TCA: Bethenny Frankel Tackles Jill Zarin, the Haters and Why She's Still Doing TV

Bethenny Frankel TCA 2012
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Why does Bethenny Frankel still need to do TV at all? It’s definitely a fair question – even for someone who has lived much of her life on television since 2008. After reaching many of her personal and professional goals, why did Frankel need to do a third season of her Bravo spinoff, Bethenny Ever After?

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“That’s a good question,” Frankel tells reporters at the TCA Winter Press Tour in Pasadena on Saturday. “Me and [my husband] Jason have that conversation. I do have a relationship with Bravo… And there’s still some things I wanted to say to my fans. And I’ve always wanted to speak to people and be exactly who I am.”

“It’s certainly not about the paycheck,” the former Real Housewives of New York City cast member, who sold her Skinny Girl cocktail company for $120 million, says. “It’s about showing people what’s exactly going on” as a working wife and mother.

Referred to as the prime example of taking full advantage of one’s reality success, she has also been subjected to a lot of public scrutiny. She has been accused of lying about the worth of her Skinny Girl deal, called out on how “natural” the product really is, and her account of being lost at sea, among other things.

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“I’d say I’m definitely a survivor, because of that,” she says of the controversies. “It’s about working through it. The minute I sold my business, it was like someone was waiting with a baseball bat outside my door.”

“It means that I’ve made a name for myself if a lot of people want to tear me down,” she says.

Earlier this week, one of those “haters” took the form of fired cast member Jill Zarin when she told The Hollywood Reporter that she had helped “cast” The Real Housewives of New York, including finding Frankel and hasn’t received a percentage of her later spinoffs. Though the two have been estranged for a while now, Frankel showed some compassion for what Zarin must be going through.

“She’s a survivor,” Frankel says. “She’s well to do. She’s not worried about finding a job. I’m sure probably [the firing] just stings a little bit, I’m sure it’s difficult. And it’s difficult to watch what’s gone on with me and she handles it the way she knows how.”

The third season of Bethenny Ever After premieres Feb. 20 at 9 p.m. on Bravo.

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