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We first heard of Bethenny Frankel when she made it to the finals of The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. Two years later she became a star on the Real Housewives of New York, and after a three year hiatus she’s back on the show that made her famous. Her popularity got her the spin-offs Bethenny Getting Married? and Bethenny Ever After plus her own short-lived talk show. She also parlayed her fame into the Skinnygirl empire and wrote a few bestselling books. There’s a price to becoming such a well-known media personality, and Bethenny has had her fair share of scandal and shockers, some of which are more serious than the average reality TV dramas. Here are some things to know about this shameless self-promoter you either love or hate.

1. She’s been struggling with fibroids

Bethenny was first diagnosed with non cancerous uterine fibroids three years ago, but recently they got worse and sent her back the hospital with out-of-control bleeding and pelvic cramping. In late May she had some of the larger ones removed via surgery. “I’d lost 10 percent of my blood, my uterus had doubled in size and my fibroids had grown larger,” she said in a People interview. Of course, this was all played out on a recent episode of RHONY.

bethenney frankel

2. She thinks the fibroids caused her miscarriage

Bethenny went through a miscarriage a few years ago when she was still with Jason Hoppy. She felt like the fibroids were to blame, and it sounded like a rough patch in her life. “The miscarriage, based on things going on in my personal life and my marriage, I think that later I sort of just marketed it to myself as that was not meant to be because they would have made things even more difficult than they already were. I definitely felt like I went through that alone, that was definitely a negative time in my house.”

Bethenny and Jason

3. Her divorce is never ending

Bethenny and her husband called it off three and half years ago but they are still in the midst of the proceedings (although he’s finally moved out of their Tribeca apartment so the end should be near). She recently gave her cast member Jules Wainstein advice about her own divorce…to do it quickly. “I texted her and said to get out. Not meaning with Michael. I like Michael. I meant, like, just get it over with if you possibly can because the minutia doesn’t matter, but it’s really not my business.”

bethenny frankel jason hoppy court

4. She was accused of using her daughter as a “prop”

During Bethenny’s divorce there have been some harsh words thrown back and forth between her and her ex Jason. He has had some criticism of her parenting style. Jason’s lawyer Bernard Clair accused Bethenny of using Bryn as a “prop” to further her business interests and that “Bethenny Frankel’s priority is Bethenny Frankel.” He added that her style is to “attack, attack, attack.”

bethenney frankel

5. The SkinnyGirl has struggled with food and body weight

Bethenny has admitted to having her struggles with food. They go back to her childhood when she sent to an obesity clinic at the age of eight. After that her feelings about food stayed pretty complex. “I spent my entire life being obsessed with dieting. Bingeing and then fasting or starving. Forbidding everything. That’s how I used to be: up and down 5 pounds every single day, to the extremes. My metabolism was totally wrecked.”

bethenney frankel

6. She’s also made some harsh comments about other people’s bodies

Never one to filter herself, Bethenny has made comments about co-star Jules Wainstein’s body, even insinuating that she had an eating disorder. “She looks like a really thin girl — like, she looks like there is an issue. I wrote a book called Naturally Thin. This is not naturally thin. It’s the kind of thin that makes people around you uncomfortable. I never had an eating disorder. I had a mother who had an eating disorder, and I’ve been around it, and I understand it.”

jules wainstein

7. She has some serious daddy issues

Bethenny’s biological father was Hall of Fame horse trainer, Bobby Frankel, who left the family when she was four. Bethenny had no relationship with him until two years before his death from cancer. She was also estranged from her stepfather, John Parisella, who raised her for 23 years, and she characterizes their relationship as “toxic.” She ultimately reconnected with him. “I wanted him to know that, you know, some f***ed up stuff happened, he was a hustler, there was some stuff he did to my mother that was not great but before that, he raised me as his own. I wanted to validate that, have it acknowledged, you know ‘you were the only father I ever had in my life.’ And it was really nice.”

bethenney frankel
Bethenny step dad

8. Her estranged mother has called her a liar

Bethenny wrote an autobiography called The Place of Yes where she detailed a pretty ugly childhood and made some big accusations against her mom, Bernadette. Her mother however, said she was lying for the sake of her TV ratings. “Bethenny spread vicious and horrible lies about me simply for publicity, her ratings were down and they soared! I gave her the benefit of the doubt, and I always left the door open for her, but she destroyed it and now that door is shut forever!” Their feud has escalated to where Bethenny has said, “I haven’t spoken to my mother in well over a decade…She doesn’t know me! I haven’t known her since I was 14 years old,” adding, “She’s so desperate, it’s really sad. I will never ever speak to her again as long as I live.” Newsflash: Bethenny recently reached out to her estranged mother after her 6-year-old daughter asked to meet her. Could the reconciliation be broadcast on a future RHONY episode? Time will tell.

bethenney frankel

9. She’s trying to turn SkinnyGirl into a billion-dollar business

Bethenny’s super-successful SkinnyGirl brand started with the low-cal margarita and then other mixed cocktails but has since expanded to a wide range of consumable products like protein bars, shakes and candy. Back in 2011 she sold the cocktail company to Fortune Brands’ Beam Global for $100 million dollars (although that figure has been disputed) and it landed her at number 42 on Forbes Celebrity 100 list. She apparently has even bigger ambitions than that.

bethenney frankel

10. She has some deep ties to the reality TV world

Bethenny met Kyle Richards of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills years ago when she was working as a hostess at the restaurant La Scala in Beverly Hills (way before the Housewives and really other reality TV existed). She actually ended up working as an assistant to Kyle’s sister Kathy Hilton…and used to drive Nicky and Paris to school!

bethenney frankel
Paris and Nicky Hilton

11. She’s always wanted to be famous

When Bethenny graduated from NYU she moved to L.A. to pursue an acting career but it didn’t exactly take off, having just three credits to her name. She did, however, get some work behind the scenes when she worked as a production assistant for a few years on Saved By the Bell.

bethenney frankel

12. She was married to someone before Jason Hoppy

Before Bethenny married Jason she married her former best friend Peter Sussman. She says that the marriage failed because of a lack of passion, which makes sense if they were just “friends” to begin with.

Bethenny's first husband
bethenney frankel

13. She has been accused of giving questionable advice

Bethenny was the speaker at a women’s entrepreneurial summit at one point, where she was accused of saying that women should sleep with men to get ahead in business. She also said that companies are more successful when white men front them. Of course she later said that wasn’t what she meant to say.

bethenney frankel

14. She’s raising her daughter as a vegetarian

Bethenny has some very strong opinions about healthy eating, and she’s been passing them along to her daughter from day one. She has said: “As far as raising Bryn as a vegetarian, that was a personal choice. If Bryn is older and wants something at a party that isn’t vegetarian, I don’t want her to feel ostracized. She’ll find her way.”

bethenney frankel

15. She’s been accused of dating a married man

Earlier this year Bethenny was rumored to be dating Dennis Shields, a man who was married to one of her high school friends. She says he was separated from his wife at the time. Just this week RHONY co-star Luann de Lesepps tried to make a jab about it, to which Bethenney replied: “I’m dating a separated married man. I’m married. I went to high school with his ex-wife 30 yrs ago. Any other questions?”

bethenney frankel

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