Last month, former “Real Housewife” of New York Bethenny Frankel revealed that she and her husband, her therapist, and her camera crew (of course) were lost at sea for 20 hours when their sailboat was thrown off course by a giant wave in the Atlantic Ocean between Nantucket and Block Island.
The captain had to call the Coast Guard and we were hit by a big wave, Frankel told E! Online. It was very scary. It was traumatic... We were in the middle of the deep sea with no land or anybody near us. Frankel reportedly said that the GPS system was malfunctioning.
The boat finally made it back to shore at 4 a.m. the day after Frankel & Co. set sail, in time to wake up her daughter, Bryn, who was not on the deep sea adventure.
I was thinking, Oh, my God, Bryn! I'm not going to be there at six o'clock in the morning when she wakes up and she's going to wonder where Mommy is and gosh, if something were to happen to me, what would happen to her, Frankel continued. I was having horrendous thoughts.
The traumatic ordeal is set to be included on the next season of “Bethenny Ever After,” and in this case, Frankel’s insistence on broadcasting every detail of her life may earn the entrepreneur some credibility points – assuming the footage lines up with her story.
And assuming the ordeal was not staged for the show.
Frankel’s story has come under scrutiny after a writer for the Jewish Journal (who, to be fair, appears to have something of a vendetta against Frankel) uncovered some holes in the story after speaking to the man who is credited with rescuing the reality TV star and her crew.
Tim Russell told the Jewish Journal that Frankel’s therapist gave him the exact coordinates of the sailboat – which indicates the GPS was not malfunctioning at all. (Aside: who goes sailing with her therapist?) He also said that he was called after the U.S. Coast Guard determined that the boat was not it any distress, and that the sailors had called for a tow at the Coast Guard’s suggestion.
The article continues:
Mr. Russell explained that his rate was $250 an hour, which is his standard, offseason, nighttime rate and since it was still dark, the nighttime rate applied. When he realized the boat was fine, he explained they did not need him and could come in on their own as the boat was fully functioning.
The therapist insisted they needed help, and said they would pay him what he wanted. Mr. Russell thought it was bizarre, and did not know what was going on, but did not want to ignore the call in case there was an issue so he went out to get them. His wife went along and they headed out.
When Tim got there, he saw that the boat was fine. There were 9 people on the boat. Bethenny, Jason, the therapist, and a Bravo film crew of 6. They did not need a tow as the boat was fine. They simply followed Tim and his wife back to the shore with no towing and a functioning GPS.
Russell also denied that Frankel gave him a $2,800 tip for his services, as Bethenny supposedly claimed she did on “The Ellen Degeneres Show” (though IBTimes was not able to locate any documentation of this comment). Incidentally, Ellen does not seem like she was buying what Bethanny was selling in the interview – watch it here:
Frankel has since tweeted to dismiss the allegations that she fabricated the “Lost at Sea” story:
“Let's review last week's idiocies,” she tweeted. “ 1)I have anicecoach 2)I'm getting divorced 3)I'm pregnant 4)I lied re:being lost at sea Anything else?”
Frankel posted two earlier tweets that may have also been in reference to the allegations: “I will ALWAYS be honest with my fans. I know you know that!” and “People are nuts and bored.”
Season 3 of “Bethenny Ever After” is expected to air on Bravo in December.