Former Real Housewives of New York star Bethenny Frankel has revealed how much she was paid when she signed on to join the show back in 2008.
Bethenny is a long-standing fan favorite of the franchise. This title and following also brought along more money for the mom of one and she was able to start her Skinnygirl brand and work on her philanthropic endeavors.
During an interview on the Tamron Hall show, Bethenny revealed that in comparison to more current salaries, she received very little.
Bethenny admits that she prioritizes her personal life
Tamron and Bethenny began their interview by discussing Bethenny’s ability to turn down massive deals that would have earned her millions of dollars. According to Bethenny, it can’t all be about the money.
“Decisiveness is really important,” Bethenny shared. “You have to go with your gut. Not your head, not your heart. You make a decision, you make it work, you find a way to make it work and you keep moving.”
However, she cautioned, you can’t go around saying yes to every opportunity that falls in your lap.
“But, you can’t say yes to everything. So, I like to have fewer buckets really full and then, then like multiple buckets half full because time is the most valuable commodity,” she shared.
She continued to explain that she turned down “many multi-million dollar opportunities” in order to prioritize her personal time.
Bethenny says she didn’t join RHONY for the money
“Doing the show that I was previously on [RHONY] was not really enjoyable. It’s not where I wanted to be and it affected other areas of my life, just in feeling not good about myself,” Bethenny said.
Tamron followed up asking about her experiences with the Housewives franchise.
“For you, it’s interesting with the Real Housewives franchise. So much is being talked about, about who makes what, and all the women. You demanded, because at the time you knew your worth, changes to your first contract. Now here you are, this is your first shoot, and you are looking at the deal when the company though likely thought they had the leverage,” Tamron opened.
Bethenny clearly appreciated Tamron’s question when she opened up about her experience.
“Yes. When I signed onto the Housewives, the contract said seven thousand two hundred and fifty dollars for the entire season,” Bethenny responded.
“I wasn’t looking at the money because you can’t always look at the money. You have to look at the big picture, the other opportunities. You have to look at the whole board, not just the pieces. And money were [sic] just the pieces. But me knowing that I might have some good ideas and some things that I would want to own, because of my intellectual property because of the way my mind thinks, I wasn’t focused on the money then.”
Instead, Bethenny says she focused on her ideas for her future and ensuring that she would keep any ideas that came to fruition during her time on the show.
“I was focused on what ideas I could keep and that I could keep my business. And no one before has ever done that. And now there’s a clause in the entertainment industry called the Bethenny clause which means that if you go onto a reality show, that the network takes a piece of your future businesses,” she continued.
Bethenny then revealed that she was the highest-paid Housewife towards the end of her Housewives career and when she finally decided to step away from the franchise in 2019, she made that decision because she realized it wasn’t worth it for her anymore.
“People thought that I was leaving because I wasn’t getting more money. And I was leaving because I was staying because of the money. Nothing’s worse than staying for the wrong reasons,” she said.
The Real Housewives of New York is currently on hiatus on Bravo.