Not reality? On Monday, May 13, Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel took the stand and faced off against her ex-husband, Jason Hoppy, in their ongoing custody battle. But things quickly got heated, and the 48-year-old seemed extremely upset that her ex’s lawyer, Robert Wallack, attempted to use her scenes from the current season of RHONY to discredit her coparenting of their 9-year-old daughter, Bryn.
Wallack seemed to try to discredit Frankel by brought up the sensitive subject of the death of Frankel’s on-again, off-again boyfriend, Dennis Shields. The lawyer pressed Frankel for Shields’ cause of death and referenced one particular scene that aired on Wednesday, April 3, 2019. During the episode, Frankel was visited by a grief counselor in order to help her deal with the loss of Shields.
“Isn’t a fact that you said [to] the grievance counselor that Sheilds [died] of overdose?” Wallack asked, and Frankel responded, “I genuinely don’t know what happened to Dennis.”
At the time of Shields’ death in August 2018, it was reported that he allegedly died of an overdose. But since an autopsy was not performed due to religious reasons, his exact cause of death is undetermined. But Wallack pressed on, bringing up the fact that Frankel stated on the show that Bryn was struggling with the loss of Sheilds.
“If Bryn is upset with something wouldn’t you want to know? If Bryn was upset in Jason’s care, wouldn’t you want to know?” Wallack asked. “You not informing Jason of something then going to talk about it on a television show is not coparenting.”
Wallack then attacked Frankel’s coparenting again by bringing up her relationship with her new boyfriend, Paul Bernon. “On March 26, you were talking about your relationship with Paul Bernon and taking a trip with Bryn and you had not informed Jason that you were in a relationship with him? Do you think that’s an example of coparenting, not telling Jason that you were in a new relationship?” Hoppy’s lawyer asked.
But according to Radar, who was first to break the news, Frankel hit back. “You don’t understand reality television and how it works,” she said. “You’re talking about taking one hour from a 40-hour taping, and condensing it down. So many things are said, and things are edited out and taken out of context.” A judge ruled in her favor and prevented Hoppy’s lawyers from further questioning about Frankel’s scenes.
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