‘RHONY’: Are Luann de Lesseps and Bethenny Frankel Still Friends?

Bethenny Frankel and Luann de Lesseps from The Real Housewives of New York City have had a rocky friendship through the years. With the former exiting the Bravo show ahead of Season 12, fans are questioning if they are still going to remain friends. In a recent interview, the Countess reveals what the status of their relationship is.

Launn de Lesseps and Bethenny Frankel
Launn de Lesseps and Bethenny Frankel | Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Gilt City

Bethenny Frankel quits ‘RHONY’

Frankel completely shocked the RHONY fan base when she confirmed she was leaving the Bravo series and wouldn’t be part of the Season 12 cast.

“I have decided to leave the Housewives franchise to explore my next chapter,” Frankel said in a statement via Variety. “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. With the changes in modern culture, I want to highlight the strength, confidence and unstoppable power that women have.”

The Skinnygirl founder had been a housewife since the premiere of RHONY in 2008. She held an apple for three seasons before leaving to pursue other ventures and returned for Season 7 up through Season 11.

“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,” she ended her statement.

Ramona Singer blindsided by Bethenny Frankel

Frankel’s co-stars were unaware she was not coming back to RHONY and found out only after reading the Variety article like everyone else.

“Bethenny found love in her life, and it’s so fantastic that she’ll be taking the time to grow that relationship away from the cameras and to explore other business opportunities,” Ramona Singer told People after learning Frankel was exiting the show.

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“I’m only disappointed that Bethenny did not inform her costars that she’s not coming back to the show,” the Bravo star added. “When she left in Season 4, we found out through the press she was doing her spinoff, Bethenny Getting Married. She was upset we never congratulated her, but we were upset she never told us! And that’s how we feel now. There is a camaraderie among us as a cast. Love us, hate us, not like us — we are a team. To hear this from the press and not through her is upsetting.”

Despite Frankel’s decision, Singer wished her former co-star the best.

“I really wish her well, though,” Singer continued. “The show’s a machine and it will continue on. We’re all just a cog in the wheel. No one is irreplaceable.”

What does Luann de Lesseps think of Bethenny Frankel’s exit?

Just like Singer, De Lesseps was also taken by surprise after learning Frankel was leaving RHONY.

“I was surprised and shocked. I didn’t see that coming,” she told US Weekly. “But you know, I wish her well and you know, she’s gone before and come back before, so we’ll see what happens.”

For RHONY viewers wishing that De Lesseps and Frankel would still maintain a strong bond despite not being on the show together, it seems that they both are estranged for now.

“I have not [spoken with Bethenny]. It’s been a minute,” the “Money Can’t Buy You Class” hitmaker told the publication. “You know, we film a long season and then when we have our time off, we’re all doing our thing. I’m busy with my cabaret show, she’s busy with her things, doing great things with helping out in relief efforts.”

The Countess added that she would miss Frankel on the show, asking: “Who else am I gonna spar with?”