Dorinda Medley‘s love for a cocktail or two has led to some of the funniest moments in Real Housewives of New York City history. But costar Bethenny Frankel wasn’t laughing on Wednesday’s all new episode, when she sat down with the reality star and accused her of having a drinking problem.
“I don’t want you to get your fur up ’cause I’m going to be super, super kind,” Frankel told Medley as the two headed to Puerto Rico for one of the Skinnygirl mogul’s B Strong relief missions. “You go to a 16 out of 10 and I need to really say it to you — the way that you sometimes treat me is worse than [costar Ramona Singer], I just cut you slack because you’re a drunk.”
The accusation came hours after an awkward dinner in Miami the day before their trip that Medley attended with Frankel and her “core group” of relief workers.
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There, Medley appeared to be slurring her words and was criticizing one of Frankel’s colleagues — a move that led Frankel to tell Medley not to come to Puerto Rico the next day.
“Good. Then I won’t come,” an apparently intoxicated Medley said, getting up and leaving the table. “Thank you so much. Then I won’t I was excited. I was happy to be here. And you did this. I was so happy. Good. I’m done. You always ruin everything. S— show. Whatever.”
Frankel was frustrated. “It’s sad because Dorinda seems to abuse alcohol,” she told viewers. “I would say acting this way at 7:00 at night to people who only have good intentions would indicate that there might be a problem.”
“Before this dinner, Dorinda and I sat in my room talking about [boyfriends John Mahdessian and Dennis Shields] and drinking wine. And then right before walking into the restaurant we were sitting in the hotel bar having another drink while we waited. And I think Dorinda did a little pregame before she got there. She [was] wasted,” said Frankel.
But though she was annoyed, Frankel wasn’t upset with Medley.
“She likes to drink. I think it gets the best of her,” Frankel explained. “And I think she’s aware of all of this. I think she’s beating herself up way more than we ever could. So I’m feeling compassion for her. She does really want to come and help. She’s going to regret this tomorrow. She is a wonderful, amazing person.”
“The first feeling that I have is compassion for her,” Frankel continued. “Honestly. She won’t even know what she’s done. I know she’ll wake up tomorrow and be on time and dressed and we’ll have a good experience. I’m forgiving.”
That’s exactly what happened, in fact. And as the two took off, Frankel addressed the incidents of the night before, telling her, “You shouldn’t be drinking. When you drink, you get mean. There’s something going on … you can’t act like that.”
Being called a “drunk” was tough for Medley, who quickly defended herself. “I’m not,” she told Frankel. “I just can’t not eat and drink early, I can’t. I should have gone to bed last night. I shouldn’t drink at 4. I’d been up since like 5.”
“I think there’s a lot more going on,” she continued. “I’m frustrated. I have a lot more going on in my life. It’s not an exclusive, I’m just saying, my frustrations come out very quickly. It intensifies. And I’ve got to work on that.”
Medley also defended herself in her confessional, explaining: “Bethenny likes to label people. It’s just not fair. It’s not accurate. And Bethenny had had her moments. One night does not define people.”
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Soon the conversation turned to the way Medley is still grieving the loss of her late husband Richard, who died in 2011 from liver failure.
“I have a life now that’s not the life that I expected,” Medley said. “I’ll always miss that. … I was doing so well for five years and I’ve gone a little backwards and I can’t get my head around it. What it is that’s triggering it. Is it all my major jobs in my life that I really enjoyed and appreciated are over? Like motherhood and being a wife. I liked being a wife, I was really good at it.”
As she and Frankel discussed things, Medley admitted that she fears going off into “an abyss of loneliness.”
“I’m okay living alone but you know there are still mornings where I wake up and I say, ‘Is this it? If I die here is anyone going to find me?’ ” she revealed. “I fell down a ladder one day and almost hit my head … what, are they going to smell me before they find me?”
“Life’s hard,” she added. “You’re always trying to keep it all together and show good faith and be a strong woman and be a strong mother and sometimes it’s hard. And you miss that old life. I had a life where you could come home at night and the person had my back.”
The Real Housewives of New York City airs Wednesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.