Bethenny Frankel is one strong woman — but even she needs a break sometimes.
While attending the PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly Upfront party in New York City on Monday, the Real Housewives of New York City star opened up about why this season was particularly challenging for her.
One big issue? Her friendship with costar Carole Radziwill. Though the two used to be inseparable, this season has suggested that a rift has formed — though it’s unclear why exactly. (They don’t even follow each other on Instagram.)
“You know, listen, I care about Carole,” Frankel, 47, told PEOPLE. “We met on the show, and so our interactions will air in real time on the show. That can be challenging because I’m not one of these people that’s going to hide what’s going on with my friend and not have it on camera, because we both made this commitment to viewers to be honest, and it can be challenging.”
“So I’m very subtly going through what we are going through — subtly and honestly,” she continued. “It’s a little bit difficult. The whole season was a little bit challenging for me, truthfully. Working so much, I’ve filmed [other] television shows and I’m a mom, which is very important to me, obviously — and I just cracked at the end of the season. I’m not used to that either, so it’s a very different, unsettling season for me.”
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On the show, Frankel has hinted that her friendship with Radziwill, 54, deteriorated in part due to the fact that Radziwill had grown closer to Tinsley Mortimer, 42. But while appearing on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen last month, Radziwill shut the allegation down.
“Everything she was saying [in interviews] that I wasn’t excited to see her, that I’m thick as thieves with Tinsley — I wasn’t then and I’m not now, we’re not thick as thieves,” she said. “I’m friends with her, of course — I’m not thick as thieves, although that sounds fun.”
“None of that was true, and that wasn’t the friendship I was having with her at the time, so I was just as surprised as the audience was to hear all of that,” she continued. “In fact, I was being a really good friend. I remember at the same time I was trying to figure out dates that we could go to Golden Door together, I had sent her flowers when [her dog] Cookie died, wrote a lot of checks for her charity. I was just being a really good friend.”
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Speaking to PEOPLE Now recently, Mortimer also denied she has anything to do with the rift.
“The Bethenny-Carole situation is completely separate from my relationship with Carole,” said Mortimer. “Obviously, I became close with Carole because she set me up with Scott and we took a couple of trips together in the summer after we were filming and everything. I adore her.”
“Of course, I am Team Carole — always will be,” she added. “But you know, honestly, their relationship — it’s sad. I really hope that they work things out. I have only known them being so close. When I came into this, they were best of friends, so I don’t like to see anything deteriorate or fall apart for some reason. I just hope for the best for them.”
The Real Housewives of New York City airs Wednesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.