaving the show behind or if she’s simply used this summer to leave all the drama the show brought to her life behind. So there is still some hope for major Frankel fans.
One thing she was clear about, though, is that the reunion taping caused her to re-evaluate the show’s place in her life. She said, “It was very, very negative and I didn’t enjoy it at all. Something very dramatic happened that questioned my integrity. If someone questions my business or my integrity I take it really seriously.”
She didn’t expand very much on who questioned her integrity, but it’s quite possible it has something to do with the texts she received about Tom D’Agostino that she showed to LuAnn de Lesseps.
Either way, Frankel said, “I live my life honestly. You have 50 percent of the cast that has a whole taboo, police line, ‘do not cross’ section of their life that is not discussed on camera and never has been. For legal issues and liability issues, Bravo doesn't need to bring it up and it’s a difficult line to ride, and that may be why I don't come back.”
We’re really proud of Frankel for deciding when to walk away from a toxic environment. She’s a wildly successful businesswoman who doesn’t need the show or its drama in her life in order to maintain her lifestyle. But the show is a giant opportunity for money and exposure. It takes a certain type of bravery and integrity to know that you’d rather have your peace of mind than a paycheck.
That’s not to say that every other Housewife doesn’t live with integrity, just that it might not affect their lives in the way that it does for Frankel. Some women thrive in that environment, and others don’t. We applaud Frankel for doing exactly what’s best for her.
But selfishly, we hope she comes back, if only to film scenes with Carole Radziwill.
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