Real Housewives of NYC Reality Check: How Sorry Was Bethenny Frankel?

The other Housewives of New York City can knock Bethenny Frankel for her vitriol, her publicity-mongering and and her tendency to put career over friendships, but the woman knows how to sell the sh*t out of an apology. In last night's episode, "The Ambush," Bethenny cried every time she was on camera, exploited her dying father for sympathy and distributed personalized "I'm Sorry" cards with the ease of a faux-remorse pro. It was brilliant. After the jump, Movieline dissects Bethenny's apology strategy, congratulates Ramona for finding her way out of that pinot grigio glass long enough to overcome her fear of Brooklyn and assess which moments from last night's episode hit the Real/Fake Jackpot.

TRUE: Bethenny Does Not Want to Fight With Jill Anymore


The actual "ambush" in last night's episode may have been wildly staged, but I honestly believe that Bethenny wanted to clear the air with Jill. Hear me out: By healing her relationship with Jill -- which combusted when Bethenny only sent Jill's dying husband flowers instead of actually visiting him -- Bethenny can finally publish that self-help book about friendship that she has written and launch another class at the Learning Annex.

Below is a teaser from the inevitable book, How to Apologize to Your Frenemies:

1. Ambush: It may seem cold and calculated but this is the best (and only surefire way) to approach that frenemy you've been battling. And it guarantees that you will have the upper hand in the confrontation.

2. Bear Gifts: This always helps. In last night's episode, Bethenny appeared to be carrying a bakery box as she entered Ramona's inner sanctum. She also had apology notes in her purse, but I'll get to that in a second.

3. If Possible, Arrive For the Talk Directly After Flying Across the Country to See Your Dying Father: Obviously, you cannot always plan things like this but they help. Bonus pity points if your father turned you away from his death bed (as Bethenny's did in last night's episode).

4. Start Slow: This is imperative because the ambushed frenemy will feel, well, ambushed and defensive. Last night, Bethenny demonstrated this step by saying, "I won't be negative"/"I just want to sit down and talk"/"We don't have to be friends."

5. Tears: Self-explanatory.

6. Deny, Deny, Deny: This does not always work, as Bethenny showed last night when she tried to say she did not know that Jill's husband was sick. Jill responded, "Are you kidding? You sent me flowers! You knew he was sick. He had f*cking cancer! They slit his throat open!"

7. Allude to Your Own Personal Problems: This teaser (last night, Bethenny's was "There's another big thing going on with me that we will talk about later) incited curiosity and a moment of gentleness in Jill.

8. Tire her Out By Rehashing Your Friendship: This will exhaust her and just make her willing to put it all behind you. Or else her friend (LuAnn) will interrupt and tell her that her Town Car is waiting for her downstairs.

9. Personal Touch: Leaving your frenemy with a small token of your appreciation/apology -- in last night's case, a card for Jill's husband Bobby -- will show that you cared enough to follow Bethenny's steps towards a frenemy truce.

There's really no need to even get into the irony of Bethenny saying to Jill, "I just want to talk to you alone for a few minutes" as a camera crew, Ramona and LuAnn, and the housewives' assistants pulled up chairs for the impending throw down.

FALSE: Ramona Wanted to Visit Brooklyn


As much as viewers wanted to believe that Ramona had gotten past her fear of the borough long enough for a security-protected stroll through the neighborhood, it was simply not true. Producers needed a storyline for her that would show that she is not just a bundle of manic personalities that change depending on her white wine consumption that day. Track suit + camera-captured walk across the Brooklyn bridge = human. Right?


  • Elizabeth says:

    People, get a life!

  • Eileen says:

    It made me sick as well. I feel sorry for Jill because what on earth can make her so stone cold that she feels that she can be the judge & jury? She needs some counseling too. LuAnn is a joke! What a little follower. It's like she wants to BE Jill.

  • rmg says:

    How could anyone think Jill's selfish, self-centered, size '1' (what an incredibly classless little dig to her 'buddy' LuAnn) behavior is anything but petty. She wanted to punish Bethanny for getting a wonderful boyfriend (now husband) and beginning an exciting new chapter in her life. Why the email to Kelly threatening her with exile if she befriended Bethanny? Jill has no style, a cheesy jersey accent and promotes every negative female stereotype imaginable. LuAnn is so desperate for approval she asks people for compliments... like the episode with her mother, or in the car when her daughter said her friends thought she was attractive. LuAnn actuallyy asked her daughter for more info about it? How sad. Here's a heads up- when you know your hot you don't have to ask. But I guess without drama there would be no show!
    Let's make it clear... most of us don't watch the show out of envy, but because it makes us feel superior and far removed from that high school mentality! Thanks so much for the laughs.

  • anni says:

    Bethany is totally a skank. She didn't give Alex the logo just because she was selfish. She said she didn't want the logo to look her, what b.s. she is so selfpromoting. Jill should dump her. Her apology, wasn't one. "I don't want to be right" is a self-serving statement. It like saying "I'll let you be right, because you are a big baby". F. Bethany

  • Avisval says:

    I fully agree with Ms. Miller. Bethenny is very career-oriented and self-involved, and obviously puts relationships second. It's clear that Jill was genuinely hurt by Bethenny's indifference of her husband's illness. This was after all the big C, cancer, and it was a time when any real friend would have been there, in person, offering moral and physical support. Bethenny did NOT do this. She sent flowers and an email - how detached and cold can you get. This is why Jill is determined not to have anything further to do with Bethenny. I would do the same myself. Why be around cold, uncaring people like Bethenny. I don't swallow her tears. If she didn't care when Bobby was in the hospital with cancer and Jill needed her, surely she can't be crying over their lost friendship because it didn't mean that much to her. She is crying for the cameras, or if not the cameras, then her own wounded pride, or as Ms. Miller points out, the profits she may lose if her friendship advice book doesn't sell. Jill should steer clear away from her.

  • TeamBethenny says:

    Totally Team Bethenny here. Jill and LuAnn make a perfect pair of classless, vapid, bobble-headed, fake, hypocritical losers and must have been sending a few of their friends over here in a desperate attempt to balance out the majority of rational comments that have been posted against them. Clearly Bethenny has the capacity to forgive and to try to mend relationships (although why she would want to be friends with Jill is beyond me) and to step up and admit her faults and when she is not perfect. Jill is a petty, vicious person and only knows how to keep score. Jill can't admit her own faults and does not know how to forgive. On Andy Cohen's show, 97 percent of viewers were against Jill. That said it all, really. A landslide.

  • FLH says:

    I believe Bethenny was sincere with her apology. For the record, why would a long-term friend be offended by the suggestion to get a hobby. There are "friends" who screw husbands, spread lies, discuss personal business, etc. Why would getting a hobby be an issue.. a dealbreaker. Not understanding that. Something must be going on in her life because her mother is awe inspiring and a great role model for her. What's happening. As for LuAnn. She never thanked the "rickshaw" driver. Where are your manners? Now, I am known for being quite analytical and perceptive. Something tells me, and hope to be proven wrong, should Ramona be concerned about her hubby's roaming eye?

  • Chrissy says:

    I agree with everyone who thought Bethanny was being sincere and those who can't believe this racp. Is the blogger another cynical p-ss ant New Yorker?
    Is Romana and Jill switching roles? Because I think Romana has soften this season and was actually doing something good trying to patch up Bethanny & Jill - and she was right in thinking because Jill and her always make up after their fights that Jill would want to make up with Bethanny.
    Do we know that Jill actually told Bethanny that Bobby had cancer or say, as Bethanny stated that, Bobby "was having a procedure"? In the case of the latter, there was nothing wrong, and everything right about sending flowers.
    And I think Alex was right when she stated that she thought that Jill "keeps scores".

  • bo says:

    Luanne is crazy and I love how she tried to speak french. Her grammar is wrong. Itmakes her look even more pretentious

  • bo says:

    Luanne is crazy and I love how she tried to speak french. Her grammar is wrong. Itmakes her look even more pretentious

  • Anonymous says:

    Forgive me if I am wrong but was Jill saying that we need to BUY her book, and then we will find out about how to deal with friendship. 'It's all in the book Andy." It's all in the book." Pa leeeese

  • bjb says:

    This is almost all the crap I can bear! Jill you know you are wrong and you need to apoligize to Bethany. Put yourself in her spot and see how you would feel? Since when should one little comment cause so much trouble? You have said worse things about everyone twice! Come on!!!!!

  • Lori says:

    I am not watching if Ramona returns. She truly is mentally ill and it is almost cruel to let her continue to expose herself in this way no matter how much she wants to.

  • Anonymous says:

    A couple of points I haven't heard mentioned - Did LuAnn or Ramona ever visit Bobby in the hospital? Was Bethenny the only one who couldn't make it due to her book promo schedule? She did say she was told it was a 'procedure' and sent flowers and emailed to find out how he was doing. She didn't ignore the situation.
    Also - Jill constantly repeats the "get a hobby" remark but always conveniently leaves out the rest of the sentence. Bethenny has said the statement was "Jill, you need to get a hobby and stop picking fights all the time". She also said this was in reference to Jill being angry that Bethenny was getting her own spin off show.
    Jill never tells the whole story and tries to spin it to make her look like the victim constanly. What a martyr. Trying to guilt people into feeling sorry for her all the time is not friend most people would want.

  • TinaCummins says:

    It is obvious to me why GOD has allowed these women to live a life of luxury. They clearly could not make it in the real world without a lot of money and would be very miserable, lonely, and self-destructive. That said, your perspective is completely fictisious.

  • Catherine in Tulsa says:

    Thank you for calling it like it is!!! You are dead on about it all. Bethenny cried and cried with Jill when she was all alone, and the excuse she gives Jill when she can't stop by for an HOUR to visit her husband in the hospital - "I was falling in love" - so everyone else goes out the door and should just understand and "get a hobby" because you don't need them anymore? Jill even said that she had no interest in talking to her off screen. B doesn't need anyone who can't advance her cause, herself. Of course Bravo has decided to give B a show, so now it's all skewed to make her sympathetic and make everyone forget the terrible things that come out of her mouth. Remember last season when Jill had the fundraiser and B took the back of the bar for her own drinks, and Jill said that there were people who gave thousands of dollars but didn't get that kind of logo exposure? She said "a friend doesn't do that" - I can see why Jill felt she had given more than she received in the friendship and kept the voice mail to remind her when she felt weak.

  • Susie says:

    Lady u are nuts, u definetly were not watching last nights show, Bethany is the real deal, and anyone who thinks as u do probably is as messed up as Kelly, thats why u see it backwards

  • Mrs. Charles A. Muer Jr. says:

    Julie Miller, it is evident that you slept with your boss in order to write this article regarding Bethenny's "I'm sorry" to Jill Zarin. I know she was being truly sorry and you know it. You also must be "Best Friends" and/or sleeping with Kelly Bensimone. Either one or all, you are so off base about Bethenny.

  • sista says:

    Wow! Spot on! I don't understand how all these intellegent people can't see thru Bethenny's game. It amazes me all the support she gets. She is just a horrible person. I watched her new show (out of curiosity) and turned the channel after 15mins. That annoying "snarky" voice.

  • renaepierce says:

    You're related to Kelly aren't you? Yes you are you little booger!