Bethenny Frankel is said to have negotiated a $1 million payday for her return to Bravo’s long-standing “Real Housewives” franchise. Her rumored salary, as reported by Radar Online, makes her one of the highest-paid “Housewives” stars in the series' history, but is the reality TV star and Skinnygirl mogul really worth the seven-figure paycheck?
According to Radar Online, Bethenny's “The Real Housewives of New York City” co-stars are not behind the network's decision to grant her a large salary on top of her speculated $12 million net worth. The most upset among the bunch? Bethenny’s longtime co-star and frenemy, Ramona Singer. “Ramona is absolutely outraged that Bethenny is making a million dollars, especially after her failed talk show,” a source said.
And Ramona has a pretty solid reason for being upset. According to the Daily News, Bethenny’s pricey Season 7 return not only caused her and co-star LuAnn de Lesseps to be demoted from housewife to “friend” on the series, it may have also resulted in a pay cut for the other “RHONY” stars.
Bethenny, 44, who left the program in 2010 after three seasons in favor of her spinoff “Bethenny Getting Married?” reportedly “held out” on returning to the series unless she was granted the largest “Real Housewives” salary, Radar Online reports. Fellow Bravo star, NeNe Leakes of the "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," is said to have also been granted a $1 million salary in 2013, but according to OK! magazine, most "Housewives" make anywhere from $55,000 to $500,000 per season.
Bethenny’s co-stars are not the only ones who are said to be feeling slighted. Her decision to keep her fan-favorite, snarky personality at bay and her alleged refusal to film scenes she felt were “fake” are also rumored to be upsetting the show's producers, a claim that Bethenny vehemently denies. “As far as bringing the drama to spice things up, Bethenny is proving to be a downer,” a source told Radar Online.
With Bethenny refusing her let reality persona shine, she will mainly act as a “mother hen” to LuAnn this season and guide her as she renters the dating field while trying to avoid any on-screen tensions with “Housewives” Season 6 newcomer, Kristen Taekman. “Bethenny is very hesitant to get into heated fights with her on camera,” a source told Radar Online.
When she’s not playing a matchmaker on-screen, Bethenny will be busy hiding her off-screen romance with boyfriend, financier Michael Cerussi. Bethenny’s relationship with ex-husband Jason Hoppy, with whom she shares daughter Brynn, 4, was previously showcased on several Bravo reality series.
Bethenny announced her official return to the “The Real Housewives” franchise in October after several weeks of speculation that she was planning to reprise the role she first made famous on Season 1 in 2008.
“After many years of hesitation, I have decided to return to my roots,” she said of her comeback. “The idea of doing the show feels exciting and refreshing, like it did at the beginning all those years ago. New faces, new circumstances, and in many ways, a new me and a new life.”
Season 7 of “The Real Housewives of New York” will also star fashion designer Heather Thomson, socialite Sonja Morgan and author Carole Radziwill. The series' new season has no official release date but is believed to be returning to Bravo in 2015.