Entertainment TV Why Bethenny Frankel Says She 'Feels' for Fellow O.G. Housewives NeNe Leakes and Lisa Vanderpump Bethenny Frankel tells PEOPLE what it's like watching fellow O.G. Housewives NeNe Leakes and Lisa Vanderpump go through drama on their respective shows By Dave Quinn Dave Quinn Instagram Twitter Dave Quinn is an Editor for PEOPLE, working across a number of verticals including the Entertainment, Lifestyle and News teams. He joined in 2006 as a Writer/Reporter where he became known for his Bravo and Broadway exclusives across print and digital. Dave is the author of the No. 1 New York Times best-selling book, Not All Diamonds and Rosé: The Inside Story of the Real Housewives from the People Who Lived It. He's appeared on many broadcasts including ABC's Good Morning America, Bravo's Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, E!'s Daily Pop, NBC's New York Live and PEOPLE's own Reality Check, as well as a number of podcasts like Bitch Sesh, Everything Iconic, Watch What Crappens, Hot Off the Mess, Mention It All, and PEOPLE Every Day. Prior to working at PEOPLE, Dave was the chief Theater Reporter for NBC New York and co-host of Entertainment Weekly's acclaimed TV Recaps series. People Editorial Guidelines Published on April 24, 2019 07:10 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Bethenny Frankel certainly understands the pain of having gone through a tough season or two on reality TV, having been one of the founding cast members on The Real Housewives of New York City. So when she sees other O.G. Housewives like NeNe Leakes and Lisa Vanderpump struggling, she understands what they’re going through. “I really feel for them,” the Skinnygirl founder, 48, told PEOPLE earlier this month at the grand opening of the new Godiva Café in New York City. Both Leakes, 51, and Vanderpump, 58, have been in the hot seat with their castmates on the Real Housewives of Atlanta and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, respectively, this season — Leakes calling out costars like Porsha Williams and Cynthia Bailey for not being supportive friends, and Vanderpump essentially doing the same with longtime friends Kyle Richards and Dorit Kemsley. They’ve also both had some tragedies in their personal lives to work through. Vanderpump’s brother and only sibling Mark died by suicide last April, while Leakes’ husband Gregg has been battling stage 3 colon cancer — a disease that has left him “grumpy” and “mean” behind the scenes. Bethenny Frankel Says She’s ‘Really Happy’ with Boyfriend Paul Bernon: ‘I’m a Lucky Gal’ Marcus Ingram/WireImage; Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Victoria's Secret; Robin Marchant/FilmMagic Watching it all play out, Frankel felt sympathetic. “I think it was beautiful that NeNe revealed herself a lot,” she told PEOPLE. “Going through a cancer, as a spouse of someone with cancer, we don’t really know what’s going on in their relationship and people are so quick to judge. I think it was really human and I related to her when she just cracked. She’s been on camera so long that she could have hidden that.” “I understand why she was upset with people invading her private space, so I’m on her side there,” Frankel added, referencing Leakes’ closet freakout. “I think she was shut off during the reunion because I think she’s got an emotional wall up. I feel for her.” NeNe Leakes As for Vanderpump, Frankel still sent the SUR restauranteur her support despite being close friends with Richards and Lisa Rinna, Vanderpump’s foes. “She’s been on since the beginning and she’s a very successful businesswoman,” Frankel said. “The show’s doing incredibly well and for everyone, sometimes it just gets to be too much. I get that she needed to take a step back.” “I back Lisa and Kyle — they’re good friends of mine — but that doesn’t mean I’m against Vanderpump,” Frankel added. “Lisa Rinna, she’s so open and speaks her mind, she sometimes takes backlash, but that’s why people want her as a Housewife. You can’t be someone who is afraid to express your feelings. And Kyle went over to Lisa’s house to talk to her friend, which I don’t think Lisa got.” Frankel added: “I back my girls, but I love all those women. And I would love to bring [my 8-year-old daughter] Bryn to Vanderpump’s house sometime. I want to bring Bryn to see the ponies!” The Real Housewives of New York City airs Wednesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.