Bethenny Frankel quits N.Y. 'Housewives'

'Last season was scary and painful,' she says

Bethenny Frankel has quit the "Real Housewives of New York" after three seasons.

"Last season was scary and painful," she told of her decision to reject Bravo's offer to return for Season 4, which begins filming Sept. 20. "It took all the joy out of it."

Last season, she continued her longstanding feud with Kelly Killoren Bensimon, but also began fighting with former close friend Jill Zarin, who badmouthed her to castmates and tried to keep them from taping with her. (Zarin has apologized.)

Frankel debuted her own spinoff show on Bravo this summer called "Bethenny Getting Married?," which chronicles her engagement to Jason Hoppy and birth of daughter Bryn. The July 10 premiere garnered two million viewers, making it the highest-rated debut for a Bravo show. Its ratings are on par with "RHONY's" Season 3 average.

An insider told Us that Frankel is contractually obligated to make appearances on "RHONY" next season, and Bravo is still holding out hope she will return.

But Frankel, who writes the "Skinnygirl" book series and has released a DVD, "Body by Bethenny," said, "My gut's saying not to be part of this cast."
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