Bethenny Frankel Reveals the Real Reason She Left 'RHONY' : 'Business Is Personal'

The reality star and businesswoman left The Real Housewives in New York City for good in 2019

Bethenny Frankel attends the 2021 Z100 IHeartRadio Jingle Ball Press Room at Madison Square Garden on December 10, 2021 in New York City.
Bethenny Frankel. Photo: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Bethenny Frankel had to do what was right for her.

In a new TikTok video, the former Real Housewives of New York City star opened up about why she exited the popular Bravo franchise after season 11.

Squarely addressing a misconception that she "left the Housewives because of money," the 51-year-old Skinnygirl founder countered, "If I stayed, it would have been because of the money. I left because I wanted to leave. I was ready to leave, and I used a technicality deal point as my excuse."

She continued, "I had just lost someone very close to me, and I went to work when the show came back," she continued. "I didn't want to. Pros play hurt. I'm a professional. I show up on time, I deliver. That's my reputation in business."

At that time, Frankly says she noticed that a "new point" had been added to Housewives stars' contracts, making it so that they "won't be paid" if they failed to appear in an episode for one reason or another.

However, she claimed this rule new didn't apply to her: "The production company said that they 'would never air an episode without you.' They told me that directly, I have receipts."

"I already knew that I'm a professional and there would just be no situation where I wouldn't show up for work," she continued. "But sometimes, these little things, if you're thinking of leaving and you don't want to be there, you know I'm the type of person where that one thing would give me an excuse. So I said no. And the reason for that term was because Housewives in other cities who weren't filming, they just decided not to film. That was just my excuse."

She added, "Then, the powers that be said, 'We would've changed it,' et cetera. But every little thing matters. And, you know, I don't bluff. I just was looking for a reason, and that's a good reason."

Frankel chalked up the experience to "a little 'business is personal' nugget."

"I knew that I showed up for work every single day when I experienced a tremendous loss. So, obviously, I'm going to show up for work under any circumstance," she said. "There can be no more extreme circumstance and that the little, tiny, minute detail that would have never come to pass, it was the impetus. That was the catalyst that just said, 'Boom. Not going back.'"

Bravo did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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Frankel appeared on RHONY's first three seasons as a main cast member. She eventually returned for season 7 but left for good after season 11, saying she was ready to embark on her "next chapter."

"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," said Frankel, who shares 12-year-old daughter Bryn with ex-husband Jason Hoppy. "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," she concluded.

Frankel later said on Paris Hilton's This Is Paris podcast in April 2021: "I left because it became not who I really was anymore, and you can't do something out of fear."

Earlier this year, Housewives executive producer Andy Cohen confirmed Bravo's plans to split the New York franchise into two separate shows. One series will feature OG cast members, while the second will serve as a reboot starring new recruits.

Frankel has since claimed she was asked to join the series featuring legacy cast members. "I got a text from, you know, the powers that be in the Bravosphere saying, 'Is there a chance? Is there a chance? Just asking, is there a chance?' Meaning, would I come back," she said on her Just B podcast, explaining further how she "didn't really understand" what it was supposed to be and that it was a "half-baked announcement."

The former reality star added, "When asked, I say, 'There's a number, but I don't think you can afford it.'"

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