Luann de Lesseps Says She Wishes Bethenny Frankel 'Nothing but the Best' After RHONY Departure
"It’s been a great run with so many great memories," Luann de Lesseps said of her time with Bethenny Frankel
The Countess and Friends cabaret singer shared her love for Frankel on Instagram on Wednesday, a day after Frankel announced she would be leaving their Bravo reality series.
“It’s been a great run with so many great memories,” wrote de Lesseps, captioning a photo of her and Frankel during a surprise appearance they had with Jennifer Lawrence on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen in March 2018. “Wishing @bethennyfrankel nothing but the best 😘.”
Frankel, 48, and de Lesseps, 54, were two of the founding New York City Housewives when the franchise premiered back in 2008. Though they’ve famously butted heads a few times, including last season, the two have mostly remained pals. Frankel was even instrumental in helping de Lesseps return to rehab for a second time in July 2018.
Still, costar Ramona Singer told PEOPLE that Frankel did not inform de Lesseps or any of her RHONY costars that she was leaving the show. Instead, they found out when Frankel’s statement hit the press.
“There is a camaraderie among us as a cast,” said Singer, 62. “Love us, hate us, not like us — we are a team. To hear this from the press and not through her is upsetting.”
“I really wish her well, though,” Singer added. “The show’s a machine and it will continue on. We’re all just a cog in the wheel. No one is irreplaceable.”
Meanwhile, Housewives Dorinda Medley, Sonja Morgan, and Tinsley Mortimer all left comments on the Instagram that Frankel posted on Wednesday after the news broke.
“Happy for you sad for the group,” wrote Medley, 54.
Moriter, 44, left a trio of kissing face emoji, while Morgan, 55, simply said “Love you.”
In her post on Instagram, Frankel said said she was “grateful” to her fans for “sticking with me through everything.”
“You started this journey with me in my tiny apartment in my late 30s, wondering what would happen to me. I was broke, single, had no family and no idea what the future held,” she began. “I had big dreams and I never stopped, but I honestly didn’t know if I would ever get here.”
“You helped me to get there. I would read your letters and messages and grow from your struggles. You would give me your honest opinion about my products and projects and helpful advice about divorce, relationships, motherhood, miscarriages, health, and surviving the death of a loved one and almost my own. You have shared your ideas with me and I have been inspired by and learned from you,” she continued.
“I am fortunate to have created a business and career that some people only dream of. I had a beautiful baby girl who is now 9 years old, and she has changed me as a human being. I was able to give back and help people all over the world who have been hit with the worst of unforeseen circumstances, which we will all continue together,” wrote Frankel. “GO for it. Whatever it is. Reach for your dreams in life and love and make the impossible happen, because it can happen and it WILL happen. Come from a place of yes and it’s yours for the taking.”
After thanking fans again for their “love and support,” she told her followers to “stay tuned, you haven’t seen the last of me. There are many amazing things to come.”
This isn’t the first time Frankel has exited RHONY. She previously left the series during season 3, and later rejoined during season 7.
As to what she’ll be up to next, Frankel will indeed be busy.
In her personal life, there’s her 9-year-old daughter Bryn, whom she shares with ex Jason Hoppy, as well as her relationship to boyfriend Paul Bernon. And then on the business side, there’s a slew of projects, including her successful Skinnygirl Jeans line.
“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 in a statement on Wednesday obtained by PEOPLE and first reported by Variety.
“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,” she continued. “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.”
Season 12 of The Real Housewives of New York City is expected to premiere next year.