Kelly Bensimon Claims Bethenny Frankel 'Didn't Care' About Pregnancy Issues on RHONY Scary Island
On a recent episode of the Out in the Wild podcast, former Real Housewives of New York City star Bensimon, 51, claimed that the Skinnygirl mogul, 48, did not “care” about the wellbeing of her unborn baby while shooting the show’s infamous Scary Island trip.
“She was pregnant this entire time and was having serious issues with her unborn child, and she’s flying back and forth pretending to film with her dying father in L.A., but really just filming in the car and never saw him,” Bensimon claimed on the podcast.
“And I’m like — you want me to film with a woman that doesn’t even care about her kid in her stomach?” she added. “She’s like, ‘Oh, if I have a miscarriage, whatever.’ She was having serious, serious, serious [pregnancy] complications, and I just didn’t understand why we were there filming and why she was even there in St. John.”
The Scary Island trip, which took place during the show’s third season, became infamous for the feud between the two women (“She’s not a chef, she’s a cook”), with many of the ladies suspecting that Bensimon was suffering from a nervous breakdown as she claimed she couldn’t sleep because Frankel was “trying to kill her.”
According to a friend of Frankel’s, “It’s a shame that Kelly is making these claims especially since she often reaches out to Bethenny for help and advice or to get together.”
“She absolutely did nothing to risk anything during her pregnancy,” the friend told PEOPLE. “Her pregnancy was her priority. Anybody who knows Bethenny knows she’s a great mother.”
During the trip, Frankel was pregnant with her daughter Bryn Hoppy, now 9. At the same time, her estranged father, Robert Frankel, was sick. He died in November 2010.
“I land in St. John, where we were filming, and I was getting a massage, and the masseuse said, ‘Did you know there’s a really big movie star here?'” Bensimon recalled of the trip to St. John. “And I was like, ‘Wow, who is it?’ And they said, ‘Her name is Bethenny Frankel.’ And I’m like… movie star?! Like, oh my god, she’s telling the masseuse that she’s a movie star?”
Bensimon also claimed that Frankel she was trying to “executive produce” the Bravo series.
“She would literally scream into the camera, ‘This is not what what this scenes supposed to be about!’ and I was like, ‘What is going on here?’ You can’t do that. It’s not fair. She’s trying to be the executive producer or the Kim Kardashian of Housewives, fine. But, she created such a disconnect between Bravo and us, so there was so much animosity and underlying tension,” she said.
After three years on the show, Bensimon departed following season four, while Frankel, a RHONY OG, left after the third season for a spinoff and talk show before returning for the seventh season. She remains in the cast, starring on season 11 now.
Bensimon said the feud would only escalate with Frankel should she ever return to the series.
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“I would threaten her entire brand [Skinnygirl],” Bensimon said. “Hypothetically, If I went back on Housewives, and there was a moment where she was like, ‘Wow. I really like Kelly. Kelly Bensimon is hot s—,’ her entire brand would go to s—. Because her fans would be like, ‘Wait, what? We’ve been spending 10 years hating Kelly Bensimon, and now you like her? What?’ It’s different from her makeup with Jill Zarin because I am the ultimate, ultimate nemesis.”
Bensimon’s comments are a turn from an interview with PEOPLE in 2017, when she had nothing but nice things to say about her former costar.
“Her philanthropic efforts with B Strong made such an impact on me,” she told PEOPLE after revealing she had donated to Frankel’s charity.
“That is the kind of girl that I like,” Bensimon added. “I like someone that’s philanthropic, a girl’s girl. The future is female, and I have spent the lexicon of my life raising girls and supporting and celebrating women. … Whatever she wants with philanthropy, I am behind her.”
Frankel also shared kind words regarding her onetime rival in a tweet, writing, “She is very sweet to me. I wish her the very best & I cannot wait for her donation #housewivesworkingfortexas.”