Bethenny Frankel

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bethenny Frankel
Frankel in 2009
Born (1970-11-04) November 4, 1970 (age 53)
New York City, U.S.
EducationBoston University
New York University (BA)
  • Reality Television Personality
  • Entrepreneur
  • Author
Years active1993–present
Peter Sussman
(m. 1996; div. 1997)
Jason Hoppy
(m. 2010; div. 2013)
PartnerPaul Bernon (2018–2024)

Bethenny Frankel (born November 4, 1970)[1] is an American television personality, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and author.[2] She was the runner-up on the NBC reality competition series The Apprentice: Martha Stewart in 2005. Frankel is best known as an original cast member of the Bravo reality television series The Real Housewives of New York City, starring in eight of the 14 seasons since its 2008 premiere. Her spin-off series Bethenny Ever After aired three seasons from 2010–2012, and Bethenny & Fredrik aired one season in 2018. She also headlined the Fox daytime talk show Bethenny (2013–2014) and the HBO Max reality competition series The Big Shot with Bethenny (2021).

Outside of her work in television, Frankel is the founder of Skinnygirl, a lifestyle brand, and BStrong, a disaster relief initiative. She is also the author of four self-help books, the host of two podcasts and a YouTuber.[3][4]

Early life[edit]

Frankel is the only child of Robert J. Frankel, a horse trainer, and Bernadette Birk, an interior designer.[5][6] Her father was German-Jewish, whereas her mother was a Roman Catholic Welsh.[7][8][9] Her parents got divorced when Frankel was four years old. When she was five, her mother married horse trainer John Parisella, who is Italian and of the Roman Catholic faith.[5] Frankel describes her childhood as difficult.[5] Frankel says her mother "was always drinking" and often argued violently with her stepfather.[5]

Frankel said she moved many times and attended multiple schools before going to boarding school. Frankel attended Catholic schools as a girl, and she graduated in 1988 from the Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida,[10] where she lived on campus. She attended the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City,[11] Boston University for two years, and graduated with a degree in psychology and communications from New York University.[12]


Early career and television[edit]

In 1992, Frankel moved to Los Angeles with hopes of being an actress. While she landed some small acting roles, she worked as a nanny to Paris Hilton and a personal assistant to Jerry Bruckheimer and Linda Bruckheimer.[13] During this time, Frankel also worked as a production assistant on the set of Saved by the Bell.[14] Frankel used these connections to start her first company, called "In Any Event", a party-planning business, which was short-lived.[13] Her next entrepreneurial enterprise was re-selling pashmina scarves that she bought wholesale from an Indian manufacturer.[13]

In 2003, Frankel started a baking business called "BethennyBakes", focusing on "healthy" cookies and meal delivery in New York City, which was featured on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, a reality competition series, in 2005.[13][15][16] Frankel was one of two finalists on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart.[17] The company, BethennyBakes, later went out of business in 2006, but Frankel remained a spokesperson for Pepperidge Farms low-calorie line.[13][16]

In 2008, Frankel began starring in the reality television series The Real Housewives of New York City, which premiered in March on Bravo.[18] In June 2010, Frankel appeared in the Bravo reality series Bethenny Getting Married? (later retitled Bethenny Ever After), which documented her engagement and marriage to Jason Hoppy as well as the birth of their daughter, Bryn. The series premiere became Bravo's highest-rated one at the time, garnering 2.1 million viewers.[19] In September 2010, Frankel announced her exit from The Real Housewives of New York City following its third season.[20] In November, she competed in the reality competition series Skating with the Stars and finished in second place.[21]

Frankel in 2009

Frankel taped the pilot of a potential talk show in June 2011.[22] The syndicated daytime talk show, eponymously titled Bethenny, premiered in September 2013.[23] It was cancelled in February 2014 after one season.[24] Frankel rejoined The Real Housewives of New York City as a cast member for its seventh season, which premiered in April 2015.[25] In March 2019, Deadline Hollywood reported that Frankel had signed a deal with MGM Television and the company's chairman, Mark Burnett, to produce and star in future unscripted television projects.[26] In June 2021, Frankel announced she no longer had a deal with MGM Television.[27] In August of the same year, she announced her departure from The Real Housewives of New York City.[28] Some of her most notable phrases on the show that the Bravo Network recognized, and ultimately capitalized on, include: "Get off my jock",[29] "Go to sleep! GO TO SLEEP!", "Life is not a Cabaret!" [30] and "Mention it all!" while simultaneously opening her legs during an argument with fellow castmate Ramona Singer. In 2021, Frankel starred in the HBO Max reality competition series titled The Big Shot with Bethenny, which she also produced alongside Burnett. The series features "aspiring business moguls compete for a job on Frankel's executive team."[31]

In 2011, she appeared on the cover of Forbes magazine.[32]


In March 2009, Frankel's book, Naturally Thin: Unleash Your SkinnyGirl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting, was published and The SkinnyGirl Dish: Easy Recipes for Your Naturally Thin Life, was published in December. She created an exercise DVD, Body by Bethenny, in spring 2010 and an audiobook, The Skinnygirl Rules, which summarized her two prior books.[33] In 2011, Frankel published, A Place of Yes: 10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want Out of Life and in December 2012, published the novel Skinnydipping.[34][35]

Frankel created a pre-packaged margarita line, named Skinnygirl Margarita, in 2009, which led to Frankel founding the company Skinnygirl and the cocktail line, Skinnygirl Cocktails. The company has since created products such as "candy, deli meat, sweeteners, popcorn, salad dressings, shapewear, and most recently, jeans and apparel."[36] She sold the cocktail line to Beam Global for $120 million in 2011.[37]

Philanthropy and activism[edit]

Frankel is the founder of BStrong, a disaster relief organization.[38] In 2017, the organization raised $300,000 in donations and supplies for the victims of Hurricane Harvey,[39] after which Frankel visited Houston, Texas to distribute these items.[40] In the same year, Frankel traveled to Mexico City and Jojutla, Mexico following the Puebla earthquake to raise awareness for the disaster's recovery efforts, for which BStrong also raised $150,000.[39][41] Also in the same year, Frankel chartered four planes to Puerto Rico and distributed medical supplies, food, water, and hygiene products in assisting with Hurricane Maria relief efforts.[42] In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, BStrong raised funds and delivered personal protective equipment such as masks, goggles, gowns, and sheets to hospitals in the U.S.[43] During the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, which is part of Russian-Ukrainian war, she supported Ukraine with humanitarian aid.[44]

Frankel posed nude for a PETA billboard in September 2009.[45]

In the wake of the 2023 SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes, Frankel called for reality television personalities to go on strike and to unionize.[46] She stated that reality television personalities are subject to exploitation and intense scrutiny and deserve increased protection and worker's rights.[47] Frankel intends to set up a union and demand for reality television personalities to earn residual-like payments, a minimum wage of $5,000 per episodic appearance with a raise for each season, retrospective compensation and the freedom to quit filming at any time.[46][48] Frankel has enlisted attorneys Bryan Freedman and Mark Geragos to investigate the potential problematic treatment of reality television personalities.[49]

Public image and personal life[edit]

Frankel considers herself Jewish, stating on her podcast that "I have a last name that's Jewish. I have family that's Jewish. I am Jewish."[50][better source needed] She has spoken out against antisemitism.[50] In 2022, the Jewish Journal named Frankel one of "The Top 10 Jewish Reality TV Stars of All Time".[51]

Frankel was married to entertainment executive Peter Sussman from 1996 to 1997.[52] In March 2010, she married pharmaceutical sales executive Jason Hoppy. They have one daughter, Bryn.[53] After the couple separated in December 2012, Frankel filed for divorce in January 2013.[54] A custody agreement was finalized in June 2014, followed by a financial settlement in July 2016.[55][56] Frankel and Hoppy's divorce was finalized in January 2021.[57]

Frankel dated banker Dennis Shields from 2016 to August 2018, when he died. He proposed in April 2018 and she wore the engagement ring, but said she never committed to getting married.[58] She met film producer and real estate developer Paul Bernon[59] on a dating app in 2018 and they were engaged to be married in 2021, but they never did, finally separating in 2024.[60]

Frankel has a severe fish allergy and was hospitalized in December 2018 after consuming soup that contained fish.[61] She has since advocated airlines stop serving fish, stating that it is a hazard to passengers with fish allergies to be in the presence of cooked seafood in an enclosed commercial airline jet.[62]


As herself[edit]

Year Title Notes Ref.
2005 The Apprentice: Martha Stewart Runner-up; 13 episodes
The Real Housewives of New York City Main cast; seasons 1–3, 7–11
2009 Z Rock Episode: "I Wanna Be Z-dated"
2010–12 Chelsea Lately Guest; various episodes
2010 Skating with the Stars Runner-up; 6 episodes
2010–21 The Ellen DeGeneres Show Guest; various episodes
2010–12 Bethenny Ever After Main cast
2013–14 Bethenny Host
2016, 2018 The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Guest; seasons 6 and 8
2016 Beat Bobby Flay Guest judge; season 10
2017 Million Dollar Listing New York Guest
2017–19 Shark Tank Guest Shark; 5 episodes
2017 Bethenny & Fredrik Main cast
2018 Bar Rescue Episode: "Operation: Puerto Rico"
2020-present Just B Podcaster [63]
2021 The Big Shot with Bethenny Herself
2022 Beat Bobby Flay Guest host; episode: "Fancy Pants"
2022-present ReWives Podcaster [3]
2022 Money Court Host
2023 BetheNeNe Host [64]

As actress[edit]

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1993 Soiree Sans Hors D'oeuvres Woman Minor role
1994 Hollywood Hills 90028 Laura Drake Lead role
1995 Wish Me Luck Bridgette
2013 The Neighbors Jill Episode 21: "Mo Purses Mo Money Mo Problems"


  • Naturally Thin: Unleash Your SkinnyGirl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting (ISBN 978-1416597988, 2009)
  • The Skinnygirl Dish: Easy Recipes for Your Naturally Thin Life (ISBN 978-1416597995, 2009)
  • Body by Bethenny: Body-sculpting Workouts to Unleash Your SkinnyGirl (ISBN 978-1-59828-440-9, 2010)
  • A Place of Yes: 10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want Out of Life (ISBN 978-1439186916, 2011)
  • Skinnydipping: A Novel (ISBN 978-1451667387, 2012)
  • Skinnygirl Solutions: Simple Ideas, Extraordinary Results (ISBN 978-1451667400, 2014)
  • Cookie Meets Peanut (ISBN 978-0316368438, 2014)
  • Skinnygirl Cocktails : 100 Fabulous and Flirty Cocktail Recipes and Party Foods for Any Occasion, Without the Guilt (ISBN 1476773025, 2014)
  • I Suck at Relationships So You Don't Have To: 10 Rules for Not Screwing Up Your Happily Ever After (ISBN 978-1451667424, 2016)


  1. ^ "Celebrity birthdays for the week of Nov. 4-10". The Associated Press. October 29, 2018. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  2. ^ "Corona Chronicles: Bethenny Frankel's BStrong Donates Test Kits, An Actor Reveals Diagnosis, and Other Personal Stories". Variety. April 3, 2020. Retrieved July 11, 2021.
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  6. ^ New York Daily News: "'Real Housewives of New York City' star Bethenny Frankel and husband Jason Hoppy separating" By Bill Hutchinson December 23, 2012
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  8. ^ Video Interview on BravoTV: "After Show: All About Baby – Part V: Bethenny talks about her religious background and the most important thing Baby Bryn has taught her" Retrieved July 4, 2012 "My father was Jewish. The story goes – because you know I am not that close to my family, I am not there for the real history lessons – He married my mother and she converted to Judaism for him. She was Catholic but then she was with my stepfather for all those years. I went to Catholic school and I know more about that.",
  9. ^ Bethenny Frankel (March 22, 2011). A Place of Yes: 10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want Out of Life. Simon and Schuster. p. 56. ISBN 978-1-4391-8692-3. My mother had gone off to Wales for several months...her family is from Wales – very poor people who lived in shacks and raised pigeons
  10. ^ Pinecrest Alumni newsletter Archived September 4, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved July 12, 2012
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  30. ^, [dead link]
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  34. ^ Unknown Author Skinnydipping World Cat, accessed December 18, 2012
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  48. ^ "Reality TV Performers Need a Union, Housewives of NY Star Says". Bloomberg. July 21, 2023. Retrieved July 25, 2023.
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  50. ^ a b "Bethenny Frankel says the word "Jew" has become "very controversial"". Newsweek. November 2, 2022.
  51. ^ Zeitlin, Alan (December 23, 2022). "The Top 10 Jewish Reality TV Stars of All Time". Jewish Journal.
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