Today, news broke that Bethenny Frankel is leaving The Real Housewives of New York — for the second time. The reality TV star and diet cocktail entrepreneur is exiting the show, and won't be coming back for its 12th season. Why? Because Bethenny has moved on and wants to make room for her next chapter.
She told Variety that she plans on making her daughter, philanthropic projects, and doing work on TV that shines a powerful light on women a priority in her life. It's unclear at this time whether leaving RHONY was Bethanny's decision, or Bravo's.
According to E! News, Bethenny's castmates are "flabbergasted" and definitely didn't see this departure coming. E!'s source says, "Filming just started and there was no indication of this... Everyone was under the assumption she would be filming." Bravo has yet to make a statement.
Bethanny tells Variety, “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. 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.”
This isn't the first time Bethenny Frankel has left Real Housewives.
Back in September 2010, Bethenny announced she wouldn't be coming back to RHONY for its fourth season due to personal reasons. She told Us Weekly, "Last season was scary and painful. It took all the joy out of it." She didn't return to the show until October 2014 for its 7th season. In between, she starred in her own show called Bethenny in 2013, which was canceled less than a year later (and before that, Bethenny had her own spin-off show called Bethenny Getting Married? in 2010 which followed her engagement to Jason Hoppy as well as her daughter's birth).
Who's Mark Burnett?
Bethenny mentions Mark in her statement to Variety, and it sounds like she has big plans with him. Mark Burnett is a TV producer and current Chairman of MGM Worldwide Television Group. Back in March 2019, it was announced that MGM and Mark made a multi-year deal with Bethenny to "generate unscripted TV projects that she will produce, some of which will be star vehicles for her." Mark is also the guy who basically created Trump (he was behind the creation of The Apprentice).
What kind of philanthropy is Bethenny doing?
Bethenny's focus on her humanitarian work is another reason why she's leaving RHONY. Bethany has worked with Delivery Goods, an organization that helps people in need after natural disasters.
Is Bethenny dating anyone?
Bethenny has gone on the record to gush about how amazing her boyfriend, Paul Bernon is. Paul is is a real estate developer and film producer. “I’m a lucky gal. It’s been good. Things between us are really nice," Bethenny told PEOPLE back in April 2019. They've been together since fall 2018
It sounds like Bethenny really is on to a new chapter: Spending time with her family and loved ones, creating more female-first content with MGM, and literally helping save the world. RHONY will miss ya, Bethenny.