Bethenny Frankel has made Forbes list of the highest-earning reality stars, but the Real Housewives of New York City star finds herself constantly apologizing for her success.
On Wednesday’s episode of the Bravo reality series, the Skinnygirl creator revealed that she hides “half the things” that she does and is “self conscious” about her success.
It was admitted after she found herself in the middle of an argument with castmate Dorinda Medley when Frankel, 46, called out her fellow Housewives for being nearly two hours late to dinner during their vacation in Mexico.
“How am I the first one to dinner?” Frankel said, arriving at the empty table and eventually tracking Medley down. “I want to lay in a bath and go to bed and everyone’s like ‘Go to dinner.’ So I get dressed and come down and I’m alone. It’s a little maddening.”
But Medley wasn’t having it. “You say I’m not on time but it’s vacation time. Don’t worry about it,” she snapped back, explaining that Frankel’s aggression had thrown her. “You’re being so crazy, stop! … When you show up at the door and you’re aggressive, it scares me a little bit.”
This altercation happened after a day full of drinking — meaning Medley was a little intoxicated herself. But when Frankel accused her of putting on “a big act,” she got even more annoyed.
“No, it’s not a big act. You stop. You stop. Don’t say it to me,” Medley said. “You just show up there and you sit there like I was late. And I wasn’t. No I wasn’t. Don’t say it’s a big act … you do your act too. Stop it Bethenny, it makes me feel bad. I mean really. What the f—?”
It’s hard to explain what happened next. Medley, who was slamming a dinner knife into the table at the time of her tirade, somehow found herself with a gash on the palm of her hand. As Frankel helped her clean up, the two were able to talk more.
“I just always feel like I’m late and I always have this internal pressure. It’s the worst,” Frankel said. “I never will disrespect other people’s time. If someone says they’re showing up somewhere, I will always be there — it’s never going to change.”
Medley eventually stormed off, then came back — where fireworks exploded. “So you’re someone special ’cause we went to Skinnygirl today?” Medley questioned, referencing the group’s trip to Frankel’s Skinnygirl factory. “Whatever Bethenny. You’re mean. You’re a mean bitch. I thought we could be friends. I never said a mean word about you or towards you or anything. I stuck up for you for everything, haven’t I? Do your s—, Bethenny.”
Assuming that Medley was harboring unspoken resentment towards her, Frankel all but cut Medley off — crying to Radziwill and Singer about her need for perfection. “You think I don’t know exactly who I am? I know exactly who I am. [And] I don’t need to be reminded of it because I already know it and it’s probably not going to change.”
The next day, the two had another blow up at one another — Medley trying to squash things by saying “You win. You’re correct. Are we good now?” But Frankel’s criticism that Medley had “a nasty side” struck a chord.
“I do have a nasty side and I regret it sometimes,” Medley said in tears to Radziwill. “… I’m very strong and I do try to come from a place of nurturing. [But] instead of dealing with what I really feel, I react aggressively. I’ve had to work on that.”
“I have a problem,” Medley later told Frankel, explaining how her temper has been a problem in her relationships with her boyfriend and daughter. “When I feel what I perceive as attacked, I react. And it’s not even my valid feeling and it’s usually wrong. I’ve had to work on this and I reacted poorly last night. If I said anything negative about Skinnygirl — I had a beautiful time yesterday. I was so wrong and I want you to forgive me for it.”
Thankfully, Frankel didn’t hold the grudge. “I have my own stuff,” she said. “I feel like I’m always apologizing for being successful. Like I’m self-conscious that it happened for me and I want to make everybody feel good and maybe I don’t. I’m hiding half the things that I do because I feel that I don’t want to gloat.”
WATCH: ‘Real Housewives of New York City’ Star Bethenny Frankel Wants to Help Women be Independent
Speaking with PEOPLE in September, Frankel opened up about her divorce from ex-husband Jason Hoppy, and why she now encourages women to be financially independent.
“I’m going to inspire and help women to be independent and make their own money and have their own life and not be in a situation where they can’t get out,” she shared.
“I mean, the bottom line is, if I didn’t have the means to not be in a negative situation, it could go on forever and it could be even more difficult,” she explained. “I have a beautiful home for my daughter here and in the Hamptons; I can provide her with an education; I’m not stressing out about bills or things.”
She added: “I think it’s important for my message to be that women don’t need to depend upon a man — to only want the ring and the dress and to be focused on the wrong things. Marriage is a great institution, but I think that it’s important for women to be independent.”
The Real Housewives of New York City season finale airs Wednesday (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.