Bethenny Frankel
Bethenny Frankel is pictured attending the Emmy For Your Consideration Event for Showtime’s “Shameless” on May 24, 2018 in Los Angeles. Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images


  • Bethenny Frankel revealed that she was paid only $7,250 during the first season of "RHONY"
  • Frankel sold Skinnygirl Cocktails to Beam Global for an estimated $100 million
  • Frankel now has an estimated net worth of $80 million

Bethenny Frankel revealed that she earned only a four-digit salary for her appearance in the first season of "The Real Housewives of New York City" back in 2008.

The 52-year-old self-made millionaire entrepreneur recently took to Instagram to share how much she earned when she first joined the cast of the hit Bravo reality show as well as the terms of her contract.

"The contract said $7,250, which I did not dispute," Frankel said in a video Tuesday. "I was a nobody. That was a lot of money to me. All I had was time on my hands; no kids, no family, no problem."

The reality TV alum continued, "The only thing I did cross out was the thing that said, 'Bravo would take a percentage of anything I made.' Now, I was a nobody. I had nothing and what would I care? But somewhere down deep inside of me, I understood conceptually, that [the percentage clause] was wrong, and that I was going places. And I was going to do something, and no one [else] was going to own any part of it."

Frankel said Bravo agreed to her condition of crossing out that section of the contract.

After making her debut on the show, she launched her lifestlye brand Skinnygirl, which initially sold pre-packaged and low-calorie margaritas and became one of the U.S.' fastest-growing spirits brands by 2011. Frankel later sold Skinnygirl Cocktails to Beam Global for an estimated $100 million dollars but kept the rights to the Skinnygirl name.

Following her success as an entrepreneur, Bravo came up with what the industry refers to as the "Bethenny clause," which requires reality TV stars to give a percentage of their non-TV earnings to the network.

"When the Hollywood Reporter article came out on me, and the Forbes cover came out because I had sold the cocktail portion of my business for a lot of money, Bravo woke up, the entertainment industry woke up, reality television woke up," Frankel said in the video.

She concluded, "I was not a business person. I had no institutional knowledge or experience in any of this. I read a contract, something didn't feel right to me and I took it out. And it changed the entertainment industry and [its] practices. So never assume anyone is smarter than you."

Frankel now has an estimated net worth of $80 million, thanks to the sale of her Skinnygirl Cocktails in 2011 and her stints on reality television, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Beam's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings showed that the Skinnygirl Cocktails deal was worth a minimum of $39 million and as high as $64 million, the outlet reported. The San Diego-based company also set aside $25 million in incentives for Frankel based on the future performance of the brand.

After the acquisition, the Skinnygirl brand expanded to include popcorn, salad dressings, supplements and coffee. It now also includes apparel such as jeans, dresses and jackets.

The company also released a line of books and DVDs: 2009's "Naturally Thin: Unleash Your SkinnyGirl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting," 2011's "A Place of Yes: 10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want Out of Life," and 2012's "Skinnydipping" novel, among others.

Aside from Frankel's business ventures, she has made several TV appearances over the years. In 2005, she starred in Martha Stewart's reality competition series "The Apprentice," where she introduced her food brand BethennyBakes, which was discontinued a year later.

Frankel appeared on "The Real Housewives of New York City" from 2008-2010 and from 2014-2019 before she ultimately decided to quit and "focus" on her personal life.

Frankel and her ex-husband Jason Hoppy also starred in the Bravo reality show "Bethenny Getting Married?" which followed their relationship, from their engagement and marriage to the arrival of their now 12-year-old daughter Brynn. The exes finalized their divorce in 2021 after a yearslong custody battle and financial woes.

As for real estate, Frankel has bought and sold several multimillion-dollar properties over the years, including a $2.7 million Hamptons home, a $4.5 million mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut, and another estate in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood.

Bethenny Frankel
Some “Real Housewives Of New York City” fans believe Bethenny Frankel was bullied during Season 10. The reality star is pictured attending ONE Jeanswear Group and Bethenny Frankel Celebrate the Launch of Skinnygirl Jeans on Jan. 9, 2018 in New York City. Cindy Ord/Getty Images