Bethenny Frankel Announces Departure from The Real Housewives of New York City

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Bravo has lost yet another long-time star.

In this case, it may also be the best known and most successful of them all.

Bethenny Frankel confirmed to Variety this afternoon that she won't be returning to The Real Housewives of New York City.

Bethenny Frankel in a Photo

“I have decided to leave the Housewives franchise to explore my next chapter,” Frankel said in this statement to Variety on Wednesday, adding in  further detail:

“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.

The very rich entrepreneur is mom to nine-year-old daughter Bryn, whom she shares with ex Jason Hoppy.

She dealt with a brush with death this past season on the series and is still dealing with the passing of her serious ex-boyfriend.

Bethenny Shocked at Reunion

Continued to veteran eality star:

“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.

"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.”

No one from Bravo has yet commented on this unexpected departure.

Bethenny Frankel on Beach

An insider tells Us Weekly, meanwhile, that there's nothing more to this move than meets the eye or anything.

Everything Frankel is saying above really does explain her decision to walk away.

“She wants to focus on being a mom to Bryn,” this source says. “She’s also got other business things going on and doesn’t need the RHONY paycheck.

Frankel was an original cast member on The Real Housewives of New York City when it debuted in 2008.

She did leave during season 3, but returned five years later for season 7 -- and has stuck around since then, always as a prominent star.

Whoa There, Bethenny Frankel!

Following news of Frankel’s exit, Ramona Singer -- who started on the program with Frankel and has never missed a season of the franchise -- told People Magazine that she “respects the fact that Bethenny has decided to go on with other endeavors," adding:

"Bethenny found love in her life, and it’s so fantastic that she’ll be taking the time to grow that relationship away from the cameras and to explore other business opportunities."

She then took a slight dig at Bethenny.

"I’m only disappointed that Bethenny did not inform her costars that she’s not coming back to the show,” Singer added.

“When she left in season 4, we found out through the press she was doing her spinoff, Bethenny Getting Married.

"She was upset we never congratulated her, but we were upset she never told us! And that’s how we feel now.

"There is a camaraderie among us as a cast. Love us, hate us, not like us — we are a team. To hear this from the press and not through her is upsetting."

Bethenny Frankel in Sweater

Frankel joins a growing list of other established stars who have recently left Bravo.

Lisa Vanderpump has left The Real Housewives of Orange County, while Vicki Gunvalson has been demoted from the same franchise.

Now you tell us: Will you miss Bethenny Frankel?

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