‘RHONY’ Alum Jill Zarin on Ex-BFF Bethenny Frankel: ‘I Don’t See the Same Person Anymore’

Not the Skinnygirl she knew. Real Housewives of New York City alum Jill Zarin shared her thoughts in a new interview about watching her ex-BFF Bethenny Frankel on TV years after their friendship ended.

Bethenny Frankel and Jill Zarin attend the Social Life Magazine Hosts Zoe McLellan Celebrating Her July 4th Magazine Cover on July 5, 2008 in Watermill, New York.
Bethenny Frankel and Jill Zarin attend the Social Life Magazine Hosts Zoe McLellan Celebrating Her July 4th Magazine Cover on July 5, 2008 in Watermill, New York. Eugene Gologursky/WireImage

Chatting with The Daily Dish podcast on Friday, June 9, Zarin, 53 — who admitted to watching RHONY every week — explained why she no longer recognizes Frankel, 46. 

“I don’t see the same person anymore,” Zarin, who encouraged Frankel to audition for the show nearly a decade ago, said. “I don’t. But that’s not a bad thing. It’s just a growing thing.”

The Zarin Fabrics cofounder when on to say that she has noticed a change in Frankel ever since she became a mother. The margarita mogul shares daughter Bryn, 7, with ex-husband Jason Hoppy.

“You know, she’s a mom now, she wasn’t a mom then. [You have] to grow up fast when you’re a mom. Now you’re responsible for another human being,” Zarin continued. “When she was with me, she was just her. It was all about her. It was just a different time in our lives, the innocent time. Life was easy.”

As RHONY fans may recall, Zarin and Frankel fell out after the hit Bravo show’s third season concluded in 2010. During a particularly dramatic reunion special, Frankel accused Zarin of telling their castmates not to film with Frankel after she landed her own spinoff, Bethenny Getting Married. While the Skinnygirl entrepreneur insisted that Zarin did so out of jealousy, Zarin denied Frankel’s claims at the time.

During her chat with The Daily Dish, Zarin, who made a cameo on the Wednesday, June 7, episode of RHONY, said that she wishes she could have been there for Frankel as she entered a new phase in her life.

“I don’t know too many people who could survive what she survived. She had four major life changes all happen to her at the same time. She lost a parent, she got pregnant, she moved,” she said of Frankel, whose father, Robert J. Frankel, died in 2009. “I don’t know if people realize that she was moving from her apartment to downtown, and she was planning her wedding. … I really wanted to be there for her, but she did not want me in her life, and I couldn’t force that. You can’t force yourself on someone.”

The Real Housewives of New York City airs on Bravo Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET.

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