Totally shook. Fans weren’t the only ones shocked by Bethenny Frankel’s abrupt departure from the Real Housewives of New York franchise. A source confirmed to Us Weekly that many of her costars were stunned by the news.
“Some of the RHONY cast were very surprised to learn Bethenny was leaving,” the insider told Us exclusively. “As the highest paid housewife in franchise history, she doesn’t need the money. It was time to leave to focus on her brand, her relief efforts and her production deal.”
The source noted that Frankel viewed the Bravo show as “a great platform for her to grow.” However, the reality TV star “is looking forward to continue to work on projects that empower women.”
It was announced on Wednesday, August 21, that Frankel would be leaving RHONY ahead of season 12. An insider told Us that she “wants to focus on being a mom to Bryn,” noting that “she’s also got other business things going on.” Frankel shares 9-year-old daughter Bryn with Jason Hoppy.
Frankel later confirmed the news in a statement to Us. At the time, she detailed her interest in focusing on the “next chapter” in her life.
“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,” she explained to Us. “With the changes in modern culture, I want to highlight the strength, confidence and unstoppable power that women have.”
Frankel also called her time at Bravo “an incredibly magical ride,” adding that she is “so grateful to them for highlighting my entrepreneurialism and allowing me to pave the way for many women to achieve their goals.”
Frankel has been part of the RHONY franchise since the show’s debut in 2008. Though she parted ways with the series in season 3, the businesswoman returned for season 7.
“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,” she wrote. “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.”
She thanked her fans for their “love and support,” adding that they “haven’t seen the last” of her because “there are many amazing things to come.”