The custody battle between Bethenny Frankel and Jason Hoppy just took a nasty turn. The Real Housewives of New York City star faced off against her ex-husband in court on Monday, March 4, for the first day of their custody trial, and according to Radar Online, things got heated.

Frankel, 48, and her lawyer, Allan Mayefsky, asked Judge Michael Katz to modify the current joint custody agreement because it is “no longer viable.” In his opening statement, Frankel’s lawyer asked to award Frankel sole custody of the former couple’s daughter, 8-year-old Bryn, and give Hoppy full access.

“Why are we doing this? To protect the child,” her lawyer explained. “The father’s behavior before and after their marriage is extremely harmful to Bryn. His abusive behavior towards her not only damages her relationship with her mother but to everyone else in her life.”

The lawyer went on to point out some of Hoppy’s actions that they considered to be abusive: Hoppy allegedly locked Frankel’s late dog Cookie in a storage closet and had allegedly sent her more than 500 emails within a 90-day period.

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“We need to protect the mother. His anger at her for pursuing this divorce is evident. Frankel requested a criminal restraining order. It continues to this day up until these proceedings.,” Her lawyer continued. “All of this abusive behavior is his refusal to take responsibility. The schedule must change.”

In his opening statement, Hoppy’s lawyer Robert Wallack admitted to his client’s past behavior as it pertained to the Bravo reality TV star, but argued that Hoppy has changed his ways within the last year. “Simply put he acted in appropriately at times,” he said. “But for the last year, the parties have continued to communicate and it’s worked greatly. Let’s talk about Bryn who turns nine in two months. Bryn is doing great.”

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