Bethenny Frankel Questions Why Ariana Madix is Still Living With Tom, Suggests Raquel’s Vanderpump Rules Salary of $361K is False, as She Accuses LVP and Bravo of Profiting Off Scandal

by Lindsay Cronin Comments

Bethenny Frankel Questions Tom & Ariana’s Living Situation, Shades Raquel’s Critics and Suggests $350k Salary is All She Made on Vanderpump Rules as She Accuses LVP and Bravo of Profiting Off Scandal, Plus Recalls How RHONY Cast Intervened for Kelly on Scary Island

Bethenny Frankel doesn’t understand why Ariana Madix and Tom Sandoval are still living together nearly six months after he was caught having a months-long affair with their friend and Vanderpump Rules co-star, Raquel Leviss.

During the latest episode of her podcast, the Real Housewives of New York City alum, 52, raised questions about why the ex-couple was remaining under the same roof, took aim at Bravo and Lisa Vanderpump, 62, and looked back on a moment in which she and her co-stars were forced to intervene on behalf of Kelly Bensimon, 55.

“The Bravo machine is hard at work because they are being pummeled and the best is yet to come. They have only just begun to feel the wrath that’s coming down on them,” Bethenny warned on the August 21 episode of Just B With Bethenny.

In recent weeks, Bethenny has been calling for reality stars to unionize. And during a three-part interview with Raquel last week, she highlighted the way in which Raquel’s sordid affair with Sandoval was used to exploit her as Bravo and its partners raked in tons of cash.

According to Bethenny, she opened Pandora’s Box by speaking out about the mistreatment of reality stars but didn’t expect all the attention her comments have gotten.

She also said that while she understands what reality stars have gone through, she previously ignored hearing the stories of others because she didn’t experience a lot of it herself — just as some are doing today.

“[People are] ignoring because it’s not about them and they’re making money on this platform and I get it. You’re on [The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills], you’re on [Vanderpump Rules], you’re not talking. You’re making money right now in a strike environment,” she reasoned.

Although Bethenny may not have felt as exploited by others during her time on reality television, she recalled being part of a particularly disturbing moment amid RHONY season three.

“When I was in Scary Island with Kelly, the cast were the ones that shut down the situation with Kelly. We were the ones who realized that she seemed like she was going through something, an emotional breakdown of some sort. Particularly [Sonja Morgan, 59] was like, ‘Now we have to stop,’” she shared. “And we all got it and we did stop and she was escorted home the next day.”

But production didn’t give Kelly a break at that point. Instead, as Bethenny also revealed, they resumed filming days later.

“They had her filming again days later. We all were shocked. We thought she was going away somewhere but not for the show,” she explained. “They wanna capture that … They want to ride the line with airing what they can air without getting sued, without it looking like it’s fully illegal.”

As Bravo remains under fire for the “grotesque and depraved mistreatment” of its cast and crew, Bethenny says the network, as well as those connected to it, like Lisa and Alex Baskin, who produces Pump Rules, are attempting to cover up certain details of “Scandoval.”

“The Bravo PR machine numbers they’re throwing out, several hundred thousand dollars, which is not true anyway, they’re trying to throw out numbers and clump together everything [Raquel’s] ever made on Vanderpump Rules, not [season 10],” Bethenny noted. “And Lisa Vanderpump and Alex Baskin coming out and commenting, they’re just trying to protect the realm … It’s the number one most important thing to Bravo, to Lisa Vanderpump, to Evolution, to MGM on top of Evolution, to Alex Baskin, to Tom, [and] to Ariana.”

“And here’s one thing no one’s talking about,” she continued, “Rachel left the show. She could’ve gone back. She could’ve gone back and made money. She took a stance.”

Bethenny went on to shade those who’ve been critical of Raquel, sarcastically stating, “Everyone is perfect and no one’s ever made mistakes, especially in their 20s,” and adding that when it comes to Pump Rules, the cast is essentially being paid to have affairs. And on top of that, the television shows and bars and restaurants in which these affairs have played out are making money.

“[And then] they kick it up to the top to Bravo and NBCUniversal, who also gets to profit on it, so they’re profiting on a scandal, cheating, bars, and ratings and advertisers,” Bethenny revealed.

All in all, Bethenny said she truly doesn’t understand why Ariana has continued to live with Sandoval after lashing out against him at the season 10 reunion, and in various interviews since their affair was uncovered.

“The man who cheated on his girlfriend of 10 years is living with her now so she’s at least forgiven him enough to live together but the girl that was friends with her on the show, who’s apologetic, and who did f*ck up it seems, was emotionally abused at this reunion,” Bethenny stated.

She then suggested the ex-couple may be continuing to live with one another for profit.

“[They] are profiting from the scandal, individually and together, [they] have businesses that profit off the show that profited off the scandal, [and they] get to be on television another season on a show that was getting canceled because of the scandal,” she noted.

Meanwhile, Raquel, as Bethenny shared, “is not compensated.”