Say it ain’t so! Bethenny Frankel is set to exit The Real Housewives of New York City ahead of season 12, Us Weekly can confirm.
“She wants to focus on being a mom to Bryn,” a source reveals. “She’s also got other business things going on and doesn’t need the RHONY paycheck.”
The reality star, 48, confirmed the news herself in a statement to Us on Wednesday, August 21. “I have decided to leave the Housewives franchise to explore my next chapter,” she said. “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. With the changes in modern culture, I want to highlight the strength, confidence and unstoppable power that women have.”
She continued: “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.”
Frankel was an original cast member of the show when it debuted in 2008. She initially left during season 3, but she returned five years later for season 7 and beyond.
The TV personality shares daughter Bryn, 9, with ex-husband Jason Hoppy. Frankel hinted during her contentious custody battle with the entrepreneur, 48, that her time as a Housewife could be coming to an end. “I’ve chosen to wind things down,” she testified during a March court appearance. “It goes from having nothing to being successful to being comfortable.”
Frankel noted at the time that she wanted to work less “to have a better quality of life” and “lighten [her] load.” She planned to focus on her HSN partnership, producing TV shows and “possibly if I decided to return to the Housewives” throughout the next year.
The Skinnygirl founder mentioned the stress the court battle had on her work life. “This ongoing, horrible situation has been another job,” she explained. “Managing it has effects [on] all areas of my life. Going through the six-and-a-half-year nightmare and trying to separate that from my daughter and from my work, I was getting pulled in so many different directions, and something has to give.”
Sign up for Us Weekly's free, daily newsletter and never miss breaking news or exclusive stories about your favorite celebrities, TV shows and more!
More recently, Frankel bravely opened up on the series about feeling devastated after the August 2018 death of her on-off boyfriend, Dennis Shields.
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!