Bethenny Frankel Defends LuAnn de Lesseps Comments as 'Not Slut-Shaming,' as Weeks-Long RHONY Fight Continues
Eventually both women seem to run out of steam, or get over the whole thing, including their own behavior, or some combination thereof
LuAnn de Lesseps and Bethenny Frankel (mostly Frankel) screamed and screamed at each other for three episodes, until there was no more screaming to be done. Even Frankel admitted on Wednesday night’s episode that she had an “argument hangover” from the whole affair, in which over the course of one evening at Dorinda Medley‘s home in the Berkshires, one slight seemed to snowball into a chorus of complaints against de Lesseps, many of them steeped in de Lesseps’ actual behavior.
The episode actually opened with what appeared to be the fight’s conclusion, until Frankel, who had walked away from de Lesseps, found her continuing to discuss the whole thing with the other women – after she sent Frankel an apology text. (A cardinal sin in the Housewives playbook.) “I don’t think you should send someone an apology and then be speaking like this,” Frankel told de Lesseps, adding, “You can’t have an honest conversation with me because you’re not honest.”
And, even sharper: “You wrote the song ‘Be Cool.’ You’re not being cool.”
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There were other profanities in Frankel’s tirade, too, atop her having earlier called de Lesseps words that rhyme with “butt” and “bore.” But the gist was this: After de Lesseps implied she helped Frankel come up with her Skinnygirl empire, not for the first time, Frankel went off – calling de Lesseps out on her many falsities and hypocrisies. Over and over and over.
(Medley and Julianne "Jules" Wainstein played Twister in another room … and that is not a sentence I just made up to lighten the mood of this recap.)
Eventually both women seemed to run out of steam, or get over the whole thing, including their own behavior, or some combination thereof. They stopped yelling. They ate lasagna. A female Santa Claus appeared. And Frankel apologized – not for how she felt about de Lesseps, but for how she expressed it.
“I don’t ever want to speak like that again and I’m sorry I screamed like that,” she said.
But she later defended some of her comments about de Lesseps to Carole Radziwill, who suggested Frankel had sounded like she was slut-shaming.
“It’s not slut-shaming,” Frankel said, because her comments weren’t about how many men de Lesseps had slept with, but rather about her hypocrisy in criticizing other women for things she also did.
What the entire, three-episode interaction made screamingly obvious was that Frankel doesn’t really care for de Lesseps. While she said she thought de Lesseps was smart and cultured, she clearly also finds her behavior irritating, if not maddening. She seems basically done with any real, deep relationship between them.
The same is true, it seems, for Sonja Morgan. The difference between their situations is that, while de Lesseps still wants to be friends with Frankel, Morgan is acutely aware of the bad terms they are on.
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For example: The holiday party that ended the episode, when the other women entreated Morgan to go up and speak to Frankel about the Tipsy Girl fight – the only other time this season when Frankel has torn into someone. But Morgan wouldn’t do it, and Frankel made a speedy exit as soon as she arrived anyway.
“If she wanted to talk to me, she would,” Morgan said. Which is true!
She asked the others: How should I fix things with Frankel? By bothering her more?
It was a good thought, but what it was really covering over was Morgan’s hurt at being "excluded" from the Berkshires weekend in the first place. That’s where she would have been able to connect with Frankel and resolve the whole thing.
Or, as Morgan put it at episode’s end, in fitting fashion: “THE RIGHT PLACE WAS DORINDA’S!”
The Real Housewives of New York City airs Wednesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.