‘RHONY’: Did Bethenny Frankel Quit Only Moments Before Season 12 Began Filming?

In a shocking turn of events, longtime Real Housewives of New York City cast member Bethenny Frankel announced she was leaving the series. The Skinnygirl mogul announced she was leaving the franchise to focus on family, her businesses and charities.

While Frankel has left the series before, this time seems to be more permanent. Last time she also left to focus on work and family. But after her budding talk show and marriage dissolved, she returned to the show.

Bethenny Frankel
Bethenny Frankel |Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/WireImage

Frankel now seems to be on solid ground. Her businesses and charities are flourishing, she has a new love and her daughter is growing up. Did she know all along she might leave? According to ET, her departure was announced at the last minute, right before filming began.

‘RHONY’ cast members were shocked

After she made her announced, Brice Sander, chief Real Housewives correspondent at ET tweeted that Frankel quit very last minute. “#RHONY apparently started filming hours before Bethenny dropped the bomb, and now I fear there is no game plan in place for the new season. Someone call up Kristen Taekman and Heather Holla Thomson STAT. We at least need the majority of the season six squad back together.”

The cast of “RHONY’ Season 11 | Rodolfo Martinez/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

He added, “We need people who know how the play the game. There’s no time to train!!” ET editor, Chris Harnick responded, “I’m very worried,” to which Sander answered, “I think we all should be.” Sander hilariously added, “I’ll even take Aviva and her leg!!”

Shortly after news about Frankel’s departure broke, ET reported about the cast’s shock. Two sources told ET the cast was blindsided about Frankel’s announcement, learning about it via the media.

Ramona Singer confirms she had no idea Frankel was leaving

RHONY OG Ramona Singer confirmed Frankel’s departure came as a shock.  “I’m only disappointed that Bethenny did not inform her costars that she’s not coming back to the show,” she told People.

Although Singer was disappointed, she claims Frankel didn’t personally tell the cast when she was leaving last time either. “When she left in season four, 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,” she added.

Bethenny Frankel and Ramona Singer
Bethenny Frankel and Ramona Singer in their “RHONY” promo photos for Season 11 |

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

Barbara Kavovit, who commented on Instagram she would not return to the series had well wishes for Frankel. “Bethenny played such a huge role on RHONY over the years and I’m sad to see her leave the show,” she told ET. “That being said, she excels at all that she does and I’m excited to see what the future holds for her.”