'The Real Housewives of NYC': Bethenny Frankel is as real as they come

By Tina Safi


Bethenny Frankel is no desperate housewife.

"The Real Housewives of New York City"

star, a graduate of the National Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts, is a natural foods chef who recently penned the book, "Naturally Thin: Unleash Your SkinnyGirl and Free Yourself From a Lifetime of Dieting," which is a New York Times bestseller.

On the show, Frankel's quick wit and ironic sense of humor get her noticed. Off the show, her signature cocktail, the SkinnyGirl Margarita, has become a hit.

Frankel will be in Huntington Beach on April 27 to sign copies of her new book.

How did you end up on "The Real Housewives of NYC?"

I was at the Bridgehampton Polo, and Jill Zarin came up to me and was like, "You skinny (explicative), you have to be on this show called 'Manhattan Moms.' " I looked at her and said, "I'm not even from Manhattan, and I'm not a mom." Everyone advised me not to do the show for two months because basically, it was against the image I was trying to build for myself. I was getting on a plane a few months after Jill asked me, though, and it just felt really right. The show really changed my life.

You are clearly close with Jill Zarin. What about the other women?

Jill and I became close through the experience and by being completely supportive of each other. We were not as close before we started filming. The one thing that we have is this incredible bond; we are like sisters and we fight like crazy, but we are extremely loyal. In that same way, LuAnn de Lesseps, Ramona Singer, Jill Zarin and I all stick together.

How much do you have to restrain yourself for the camera? That fight with Kelly Bensimon was pretty intense …

She is the outcast, and she's pretty much on her own with the rest of the cast. I wasn't really restraining myself during that fight, though, because I was in shock. It's like you need goggles and a rain slicker to prepare for a storm, but then all you can do is stay quiet and watch it.

Describe LuAnn de Lesseps, Kelly Bensimon, Jill Zarin, Ramona Singer and Alex McCord each in one word.

Ramona: Spitfire. LuAnn: Darling. Jill: Yenta. Alex: Desperate. Kelly: Calamity.

Do you watch the show each week as we're seeing it?

I see it four days before, but we don't know what they are going to show. I usually know what's going to happen and I'm not surprised, but on one out of like 20 shows, I say things that I don't love. On one show, I said, "People are envious of me and that's natural," and then I saw it on television and I was like, "What kind of a moron would even say that?" I mean, I did say it, though -- I own it. It's not just editing like people say.

Do you read people's comments on the blogs? Kelly Bensimon has really been getting bashed.



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