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RHONY’s Bethenny Frankel only made $7K for entire first Bravo season but later became the highest-paid housewife ever

BETHENNY Frankel revealed she made just over $7,000 for the ENTIRE first season of Real Housewives Of New York City before becoming the highest-paid star of the franchise. 

The successful entrepreneur confessed to making pennies compared to her seven-figure salary for her later years on the Bravo reality show. 


Bethenny admitted to making just $7K on her first season of RHONY


In the years since, Bethenny launched her Skinnygirl empire Credit: Getty Images – Getty


Bethenny was one of the original RHONY cast members in 2008Credit: Rex Features

Bethenny, 50, went on The Tamron Hall Show on Friday to discuss her various business ventures. 

Talk show host Tamron, 50, mentioned how the RHONY alum took her smaller earnings from earlier seasons and turned it into a multi-million dollar empire. 

After applauding Tamron for questions “no one else has ever asked” her, the Skinny Girl mogul got candid about money. 

“When I signed on to the ‘Housewives,’ the contract said $7,250 for the entire season,” she revealed. 


The reality star admitted to getting a large pay raise years into the show


Tamron was praised by Bethenny for ‘asking amazing questions’

However, Bethenny claimed she was “not looking at the money” at the time. 

“You can’t always look at the money, you have to look at the big picture, the other opportunities.

“You have to look at the whole board, not just the pieces – and the money was just the pieces,” she added.

The brunette beauty continued:  “I ended up being the highest-paid ‘Housewife’ when I left because I had leverage and I left [in 2010].


The first season of RHONY premiered to Bravo audiences in 2008 Credit: Getty Images – Getty


The brunette beauty has been an on-off cast member since the beginning Credit: Getty Images – Getty


She quickly became a fan-favorite before leaving last year Credit: Getty Images – Getty

“And the ratings were affected and they wanted me to come back,” she said.

The novelist gave further insight: “And when I did ultimately leave this last time [in 2019], people thought I was leaving because I wasn’t getting more money.

“I was leaving because I was staying because of the money,” she said of her later years on the franchise. 

Bethenny was cast as one of the original Housewives during the first season of RHONY in 2008. 


Bethenny founded the Skinnygirl empire Credit: Getty Images – Getty


The star’s business ventures include food, drinks and more Credit: Getty Images – Getty


The low-calorie drink option has skyrocketed the star’s income Credit: Getty Images – Getty

She stayed for two years and left after season three before being persuaded to return in 2015. 

The fan-favorite continued to shine on the silver screen until 2019, where she ultimately decided to step away. 

The New York native reportedly made $40,000 per episode on RHONY in the later seasons. 


Bethenny has continued to live in NYC despite exiting the franchise Credit: Refer to Caption



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With the show averaging 22 episodes per year, Bethenny’s annual income from the show would be near $900,000 not including any other endorsement  

In the years since she was a newbie on TV, Bethenny has grown her massive lifestyle brand, Skinnygirl and saved countless lives with BStrong – a disaster relief organization. 

Her business chops have even earned her a place inside the Shark Tank beside Mark Cuban. 

RHONY’s Bethenny Frankel reveals she’s STILL married to Jason Hoppy eight years after split as custody battle rages on


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