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: