Carole Radziwill on What RHONY Didn’t Air Amid Bethenny Feud, Calls Union Efforts a “PR Stunt,” and Accuses Her of “Exploiting” Housewives, Plus Talks Manufactured Drama

by Lindsay Cronin Comments

Carole Radziwill on What RHONY Didn't Air of Bethenny Feud, Calls Union Efforts a "PR Stunt," and Says She's "Exploiting" Housewives, Plus Talks Manufactured Drama

Carole Radziwill took major aim at Bethenny Frankel while appearing on Heather McDonald‘s podcast earlier this month.

In addition to slamming Bethenny’s unionization efforts as a “PR stunt” fueled by her narcissism and accusing her of continuing to exploit the Real Housewives of New York City cast, Carole, 59, commented on her ongoing drama with Luann de Lesseps, 58, claimed she was the first housewife to discuss the way in which reality television exploits its talent, and teased an upcoming book.

“I’m working on my third [book]. I’m just in a really good place. It’s such a great feeling to have made it. I’m turning 60 and… They don’t tell you all the fun things about getting older,” Carole noted on the August 10 episode of Juicy Scoop. “You can be 60 and still be a dumb b*tch. But you have so much wisdom and context, and if you still have a child-like wonderment and curiosity, which I do, it’s great.”

“It’s so much fun being older. It’s really cool to be older,” she added.

While Bethenny has been making waves in recent weeks with her unionization efforts for reality stars, Carole says it was she who first discussed the matter.

“I was the first housewife to ever say anything about exploiting talent. I’ve kinda been saying it for a long time, slow and steady in my style,” she shared. “I’m not like, loud and bullying, but I think there’s room for improvement with the network and the talent.”

“I am pro-union,” she continued. “I’ve always said, way before it was trending or cool or safe to say that specifically with reality, those contracts that are signed are iron-clad legally but there’s a morality to it that is exploitive.”

Although people have pointed out that reality stars “know what [they’re] getting into,” Carole argued that they really don’t until they’re in it.

“I always thought that there’s room for discussion with SAG or AFTRA or whatever it would be to form a union because reality, it’s not like when Ramona and Luann and Jill started season one. It’s a huge business, a billion-dollar business, and the talent is not paid, there’s no provisions,” she explained.

Looking back on a season 10 moment from RHONY in which she and her castmates traveled to Cartagena, Carole said there were no safety provisions in place.

“We ran into a really tight spot when we were in Cartagena, and there’s no provisions,” she revealed, giving a nod to the ladies’ horrific boat ride. “There’s no break time… It’s just like, unregulated labor and so sure, there’s definitely room for talks about organizing that. There’s no residuals. I mean.. it’s on, playing 24-7 and the network is making a lot of money selling it again and again and again, to advertisers, to steamers and we didn’t get paid a lot of money at all compared to scripted.”

Carole pointed out that she had long proclaimed that “no one exploits talent and mental illness and addiction and alcoholism for entertainment better than Bravo,” noting that the network hated when she said that.

She then recalled the manufactured drama of cast confessionals, admitting she gave in to what the producers wanted from her on occasion.

“Not in the beginning seasons but definitely the last season, season 10, ‘What do you want me to say?'” she confessed to asking. “Because they ask the question 10 different ways… And it’s really six months earlier, and you just have no recollection and you know you should be upset about something, some slight, but you don’t really give a sh-t… ‘I don’t remember. I have no memory but I’m sure she was a b*tch’ … They ask you the question over and over and over again until they get some answer that feels provocative.”

Though she hasn’t appeared on RHONY since season 10, which concluded in 2018, her tension with Luann has lived on — although it may be one-sided.

“I don’t think I’m a favorite of [Luann’s], which I don’t mind at all,” she noted. “I harbor no ill will.”

Then revealing that someone recently sent her a clip in which Luann was asked which castmate she never wants to see again and named her, Carole said she asked, “Really?”

“It was just so random and I almost thought, ’No, no, no, Luann, it’s fine. I think you’re great on your show and I’m happy for your cabaret,'” she shared before stating that Luann is someone who participates in patriarchy.

“She is that woman that’s gonna defend the corporation and she said that I said things that were against Bravo, and I’m sure I did,” Carole explained, “but I’m not genuflecting at the altar of corporatism or capitalism even, so I’m gonna speak my truth and my experience.”

After Bethenny began her calls for a reality union, an old tweet resurfaced in which she shamed Aviva Drescher, 52, for claiming Bravo pressured her to drink and accused her of lying.

“That was true,” Carole commented on Aviva’s allegations. “Aviva, I remember, she didn’t drink at all and there was a scene, I recall, she was upset that they wanted her to drink with [Ramona Singer]. So she was telling the truth. So she called Aviva Drescher out as a liar but now she’s actually claiming that they do what Aviva Drescher said that they did.”

Carole then said Bethenny called housewives “wh*res, drunks, idiots, losers, nobodies” and “still does it on that podcast.”

“She’s exploiting talent. She’s exploiting all of us again and again and again for the cash,” Carole noted. “She [is] still so pressed about exploiting housewives and just talking very nasty.”

After Heather mentioned a TikTok user who calls out Bethenny’s hypocrisy on their page, Carole joked that doing so is a “full-time job.”

“There’s a lot, it’s pathological. The gaslighting, the misinformation, the disinformation, the just straight-up pathological lying. She’s so pressed to be the biggest [and] the first,” she reasoned. “Taylor Swift said it best in that ‘Anti Hero.’ She says my covert narcissism disguised as altruism, and that’s what we’re seeing. It’s disguised as altruistic, but it’s just narcissism.”

In addition to feeling that Bethenny’s union calls are narcissism-driven, she accused her former co-star of a “PR stunt.”

“This is just a PR thing… Those two lawyers… and she didn’t hire them. She’s not spending money. I see the hypocrisy,” Carole shared. “It’s like, you’ve made your millions. She’s burned the bridge so she’s going nuclear but also, she’s exploiting still. She’s talking about all the episodes, some of which I was on, and she does not say nice things. She’s very passive-aggressive.”

Also on Heather’s podcast, Carole looked back on a moment in which Bethenny seemingly shaded her for having “no kids” and “no husband.”

“That moment, it wasn’t on the air, but I kept saying, ‘No, this is what you said, and that’s very hurtful.’ But then Andy was yelling and the producers came out, and they kept saying, ‘She didn’t say that you didn’t have a husband, Carole, she didn’t say that,’ and I’m like, ‘She did,’” Carole recounted. “And they were like, ‘No sorry.’ And it was such a gaslighting moment.”

“Andy was in his ear, he’s like, ‘No, the producers are telling me they’re watching the episode in the control room.’ There’s no control room. They’re telling me she didn’t say that. I think that’s what led to me saying ‘You’re so full of sh-t,’” she added.

The Real Housewives of New York City season 14 airs Sundays at 9/8c on Bravo.