Bethenny Frankel Reveals What Really Led To Her RHONY Exit

During her time on "The Real Housewives of New York City," Bethenny Frankel became a fan-favorite. The OG castmate returned to the series for Season 7 before exiting for good following Season 11 in 2019, per Us Weekly. A couple years later, rumors circulated that Frankel was priming for another return. She denied those rumors on Twitter in August 2021 calling them "100 false" and added that she and Bravo honcho Andy Cohen "don't discuss" the reality show.

In March, Cohen announced a "RHONY" reboot would be accompanied by a "RHONY: Legacy" spinoff, featuring former celebrated cast members. Although he said Frankel was not included, he remained open to the idea of casting the OG. "But of course, you know, I never turn down a conversation with Bethenny about coming back," he told Variety at the time.

A couple days later, the Skinnygirl founder responded to the reboot news with a sassy TikTok that called the announcement "very f**king boring." Not long after, Frankel confirmed that she had indeed been approached by Bravo to return to the franchise, but said she turned down the opportunity. "When asked, I say, 'There's a number, but I don't think you can afford it,'" the "RHONY" alum said on her "Just B" podcast (via Just Jared). Perhaps the network could never meet her asking price to return, but a lot more went into her decision to walk away from the series besides money.

Money did not factor in Bethenny Frankel's decision

Bethenny Frankel spoke candidly about her decision to leave "The Real Housewives of New York City" for good, and it apparently had little to do with her salary. "If I stayed, it would have been because of the money," Frankel explained in TikTok posted July 5. The Bravo-lebrity told fans that she continued to work while coping with the death of her on-and-off boyfriend Dennis Shields. "I had just lost someone very close to me, and I went to work when the show came back," she said in the TikTok. "I didn't want to. Pros play hurt. I'm a professional." 

The reality star continued to fulfill her duties, but sought an exit strategy. Frankel explained producers added a clause that prohibited cast members from being paid if they did not film an episode. Even though she would not miss filming herself, the Skinnygirl owner pounced on the opportunity. "I just was looking for a reason, and that was a good reason," she said on TikTok. 

The former "RHONY" star shared similar sentiments not long after her departure. Frankel said Bravo had paid her an "astronomical" amount, but she was unfulfilled. "Everyone thinks I left because of money. I wasn't leaving because of money, I was staying because of money," she told Variety in 2020. Leaving the series was a cut and dry decision for Frankel, and one that she made rather quickly. "It's taken me longer to order a pasta dish than just to decide this," the former "RHONY" cast member added.