It’s over, folks. Bethenny Frankel revealed on August 21 that she’s quitting Real Housewives of New York after 11 years on the hit Bravo show. “I have decided to leave the Housewives franchise to explore my next chapter,” Bethenny told Variety in a statement.

“Bethenny’s multiple meltdowns last season were not good for her brand, and not good for business,” a source told In Touch of her reason for the departure. “She’s embarrassed by her behavior. The show brought her fame and success, but she doesn’t need to be on a reality show anymore. She should be on Shark Tank, or something like that. Not fighting with catty Housewives.” Bethenny’s rep denied to In Touch that this was her reason for leaving the show.

But the reasons she gave publicly for leaving are much more touching. “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,” she continued in her statement.

“With the changes in modern culture, I want to highlight the strength, confidence and unstoppable power that women have,” she continued. It’s clear there’s no bad blood behind her exit, as she goes on to gush over the network. “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.”

It’s clear she was feeling very sentimental toward fans after making her announcement, and she took to Instagram to let them know how much she appreciates them. “I am so grateful to you for sticking with me through everything. You started this journey with me in my tiny apartment in my late 30s, wondering what would happen to me. I was broke, single, had no family and no idea what the future held,” she said. “I had big dreams and I never stopped, but I honestly didn’t know if I would ever get here. You helped me to get there. I would read your letters and messages and grow from your struggles. You would give me your honest opinion about my products and projects and helpful advice about divorce, relationships, motherhood, miscarriages, health, and surviving the death of a loved one and almost my own.”

“I am fortunate to have created a business and career that some people only dream of,” she continued. “I had a beautiful baby girl who is now 9 years old, and she has changed me as a human being. I was able to give back and help people all over the world who have been hit with the worst of unforeseen circumstances, which we will all continue together. Reach for your dreams in life and love and make the impossible happen, because it can happen and it WILL happen. Come from a place of yes and it’s yours for the taking. PS: New York City is still my playground.”

Bethenny first appeared on our TV screens in 2008, and so much has changed for her since then. On the good side, she’s started multiple businesses and become a very successful entrepreneur for her Skinnygirl brand and more. She’s also become a mother to her sweet daughter Bryn, 9, with ex Jason Hoppy. But it hasn’t all been positive.

Recently, Bethenny has dealt with a lot of struggle and tragedy. The worst of which is her nasty custody battle over Bryn with Jason. On top of that, she lost her boyfriend Dennis Shields when he died suddenly in August 2018. “It’s excruciating — sudden death is no closure [and] constant [questions] [and] memories,” she said of the incident on Twitter. “Our relationship is current so it’s painfully raw. Trying to stay healthy [and] move through it [with] tears [and] close friends. XO.”

While Bethenny’s departure from the show is devastating to fans, it isn’t necessarily a surprise. The rumor had been going around for a while, and Jill Zarin even commented on it to Life & Style in March. “I think Bethenny’s going to do whatever Bethenny wants to do,” the 55-year-old explained. “She’s a very smart girl.” Now that, we’re sure of.

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