Frankel appeared in eight seasons of the hit Bravo series.
Bethenny Frankel has a hustler's ambition. And that's how she ultimately landed on The Real Housewives of New York City.
The 52-year-old former reality TV star and successful entrepreneur took to her Instagram on Wednesday and, while doing her makeup, told the story about how she landed on the hit Bravo series. Frankel was among the OG cast members when it premiered in 2008. She'd go on to appear in eight of the show's 13 seasons.
After joining the series, Frankel launched her incredibly successful Skinnygirl Cocktails, which ultimately led to a lifestyle brand with the same name. She's also since appeared on a myriad of shows, including her own Bravo spinoffs and even Shark Tank, as a guest shark for five episodes.
But before landing on Housewives, Frankel said she only had $8,000 to her name, and that's why she was hustling like hell to sell her Bethenny Bakes cookies. She recalled being in the Hamptons with her boyfriend at the time, who had suggested going to watch a polo event.
As Frankel tells it, Bravo only had The Real Housewives of Orange County at the time, and the production company wanted to start Manhattan Moms, which was supposed to chronicle rich moms in Manhattan. She said they "wanted someone rich and aspirational," and the cast needed five moms.
Frankel said Jill Zarin and Ramona Singer (eventual Housewives) were among four women who were lined up to do the show. But the production company was looking for a fifth mom. Problem is, Frankel says they scoured the city and couldn't find anyone they liked.
Frankel, a runner-up on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart in 2005, said she eventually found herself in the Hamptons at the polo event also being attended by Zarin, whom Frankel had briefly met in the past, and Manhattan Moms producers.
"I walk in and someone gave me a VIP bracelet," Frankel explained, "and the first thing Jill said to me was, 'Hey you skinny b**ch -- which is really funny 'cause it's, like, a foreshadowing -- where'd you get the VIP bracelet?' Which is so Jill 'cause Jill's life is, like, gift bags; it's just funny that the first thing she ever said to me was where'd you get the VIP bracelet.'"
She went on to recall going into the VIP tent and meeting one of the producers of Manhattan Moms. After hearing the spiel, Frankel said she wasn't into the concept of the show, at least initially, because reality TV was still new and she didn't want to be pigeonholed as a "reality TV girl."
Ultimately, Frankel relented and shot a test tape, but she still wasn't sold because for a month she turned it all down. What's more, she said everyone in her circle was telling her not to do the show. But she chose not to listen to them.
"If it fails, no one will know," she explained her rationale. "If it succeeds, who knows."
Frankel later recalled how Singer was the only one who predicted the show, which would ultimately become The Real Housewives of New York City, would get a million viewers.
Frankel added, "So, shoutouts where shoutouts are deserved."