Bethenny Frankel is no longer a cast member on The Real Housewives of New York City.
This much we know for certain, considering Bethenny herself made the announcement last week.
But there's something we do not know for certain about this surprising exit -- and that something is this:
Why, exactly, did Bethenny Frankel choose to walk away?
We know what Frankel said to Variety upon confirming her departure, of course.
“I have decided to leave the Housewives franchise to explore my next chapter,” Frankel explained in a statement to this outlet last 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."
Fair enough, right?
Frankel was an original cast member on The Real Housewives of New York City when it debuted in 2008.
She left after Season 3 and then returned for Season 7 and has been a leading lady ever since.
In other words: Makes sense that it's time for a break, no? Especially after her serious ex-boyfriend was found dead last year and she continues to deal with the emotional repercussions.
However, a new report now alleges that Frankel did not leave for the reasons stated above.
This report instead claims that Frankel left due to a contract dispute with Bravo executives.
According to Page Six, Frankel already had “one foot out the door” as negotiations for her ninth season kicked off with Bravo.
She was pretty confident there would options for her beyond the franchise; so she gave producers a salary figure, producers did not meet it and that was that:
Frankel left the series with her head held high.
To be clear, this doesn't mean anything Bethenny said in her statement was a lie.
As we just described, she wasn't desperate to stick around and she's mostly fine saying goodbye to the show. We're just shedding a bit more light here on how she arrived at her decision.
Concluded Bethenny in her statement a week ago:
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.