Based on The Real Housewives of New York City previews, it’s clear that the second half of Season 11 is going to look vastly different from the first, especially when it comes to the relationship between co-stars Bethenny Frankel and Luann de Lesseps. Before the season started, Frankel was surprisingly part of the small group of friends that forced an intervention on Luann, and helped her return to rehab for a second time after relapsing over the summer.
Luann, 53, has since relapsed a third time. The reality star admitted to her probation officer that she drank two mimosas after a performance of “Countess and Friends” in Chicago which leaves her with two options: immediately enroll in outpatient† treatment for the failed sobriety test, or submit to wearing an ankle monitor. According to Page Six, Luann refused both and is due to appear back in court on May 23.
While it’s wonderful that Bethenny was integral in helping Luann try to get her life back on track, it was odd. Bethenny and Luann were never best friends, or even good friends. Back in Season 1, when Bethenny was broke and single, and Luann, a Countess, was living the seemingly perfect married life, she tried giving Bethenny etiquette lessons, which didn’t go very well. Later on, Bethenny called Luann a snake, and despite video evidence, the Countess tried to claim that she was the original inventor of the Skinnygirl margarita.
Last season, Before Luann married Tom D’Agostino, Bethenny kept trying to tell her that he was cheating on her and that this wedding would be the biggest mistake of her life. Bethenny wasn’t even upset after not being invited to the quickly divorced couple’s nuptials.
Despite their years of baggage, however, Bethenny and Luann are O.G. cast members. There’s a deep connection from merely knowing each other for so long, and being a constant presence, good or bad, throughout life’s ups and downs for the past decade. While Bethenny stepped in to help Luann in every way she could after her relapse, Luann was never that grateful, which to viewers, wasn’t surprising. The Countess has always been extremely entitled, and self absorbed.
Despite Luann’s DUI arrest, two stints in rehab and the public embarrassment of being sued by her own children for misappropriating their inheritance, the success of the Countess’s cabaret show has somehow remained unaffected. Headlining her own gig and having a sold out national tour is all Luann cares about. And the fact that her job, a late night cabaret show which constantly keeps her in environments where she is surrounded by alcohol and people drinking — she doesn’t see the issue.
Bethenny, fed up with her narcissism, loses it while shouting at Luann. “Everything isn’t about you,” she said. “Nobody gives a f**k!” Bethenny screams. Later on, in a scene reminiscent of the fight between Luann and Dorinda Medley last season, Bethenny yells “Look at you!” while shoving a martini glass in Luann’s face, before completely breaking down in tears. “I don’t know what’s going on, I don’t know what’s happening.”
The Skinnygirl mogul has had quite a few serious emotional breakdowns on screen over the past few seasons. Proving that money can not buy you happiness, Frankel is dealing with the death of her former best friend/ex-fiancé Dennis Shields, the never-ending custody battle with ex-husband Jason Hoppy, along with the overwhelming responsibilities from her business empire and multi-million real estate ventures, Frankel either appears to be on top of everything, slinging the wittiest comebacks and having fun filming with her fellow housewives, or she’s bawling her eyes out, unable to control any of her emotions. There’s no in-between.
Perhaps, Bethenny has focused on Luann’s issues in order to deflect from having to focus on her own, and now, she’s too tired to keep up the act. With Bethenny and Luann’s long history, it would normally be assumed that the two would be cool with one another by the reunion special. However, given the news that Luann remains unapologetic for her drinking issues, this feud might have legs.