It’s hard to imagine the Real Housewives of New York City without Bethenny Frankel ever being a part of it. However, apparently that almost happened, as back then, Bethenny feared doing the show would “destroy” her career.
The former RHONY star and Skinnygirl entrepreneur detailed in a recent interview why she almost turned down RHONY. She also opened up about her thriving businesses and what’s in store for her new reality show, The Big Shot With Bethenny, and her podcast, Just B. Bethenny also dished on her relationship with Paul Bernon.
Bethenny explained that she still can’t believe the life she lives now is real, considering how “only a decade ago,” she couldn’t afford to do much, and she often had “insufficient funds” in her account.
That was until the immense success of RHONY came after her stint on the Martha Stewart-led The Apprentice in 2005 (she was one of two finalists). Bethenny revealed she didn’t realize the show was going to be such a “cultural phenomenon” until it literally hit the airwaves, and she also said that she almost never joined the cast.
“I didn’t wanna do it because I had been on The Apprentice — the Martha Stewart Apprentice — [and] the opportunity came and [Bravo executives] kept approaching me for two months,” Bethenny stated on the Carlos Watson Show. “I thought, ‘This will be a bunch of women getting wasted and a trainwreck and I don’t wanna be on that.’ I thought, ‘I don’t wanna be on that, I want to be a real, natural food chef and I’d like to get a cooking show and this will destroy every opportunity I have.'”
She continued, “I checked with the producers again, because I thought, if it’s a failure no one will hear about it, but if it’s a success, I can be a natural food chef and promote that. And so … ignorance is bliss, I just started filming it.”
Although fans were sad to hear of Bethenny’s departure from the series last year, her multiple businesses and bstrong philanthropy efforts are still prosperous. The entrepreneur attributes her success to her “really f–ked up household” and time spent at the racetrack (her father was a professional horse trainer) that formed her “strategic” and “tactical” ways. She is proud of how she creatively negotiated that $120 million sale of the cocktail portion of her Skinnygirl line.
When she’s not working on saving the world with bstrong, she’s still involved in the entertainment industry. She’s preparing for her new show, The Big Shot With Bethenny, and her new podcast, Just B.
“I really decided to look at my financial situation when I decided to do a podcast because I made the decision to go there, to not filter, to not be afraid, to not give a s–t about what I wanted to say about anyone,” she shared. “It’s not being nasty for the sake of it, but if I have an opinion about something, I don’t care. I wanna say it. I wanna work at an outlet where everybody’s not so damn scared! It’s annoying.”
Bethenny continued by saying that her new TV show, set to air on HBO Max, will look for her “chief of staff,” or her “number two,” that possesses her shrewd business sensibilities.
“The tasks will be so interesting because it’s based on something really happening, like these are my real businesses, so it’s not a manufactured task for Delta or some arbitrary thing,” she stated. “And my personal life is so infiltrated with my business life, that that will make it very different. We’re not just in a staged boardroom, we’re in my houses and my life. So, I think it’ll be a great show.”
Considering her personal life, after an incredibly fraught relationship, divorce, and custody battle with ex-husband Jason Hoppy, Bethenny has found her “number two” in terms of love with boyfriend Paul.
The 49-year-old shared that it’s “harder” to have a successful relationship with her kind of upbringing, but that things with her partner (whom she met online — much to her surprise) are still smooth sailing.
“[I]t’s that type of different thinking that I have that I do like and it takes you on some other journey,” she said of what she loves about her beau. “I’ll say some amazing idea to Paul, it’s like a great idea, and then he’ll just take it in a different direction because he’s a producer, and I like that.”
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