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Luann de Lesseps is returning to The Real Housewives of New York City for season 12. When the Bravo show comes back one of its biggest stars will not. Bethenny Frankel quit the reality series just ahead of the beginning of production, ending an era for the Manhattan-set franchise.

Bethenny Frankel and Luann de Lesseps
Bethenny Frankel and Luann de Lesseps | Tana Lee Alves/WireImage

De Lesseps and Frankel had a rocky relationship throughout their seasons together. During the past year, the Skinnygirl founder was a big support to the Countess after her legal troubles. As part of her run-in with the law, De Lesseps was to remain sober and Frankel assisted her friend throughout the troublesome period.

As season 11 progressed, De Lesseps and Frankel had a fallout. The reason for the latter was that the “Money Can’t Buy You Class” hitmaker was too focused on her cabaret show. Frankel felt that the star didn’t have more to talk about than her musical act.

Fans of RHONY have been wondering if their relationship has gotten better but it seems that it hasn’t. In a recent interview, De Lesseps said that she has not spoken to the former housewife following her exit from the series.

‘RHONY’ cast was shocked by Bethenny Frankel’s exit

Frankel did not reach out to her RHONY co-stars before revealing she was leaving the show, which left De Lesseps completely shocked.

“You know, Bethenny has been replaced,” De Lesseps told ET. “Bethenny has been a huge character on the show, she’s come and gone herself from the show. So, you know, wishing her the best, as well. You know, everybody has got their life and she chose to leave, so we were all just surprised by it. We found out just like you did. So, we were kind of surprised and shocked by it. And, like I said, she’s doing her thing and wish her the best.”

In a separate interview, the Countess and Friends star said that the RHONY cast was relieved that Frankel was not on the show. Since the business mogul is such a big character, it would allow other housewives to shine.

“I think the whole cast is relieved, in a way, and it also leaves breathing room for other women to shine and show their personalities because a lot was Bethenny coming in and kind of stealing the show,” De Lesseps said on Jenny McCarthy’s SiriusXM show. “But guess what, she can’t steal our show. This season is amazing and I can’t wait for everyone to see the new season.”

Luann de Lesseps makes a new friend

With Frankel off the main cast of RHONY, new housewife Leah McSweeney will be joining in season 12. De Lesseps has warmed up to the newbie and likes what she brings to the show.

“What’s great about Leah is, it’s not an easy group of women to walk into and I think that she can hold her own,” De Lesseps told Entertainment Tonight. “I think that people will like her, she’s different. She’s downtown, she’s younger. She’s a young mom.”

“She’s also vulnerable, and I think that’s very important because you feel like you get to know her, and we can all relate to her, which is really important for being a Housewife,” she added.

The Real Housewives of New York City is expected to come back in 2020 on Bravo.