Luann de Lesseps says Bethenny Frankel's exit from 'RHONY' left cast 'relieved'

“The Real Housewives of New York City” won’t be the same without Bethenny Frankel, and the other stars don’t mind at all.
Luann de Lesseps says that the show will defintiely go on without one of its biggest stars.
Luann de Lesseps says that the show will defintiely go on without one of its biggest stars.NBC/ Bravo

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/ Source: TODAY
By Ree Hines

News of Bethenny Frankel’s exit from “The Real Housewives of New York City” came as a shock over the summer — to her fans and co-stars alike.

But while the reality TV star-turned-entrepreneur was a favorite among viewers, the other Housewives aren’t exactly sad to see her go.

At least that’s what Luann de Lesseps says.

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The former countess opened up about the touchy topic in an interview on Jenny McCarthy’s SiriusXM show.

“I was shocked,” de Lesseps said of Frankel’s choice to leave the Bravo hit. “I was, you know, surprised and not surprised in a way, because I think that she is in a relationship that I don’t think she wants to bring around on the show.”

That relationship is the romance between Frankel and her boyfriend, Paul Bernon. But what about her relationships with her castmates Ramona Singer, Sonja Morgan, Dorinda Medley and Tinsley Mortimer?

The women of "The Real Housewives of New York City's" 11th season: Bethenny Frankel, Sonja Morgan, Ramona Singer, Luann de Lesseps, Dorinda Medley, Tinsley Mortimer.Bravo

“I think the whole cast is relieved in a way, and it also leaves breathing room for other women to shine and show their personalities,” de Lesseps said. “Because a lot was Bethenny coming in and kind of stealing the show.”

As for de Lesseps, she described Frankel as both “fun” and “nasty,” and she admitted that she’ll miss her former sparring partner — sort of.

“Those are the people you kind of get up for in the morning, because they challenge you,” she said. “I always held my own with Bethenny. I just feel like that part I’ll kind of miss, because it’s challenging and I found kind of fun in it. … I’ll miss her, but at the same time, when you’re around her, it’s like walking on eggshells.”

Luann de Lesseps says she found Bethenny Frankel "challenging."Bravo

When Frankel announced that she was leaving the show — for the second time since it launched in 2008 — she told her fans on social media to “stay tuned,” adding, “You haven’t seen the last of me. There are many amazing things to come.”

And de Lesseps insists there are amazing things still to come on “RHONY,” too.

“She can’t steal our show,” she said. “This season is amazing, and I can’t wait for everyone to see the new season.”

Alas, fans will have to wait. Season 12 of “The Real Housewives of New York City” airs next spring on Bravo.