Earlier this week, “The Real Housewives of New York City” star Bethenny Frankel, 48, announced her big exit from the show.
Frankel told Us Weekly, “I have decided to leave the 'Housewives' franchise to explore my 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. 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,” Bethenny 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.”
On Friday, Frankel had everyone talking when she tweeted, “To my NY hwives: GO GET EM! I had to go since I’m the only one that is actually married…that’s how crazy this ride is. You are all amazing, beautiful and strong. Spread your wings and fly! Xoxo @ramonasinger @CountessLuann @TinsleyMortimer @SonjatMorgan @dorindamedley.”
After reading her tweet, many speculated that she was hinting that she was secretly married to movie producer boyfriend Paul Bernon.
Frankel could also have been referring to her marriage to Jason Hoppy, who is still legally her husband. Their divorce has not been finalized yet, but they reached a financial settlement in 2016. The two are currently engaged in a nasty custody battle over their daughter Bryn, 9. While they currently share custody and decision-making power of Bryn, Bethenny is now seeking primary custody and full decision-making power.
Hoppy's lawyer Robert Wallack told Page Six, "Jason and Bethenny are still technically married. While Jason has been pushing for years to have the judge sign the divorce judgment, Bethenny’s lawyers have objected.”
After her phone "exploded this morning," Bethenny took to her Instagram Story to clarify her comments. She said, "Ironically, I'm the only legally married Housewife on 'New York.' I'm not newly married... Believe me, when there is something to tell you, I will tell you."
Frankel and Bernon recently enjoyed a romantic vacation in Italy, where they celebrated his birthday. She gushed on Instagram, “You are such a brilliant, sweet, beautiful, kind, hilarious person. You have enriched my life immeasurably. You make me laugh to the point of tears... You embrace my life, my spirit, my daughter, my career, my goals, and my choices. The very few people who truly know you are the luckiest people in the world. You have literally and figuratively saved my life. Peanut and I, and @biggysmallz, love you so much and are so lucky to have you in our lives. Have the most incredible day ever!!!! May all of your wishes come true!"
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Buon compleanno, ti amo! . Happy Birthday, Paul. You are such a brilliant, sweet, beautiful, kind, hilarious person. You have enriched my life immeasurably. You make me laugh to the point of tears... You embrace my life, my spirit, my daughter, my career, my goals, and my choices. The very few people who truly know you are the luckiest people in the world. You have literally and figuratively saved my life. Peanut and I, and @biggysmallz, love you so much and are so lucky to have you in our lives. Have the most incredible day ever!!!! May all of your wishes come true! ♥️🎂🎉✨♥️ . . . #HappyBirthday #Celebration #Vacation #Travel #SummerVacation #Italy
Bethenny and Paul first sparked rumors in October last year after they were seen packing on the PDA in Boston, in photos obtained by TMZ.
At the time, Frankel dished on her love life, telling “Extra” in NYC, “I’m good, I’m getting out there a little bit, being a little more social than usual.”
She pointed out that the attention surrounding her love life didn’t bother her, explaining, “It’s okay — shows I still got some sizzle.”
Bethenny has credited Paul with saving her life when she suffered an allergic reaction to a soup that contained fish. She told “Extra” earlier this year, “I've been allergic to fish — not shellfish — my whole life… I've had different reactions my whole life, but that's the first time I went into anaphylactic shock. It was really scary, but it was a wake-up call and I always have my EpiPens with me… My boyfriend literally did save my life.”