Bethenny Frankel Quits RHONY

Bethenny Frankel has announced she has quit RHONY just ahead of its upcoming twelfth season.

“I have decided to leave the Housewives franchise to explore my next chapter,” Frankel, 48, said in a statement.

“It’s time to move on and focus on my daughter, my philanthropy and my production partnership with Mark Burnett, producing and starring in shows which represent a shift in the conversation for women,” she told PEOPLE.

“With the changes in modern culture, I want to highlight the strength, confidence and unstoppable power that women have. My experience at Bravo has been an incredibly magical ride,” she continued. “I am so grateful to them for highlighting my entrepreneurialism and allowing me to pave the way for many women to achieve their goals. I am excited for my future. The best is yet to come.”

Ramona Singer, who has been a Bethenny’s long-time co-star says  she “respects the fact that Bethenny has decided to go on with other endeavors.”

“Bethenny found love in her life, and it’s so fantastic that she’ll be taking the time to grow that relationship away from the cameras and to explore other business opportunities,” Ramona shared.

“I’m only disappointed that Bethenny did not inform her costars that she’s not coming back to the show,” Singer added. “When she left in season 4, we found out through the press she was doing her spinoff, Bethenny Getting Married. 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.“

“I really wish her well, though,” Ramona continued. “The show’s a machine and it will continue on. We’re all just a cog in the wheel. No one is irreplaceable.”

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