Some love her, some hate her, but for whatever it’s worth Bethenny Frankel transformed herself from a broke unknown natural foods chef to a Reality Star, best-selling author, and low-calorie margarita bottler worth (a reported) $120 million.
She got her start on the Real Housewives of New York as Jill Zarin’s broke, wise-cracking friend. By the second second, she was capitalizing on her fame by broadcasting a new drink recipe that she was selling at various NYC bars: the Skinnygirl Margarita, which had brand synergy with her Skinnygirl lifestyle brand, which includes three NY Times bestselling diet advice and recipe books. Bethenny’s original brand was Bethenny Bakes, a wheat free pastry line, but like all smart entrepreneurs, she abandoned that idea to focus on something that was working better for her.
After sparing with castmates Kelly Bensimon and her former friend Jill Zarin, Bethenny left Real Housewives for her very own reality show Bethenny’s Getting Married, which turned into Bethenny Ever After. The show was originally supposed to be called Skinny in the City, about her life as a single girl in Manhattan, but that all changed when owner of the website skinnyinthecity.com threatened legal action, and Bethenny’s storyline changed. She met Jason Hoppy at a bar, fell in love, got married and got pregnant in practically a whisper’s time.
Bethenny has used her reality show, and her latest book A Place of Yes, to be extremely open about her feelings and memories associated with her childhood. She feels that she was emotionally abused and neglected in different ways by her mother Bernadette and her estranged, and now-late father Bobby Frankel. Bethenny and her mom still aren’t speaking to each other, but they both freely discuss their relationship with the media. On her show she regularly attends therapy sessions with celebrity therapist Xavier Amador to sort out her memories and feelings, and on the latest episode she seems to make a breakthrough when her therapist makes her connect her irrational outburst at Thanksgiving with how her mother behaved around her when she was little.Viewers are torn about how to deal with Bethenny’s openness about her feelings about her family; some feel she is brave and helps other people who are going through similar situations, others believe she is publicly being unnecessarily harsh to her mother and father.
Now Frankel, who might host her own talk show, says that she used reality television to amass a fortune (she recently sold her Skinnygirl Margarita brand for an undisclosed amount.) A $120 million number was bandied about, then shot down to $8.1 million by a Huffington Post blogger’s misreading of financial documents, so no one’s really sure how much money Bethenny made off of the deal. CLICK HERE to read a more thorough investigation into what exactly Bethenny received from her deal with Beam Global.
Bethenny recently explained her journey to wealth to The Hollywood Reporter: I went on the show single-handedly and exclusively for business … When I went on the show, no one was going on for business, no one had done anything. Everything I create is a solution to a problem that women have. I don’t like to wear lingerie, but my husband loves it. So I created lazy lingerie. You wear it under a blazer or sweater during the day, but when you pull it off, you have on lingerie. It solves a problem.”