Bethenny Frankel and Jill Zarin’s feud started over Bobby Zarin’s thyroid cancer

CLICK HERE to hear Jill Zarin’s side of the story.

UPDATE: Since Bethenny and Jill began feuding, Bethenny has tried to apologize to Jill, wrote Bobby Zarin a heartfelt apology letter (which he accepted), went through her father dying, got pregnant, got married, and doesn’t regret telling Jill to get a hobby. Jill has a new book out and seems to be happy that Bethenny is leaving the series.

The explosive third season of The Real Housewives of New York premieres tonight on Bravo at 11p.m. with many promises of yelling, seething media feuds, alliances, eye-gougings, and general social warfare and mayhem. One of the most painful things the audience may experience this season is LuAnn deLesseps’ new singing career (if the preview clip below is to judge) but maybe one of the most surprising things (not really if you read the tabloids) is the deep rift between former besties Jill Zarin and Bethenney Frankel.

This can’t be true! Just as someone “close to the show” mentioned on Bravo Gossip just last season Bethenny was sleeping in Jill’s bed in the Hampton’s and being adopted by Jill’s mother. This source doesn’t bring any real spoilers or new information, but does a great job of outlining the intricate media battle Bethenny and Jill have been engaged in for months. They’ve also been noticably absent from each other’s events (to amplify Jill’s absense, Kelly Bensimon, Bethenny’s former mortal enemy has been sitting next to Bethenny at fashion shows and attended Bethenny’s Skinny Girl launch.) But what caused this heartbreak between two women who were as close to sisters as housewives get?

The best answer we could dig up is a recent Life & Style item with another “insider” saying this feud began when Bethenny wasn’t there for Jill this summer when her husband Bobby received a thyroid cancer diagnosis. On the show Jill says that Bethenny didn’t call or come over, all she did was send flowers.

This is a sad development and we hope Bobby’s doin’ okay! Bobby’s always been our favorite house husband, he’s just there to support Jill and sell some extra fabric. UPDATE: Bobby Zarin is currently cancer free! The thyroid surgery successfully cut out all the cancer and it hasn’t spread.

The details get a little murky, but before they met again for the show, the last Jill heard from Bethenny was a text message in which Bethenny instructed Jill to “get a hobby.” Bethenny tells her assistant that she sent the message because Jill was trying to start fights.

If this is indeed the cause of the feud, we’ll be bound to hear more about it this season, as well as an unhealthy heaping of other social posturing, petty arguments, and the kind of crippling, consuming wrath that can only be released from wounded delicate egos.

After the tepid drama of The Real Housewives of OC this season (which has only been worth it to watch the compelling development of Simon’s character as both a controlling  a$$wipe and a drama-addicted, attention-hungry 12-year-old girl with Victorian sensibilities), it might be nice to tap again into the sweet juice of life that makes the Housewives franchise so humanly appealing. Consumerism, lust for power, jealousy, and most importantly: rage. Pure, unbridled rage. It’s been so difficult for the OC Housewives  this season to muster up a good dose of rage. They simply don’t care enough about each other to get angry, and besides most of them have been too busy trying to keep themselves out of the homeless shelter to really get in a good superficial tizzy about something. Vicki tried, but it really wasn’t that transfixing.

UPDATE 5/4/10: Bethenny and Jill are still feuding both on the show and in real time through the press and Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live. Bethenny has since lost her father, gotten pregnant, married, and her very own reality show Bethenny Getting Married will premiere on Bravo June 10. Jill has released a book with her mom and sister called Secrets of a Jewish Mother, and is receiving mostly negative backlash for the way she’s handled her spat with Bethenny on camera.

A retrospective of Bethenny and Jill’s doomed friendship:

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  • Faify

    This feud has nothing to do with Bobby. Jill’s ego is bruised because Bethenny achieved a few life-goals and didn’t have as much “sitting around” time with Jill. Every girlfriend has been there, but usually this sort of thing happens in high school or college, not in your 40s. Jill needs to not only get a hobby, but get over it. Stop talking about it to anyone who will listen. Bethenny is the only person Jill should speak about this to. Jill’s proved herself not to be a good friend.

    • Let’sGetToTheHeart

      It’s a real shame what fame can do to your head. Every one of those housewives ladies are guilty. I can sympathize with Jill. To go from 90 to 0 with your BFF is hard. Bethenny was hanging around with Jill because she was trying to find her dreams and Jill was there for her to support her. Jill took her into her “inner” circle, they were inseparable. But what everybody overlooks and doesn’t talk about much is that the minute Jason came into her life which is a big deal, Bethenny goes AWOL for three months without keeping Jill in the loop with her life’s important moments. (I.e., she took Jason to Turk and Caicos and that’s fine but she could’ve have reached out to Jill.) I think Jill was definitely hurt by that and that’s why she acted the way she acted in Season 3. Common Bethenny, Jill was such a good friend to you, do you think she would just do a 180 on you if she hadn’t been so hurt?? And to be fair Jill did get pretty petty, but it’s understandable we are all human and she did try to make amends many times. So, like Jill said, if you were ever friends, really real friends, then the good times and memories should overide all of this. You weren’t a good friend to her in her eyes and therefore, the fall out and you don’t care because you got everything going for you now. Everything that goes around comes around…. Get to the heart.

  • Catherine

    I have had friends like Bethany who are just man-hungry. They use you until a guy comes along…then they don’t know your name until they get dumped and need you again. I used to love Bethany but she is like nails on a chalkboard now. With the other women, you knew what you got. Luanne is pretentious, Kelly is a ding-dong, Ramona is nuts, Alex is the voice of reason, and Bethany was the every woman looking for love. Now watching her makes me want to stab myself in the eye with a pencil…lame.

    • Mario

      I agree with you totally about Bethenny. I think she is vindictive, sneaky, back-stabbing, uses people, has an agenda, self-serving, cold and calculated, whiney, shrill, lame and thinks she’s really hilarious and funny and witty and cute and clever when she isn’t one bit. ALOT of her ‘jokes’ and ‘witty comments’ are totally ripped off from Kathy Griffin. Kathy Griffin is funny, Bethenny is not.
      She pretended to be Jill’s friend and love her as she used her to further advance herself and her career. Then, I remember watching that scene where she said ‘this one’s got Jill’s grubby fingerprints all over it’..up till that point, she couldn’t care less about Jill, but then when she realized that she was starting to look bad in the press and it might damage her career, suddenly she pretended that she sincerely wanted to mend things with Jill because she ‘misses’ her. Her motive for wanting to ‘reach out’ to Jill was completely self-serving, self-interest and phoney. Jill saw right through it. Then, Bethenny cried and played the victim, and then she got pregnant and got everyone’s sympathy and used that pregnancy for all it was worth. She used it to play the victim on an even bigger scale. Then suddenly she realized that playing the victim was working better than she could have hoped and suddenly SHE decided to turn her nose up at Jill, ‘coz she realized that she not only didn’t need her then, but that she didn’t even need to pretend to ‘reach out’
      She saw the public reaction to Jill (caused by her playing the victim) and secretly smiled to herself. Before her victim-playing plan worked, she was crying and pretending to be sooo hurt that Jill wanted nothing to do with her, but then after she got everyone to feel bad for her and SHE held the cards, she did the EXACT same thing that she had accused Jill of doing; except that Jill’s apologies and tears were real, because Jill’s apologies and reaching-out consisted of ONLY ‘I’m sorry’ and admitting she was wrong without also laying some of the blame on Bethenny, as Bethenny had done when the tables were reversed.
      Jill isn’t a saint, but her flaws and faults are not malicious; there is no malice in her actions; she is just a little careless when she speaks before thinking and being too blunt; her heart is in the right place. Bethenny played the victim card so well that she even managed to make Jill start doubting herself. She is manipulative, a liar, malicious, poisonous and dangerous and will throw anyone under the bus for self-advancement. Even when Kelly FIRST joined the show, Kelly was actually friendly to her, but Bethenny was the one who cold-shouldered her for something that happened YEARS ago and as lame as ‘she pretended not to know me at a bunch of parties’..get over yourself, she probably really didn’t remember. And then as the season went on, she, once again, was very underhanded and sneaky in playing the victim once again, and got everyone’s sympathy and on her side against Kelly. I speak about this passionately because I once had a ‘friend’ like Bethenny myself, and she was just pure poison.
      Bethenny was lonely, her career was at a stall, she had no man, no kids, no family, and so used Jill and was her “BFF” and Jill’s mom even adopted her into the family. Once those things started going for her, she suddenly decides she has no more use for Jill, takes off, and doesn’t give two damns about her.
      Bethenny thinks she comes across as “direct” witty” “smart” “tells it like it is”…there’s a difference between ‘telling it like it is” and just being mean and hurtful and talking behind peoples’ backs. She’s trying to be Kathy Griffin..well guess what, Kathy is funny and a comedian, and has no malice or mean-spiritedness about her..she makes funny jokes about people, but not because she wants to hurt people, but because she’s actually funny and is just doing her job which she is actually good at. It’s so sad that people have fallen for the victim-act, and are so pathetic and unwilling to believe and accept that Jill has supporters to the extent that they accuse her of being the people behind the usernames who write favourable things about her. Well, I personally wouldn’t put it past Bathenny to actually be the one to stoop to such antics, as she has proven that she will stoop to any level to further her career. In St. John’s, she said about Jill ‘she made her own bed ..she’s lying in it now’.. not true, Bathenny.. YOU made that bed for her. She keeps talking about how she ‘would neve pose for Playboy”.. um.. you’re right, you won’t.. because they haven’t (and wouldn’t) ever ask you to!
      I think there’s a jaw-size limit. I’m glad for Jill that at least this toxic, vindictive scorpion of a creature is out of her life. She should first thank her profusely for all Jill has done for her to help her get at where she is, and then apologize and beg her forgiveness for stabbing her in the back, using her and tossing her out after milking her for all she’s worth.
      Ugh… what goes around comes around, and strangely enough, despite all I’ve said, I actually do not wish Bathenny harm (I don’t on anyone), however, I do feel there is a huge piece of humble pie on Bethenny Frankelstein’s menu. What a witch.

      • John


  • XL

    I just can’t watch Jill Zarin **ch and moan so much…Get over it lady. Bethanny found love and good for her. Not everyone marry just for money.

  • ethlb

    This feud is getting old. Obviously, Jill wants to do nothing to try and resolve things. I give Bethenny alot of credit for trying to make things right. Jill is spoiled and only cares about herself. I agree with Faify…her ego is bruised…big time! How about Luann…what a freak….talk about jealous and needing to get a life! Bethenny needs to move on and enjoy her new husband and baby….she deserves happiness!

  • Ann

    I think Bethenny made a mistake. She got caught-up in her own world because she finally had a bangin life. She’s been the underdog of the group hoping for love a career and children.

    It all happened very quickly with the help of Jill. However her mistake was not thanking Jill, maintaining her constant contact with Jill when her life was gaining momentum. She should have made it a priority to talk to Jill everyday if only for a few seconds of sincere time.

    She should have never told Jill to “get a hobby”! Never bite the hands that feeds you. Since Bethany is finally getting the memo about how important Jill is and can be to her career. She needs to be given a probational second chance. If there is even the slighted screw-up I would drop her again forever.

    But I also believe in second chances.


    • lu

      Hey Jill,
      Stop pretending to be “Ann!”

    • les

      what could Bethenny possibly want jill’s phoney friendship for ? Jill proved herself to be back stabbing,jealous , and incredibly mean . who puts a friend on a speaker phone and than laughs about it with her new bff. jill is so jealous of bethenny she can’t stand it…..Jill sounds like someone who is co dependent …….. loves it when someone is down …. oh, poor you … but when that person gets success hates them as you are no longer the victim. bethenny will always be a success…. and jill will always try and get whatever she can from people like Bethenny so she can ride on their coat tails…… jill is a typical user abuser . I am embarrassed for her . she should have said the truth which had nothing to do with Bobby but everthing to do with bethenny’s solo tv show ,skinny girl products and books. Jill did everything but spit on Bethenny….. Bethenny was truly sorry about Bobby illness and if Jill did not confide the facts of Bobby’s cancer it was an intentional blindside so she (jill) could look like the victim . People like Jill are a dime a dozen eventually their MO gets exposed…….. no one wants to be around them .

      • ginger


    • ginger


  • ATX

    I agree with Catherine. Bethenny isn’t any better than Jill or some of the other housewives. I used not think much of Alex in the beginning but she’s proved herself to be fairly decent.

  • cakey

    Bethenney should have been there for Jill/Bobby. I don’t understand how she couldn’t have known that it was serious? Word gets around. And why didn’t she call and ask if she wasn’t sure? She got caught up i her great life and forgot about her friend. At least she’s apologizing *now* Obviously Jill has been too hurt to bring her back into her life.

  • lisa entringer

    Jill is taking this way too far, and being way too dramatic. what happened to her, she used to be more real. She should take a good look in the mirror and stop having luann be her babysitter. I cant believe the behavior of these women- alex seems to be the only one that has made some positive changes to her personality. everyone else should take a cue.

  • hilda

    I think Jill is so wrong to treat Beth this way. Beth is a good friend to you and should talk to Bethenny directly, not everyone else in town. If you stop to look long enough you will see that the “countess” is just using you. Look back in your previous experiences with her. And now…what? you are joined at the hip? Patch things up with Beth and take the high road, be a good example to your daughter. This could have been resolved with you simply contacting her back and asking whatever you wanted to know. She is not a mind is too short!!

  • Annette

    these people are both ridiculous… i can’t believe i’m even commenting, but i can’t seem to help myself =)

    bethenny may be ambitious, but so is jill. they are both media hungry and social climbers, but in my opinion bethenny is the lesser of two evils. maybe it was just for tv, but at least beathenny tried to make things right. on several occasions she tried to contact jill to talk about their issues, but jill wouldn’t let go of her petty grudge. i mean seriously, if someone told me to “get a hobby,” i might be a little hurt, but i’d get over it. NOT A BIG DEAL! it was a mean comment, but it was obviously made in anger, people say stupid things when they’re upset. why in the world would you throw away a friendship over all this?

    both parties said and did mean things, but i would just like to point out that it is INSANE of jill to say that she didn’t do/say anything to bethenny for her to have alex deliver that message… excuse me ms. zarin… but did you not say that first? just wondering.

  • Mimes

    Bethenny is as fake as can be. She’s full of botox and silicone–far from real. Her tongue is as sharp as a knife. Under the guise of being a direct person, she’s inconsiderate and rude. Obviously, money can’t buy you class! I hope the size of her head (literally) shrinks after this pregnancy. Unfortunately, she is full of baggage and will damage her relationship with Jason as well as her child. Hey Beth- skip the martini and get some therapy!

    • venelatin

      First off Beth and Jill are not even friends thats what everyone is going off on her for. Beth doent like Jill, yet Jill is soo excited for the baby (um she wasnt there during the pregnancy and she wasnt there during the wedding) and if she was so damn excited, she should have called Bethenny. Why is Jill wasting so much time in someone who doesnt like her and wantsnothing to do with her? Jill Zarin is a stalker with the google alerts about Bethenny, checking the web every five minutes to see if there is something about Bethenny…can you say The Hand that Rocks the Cradle or Single White Female? Why is Jill sooo interested in Bethenny? You would think they were old lovers or something. Jill needs to get on with her life, B isnt worried about her. GET A HOBBY

  • bravofan

    Bethenny can dish it out but she can take it and think about it and agree sometimes with her critics. Jill first balmed the message get a hobby THEN the cancer then it turns out the “get a hobby” remark came from Beth because JZ kept trying to get everything Bethenny had and sabotage her show. Jill may look different next year, but she showed her real character and all the “I didn’t mean it” or “I don’t remember it” comments don’t change the fact that Bethenny brought out what was good in Jill and always appreciated Jill in print and everywhere. You can’t thank someone 24 hours a day and give up opportunities because you “frenemy” might get jealous. Bethenny didn’t marry a rich man, she had to work.

  • TC

    It is a very sad thing IF they were ever truly TRULY BFF’s to have it end this way. That said? Jill is an attention wh0re and likes to SHOVE her husbands money down everyones throats.

    Bethenny will do (she has so far! and she has natural drive) just fine without her. It seems odd to watch her and not have her confiding in Jill, etc but it is what it is, and Bethenny doesnt need fake faced Jill pretending to be friends any longer.

    As far as Jill goes: well one should watch whom they toss from their life AND whom they let in. How many episodes were over HOW fake she felt everyone ELSE was and now she’s BFF’s with them? hysterical. But maybe that is how they do things ‘NY style’.

  • Ruby Red

    Bethany neglected her friendship with Jill when her career took off & found a man that where is all started. Jill tried to reach out cause she was hurt that Bethany did give a fk & Bethany replied “go get a hobby”. Bethany is self centred, a user & a “hoe bag”!!!…. I totally agree with everything Mario said about on!

  • Beatriz

    Bethenny is out of control! She blames everyone for not living a normal life, newsflash what does she define as normal!? She is so ungrateful to her parents regardless if they were unfit she wasn’t starving she had a great education! I use to be a fan on RHONY but after her spinoff! I thunk she’s awful!!!! She treats Jason like shot as well as her assistants! She fired the male assistant for being inappropriate. She should lock herself in the closet she’s the most inappropriate person I know! Way too obsessed with weight she looks like a skeleton so gross!!

  • LuanneSoundsLikeaTrannyonCRK

    Bethany is amazing she saw Jills true colors shes a mean selfish and greedy pig..the minute she realised people were realising Bethanys potential she is fun and can hold her own she was no longer under her thumb she felt threatened hence her downfall in season 4. Bethany is a real person she came from nothing to something and is very real and talk the way she feels upfront which is a great trait, a strong powerful woman and her sense of humour is to die for i love her.. I love Ramona she cukoo but fun and Kelly man shouldered wanabe, Luanne needs a new hair do 2000 is way gone with her curled ends..

  • Nik Nak

    I think Beth %&^*ed up but if you haven’t messed up at least once in your life then please – let me know your secret. The girl tried to fix things and Jill was not for having it. I think Jill did a complete 180 in terms of personality. I used to adore her and then once she coupled herself with that “Countess” (seriously?) she turned into a nasty piece of work. Although I get that she is hurt, because we have all been let down by a friend, but forgiveness is a necessity for friendships to work. Silly woman to throw it away…

  • emma

    I have to say that here in the United Kingdom, we have become obsessed with all of the New York housewives,(with the exception of the half whitted lunatic Kelly) why she was ever included in the programme Heaven alone knows. However I digress, Bethany and Jill have become the main focus for me I wake up wondering if they will ever resolve this friendship, Bethany I adore you and i’m so happy you’ve found a good and fulfilling life but have a little compassion for Jill, she was your best friend and despite her name calling and childish behaviour, is in my opinion a good friend. I love Jill too, for all her faults , her affection for Bethany was real.I dont have much longer left due to ilness please girls make friends and i’ll die happy, Bless you all ladies you have entertained me.