Bethenny Frankel is leaving Real Housewives of New York. Nothing has broken me like this.
The Skinny Girl mogul announced her decision to exit the show for the second and final time on Wednesday, ahead of the show's 12th season. Frankel was one of RHONY's original cast members and left following the third season to launch two short-lived spinoffs before returning for the seventh season onward. In the 11 years since the show premiered, Frankel's success has skyrocketed, something she acknowledged in a "personal note" to fans following news of her exit.
"I am so grateful to you for sticking with me through everything," she wrote on Instagram, sharing a shot of her first season tagline. "You started this journey with me in my tiny apartment in my late 30s, wondering what would happen to me. I was broke, single, had no family and no idea what the future held. I had big dreams and I never stopped, but I honestly didn't know if I would ever get here."
But get there Frankel did, though there have been setbacks along the way, including her messy public divorce and the tragic death of her boyfriend Dennis Shields last year.
Frankel thanks her fans for helping her through it. "I would read your letters and messages and grow from your struggles," she wrote. "You would give me your honest opinion about my products and projects and helpful advice about divorce, relationships, motherhood, miscarriages, health, and surviving the death of a loved one and almost my own. You have shared your ideas with me and I have been inspired by and learned from you."
Frankel closed by insisting that "New York City is still my playground," echoing her first-season tagline, a knife to the heart.
Frankel's now former co-star Ramona Singer told People she was "disappointed that Bethenny did not inform her costars that she's not coming back to the show," explaining that when Frankel left the first time, they also found out about her exit and subsequent spinoff through the press. "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."
Even as she leaves the show, Frankel knows how to bring the drama. Excuse me, I have to go rewatch the Scary Island saga and cry.