It’s a dark day for the reality-TV version of the streets of New York. Bethenny Frankel has announced that she will leave Real Housewives of New York ahead of its 12th season. In a statement provided to Variety, the RHONY star said:
“I have decided to leave the Housewives franchise to explore my next chapter,” Frankel said in a statement. “It’s time to move on and focus on my daughter, my philanthropy and my production partnership with Mark Burnett, producing and starring in shows which represent a shift in the conversation for women. With the changes in modern culture, I want to highlight the strength, confidence and unstoppable power that women have. My experience at Bravo has been an incredibly magical ride. I am so grateful to them for highlighting my entrepreneurialism and allowing me to pave the way for many women to achieve their goals. I am excited for my future. The best is yet to come.”
Frankel appeared in seasons one through three of the show before leaving and then rejoining the cast in season seven, bringing a ratings bump with her. Over the course of her time on the series, Frankel got in epic fights with Ramona Singer and Luann de Lesseps, ascended to self-made mogul status from her early days as a natural-foods chef, and has launched philanthropy efforts to assist victims of natural disasters. She always seemed to have the right wink-and-a-nod perspective on her place in the RHONY landscape, and often felt like the wry audience surrogate in a surreal, edited-for-TV landscape. Here’s to the good times, the bad times, and the gifs that will live forever, Bethenny.