Representatives for Bravo have not replied to EW’s request for comment.
The long-time member of the reality series has stepped away before, during its third season, before returning in 2015 for the seventh installment. She was part of the original cast of the show, along with the likes of Ramona Singer and Luann de Lesseps. In her statement to Variety, Frankel cited personal and professional reasons for departing RHONY, as well as her production deal with Mark Burnett that will see her involved with other projects.
“I have decided to leave the ‘Housewives’ franchise to explore my next chapter,” Frankel said in a statement obtained by EW. “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. 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. 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.”
After news broke of Frankel’s exit, Singer told PEOPLE that she “respects the fact that Bethenny has decided to go on with other endeavors.”
“I’m only disappointed that Bethenny did not inform her costars that she’s not coming back to the show,” Singer continued. “When she left in season 4, we found out through the press she was doing her spin-off, 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 commodity 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.“
Throughout Frankel’s tenure on the New York branch of Bravo’s popular Real Housewives franchise, viewers have seen Frankel’s rise from an underdog to a powerful entrepreneur, with the success of her brand Skinnygirl depicted on the show. She’s also starred in the spin-offs Bethenny Ever After and Bethenny & Fredrik, and her self-titled talk show that ran from 2013 to 2014.
Frankel is a fan favorite on the series, and she is responsible for some of the most quotable scenes on RHONY, such as the iconic “Mention it all” moment, her confrontation with former cast member Kelly Bensimon, and the recent “Life is not a cabaret” showdown with de Lesseps.
The cast of the most recent season of RHONY, which concluded on July 25, consisted of Frankel, socialite Tinsley Mortimer, Dorinda Medley, Sonja “with a sexy J” Morgan, Singer, and de Lesseps.