We hate to see one of our favorite reality stars move on from a show we love, but sometimes it’s for the best — and might even hint at new exciting things. So we’re sad — but hopeful! — about the fact that Bethenny Frankel is leaving the Real Housewives of New York series. The news comes as the show is about to go into its 12th season on Bravo. Frankel has been a staple of the RHONY since its inception in 2008, but this isn’t her first departure: She left the series by its third season only to return during the series’ seventh in 2015.
Variety learned exclusively that Frankel had made the decision to take a break from the series on Wednesday. “I have decided to leave the ‘Housewives’ franchise to explore my next chapter,” Frankel said in a statement. “It’s time to move on and focus on my daughter, my philanthropy and my production partnership with Mark Burnett, producing and starring in shows which represent a shift in the conversation for women.”
Frankel continued, “With the changes in modern culture, I want to highlight the strength, confidence and unstoppable power that women have. My experience at Bravo has been an incredibly magical ride. I am so grateful to them for highlighting my entrepreneurialism and allowing me to pave the way for many women to achieve their goals. I am excited for my future. The best is yet to come.”
During her time on the show, Frankel has made appearances on adjacent Real Housewives series as well as spin-off series Bethenny Ever After and Bethenny and Frederick. The reality star is now planning to develop new, unscripted series which she will executive producer and likely star in.
Frankel was a huge draw for the series and helped make the reality show the quotable and gif generating platform it is. Usually in on the joke, Frankel never shied away from confronting other cast members, upping the ante on the show’s drama and becoming a draw for fans and curious audiences.
But Frankel was also very open about her life while appearing on the show. The reality star allowed audiences to see the emotional toll of her divisive divorce and custody battle. With new projects on the horizon and her personal life falling into place, we’re wishing nothing but the best for Frankel — and we’ll be following her new roles in front of and behind the camera as they come.