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 permanently exiting after Season 11 in 2019, according to Us Weekly. A few years later, rumors circulated that Frankel was preparing for yet another return. She denied those rumors on Twitter in August 2021, calling them “100 wrong,” adding that she and Bravo honcho Andy Cohen “do not discuss” the reality show.
In March, Cohen announced that a RHONY reboot would be accompanied by a RHONY: Legacy spin-off starring former famous cast members. Despite saying Frankel wasn’t in it, he remained open to the idea of casting the OG. “But of course I never turn down a conversation with Bethenny about coming back,” he told Variety at the time.
A few days later, the Skinnygirl founder responded to the reboot news with a cheeky TikTok, calling the announcement “very fucking boring.” Not long after, Frankel confirmed that she had indeed been approached by Bravo about returning to the franchise, but said she turned down the opportunity. “When I’m asked, I’ll 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). The network may never have been able to meet her asking price to return, but there was a lot more than money that went into her decision to leave the series.
Money was not a factor in Bethenny Frankel’s decision
Bethenny Frankel has been open 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 had stayed it would have been for the money,” Frankel explained on TikTok on July 5. “I had just lost someone very close to me and I was going to work when the show came back,” she said on TikTok. “I didn’t want that. Professionals play injured. I’m a professional.”
The reality star continued to fulfill his duties but was looking for an exit strategy. Frankel explained that the producers added a clause prohibiting cast members from being paid for not filming an episode. While she wouldn’t fail to film herself, the Skinnygirl owner jumped at the opportunity. “I was just looking for a reason, and it was a good reason,” she said on TikTok.
The former “RHONY” star shared similar sentiments not long after her departure. Frankel said Bravo paid her an “astronomical” amount, but she remained unfulfilled. “Everyone thinks I left for money. I didn’t leave for money, I stayed for money,” she told Variety in 2020. Leaving the series was a tight and dry decision for Frankel, one that she made rather quickly. “It took me longer to order a pasta dish than it did to just decide,” added the former RHONY actor.