Bethenny Frankel received a lot of mixed reactions on social media from “Vanderpump Rules” fans over her three-part podcast interview with Raquel Leviss, and the former RHONY star has now spoken out about some of the backlash.
During Leviss’ interview with Frankel, they spoke about Leviss’ salary on VPR, and Frankel said the cast members get paid less in one year than her interns. Leviss told the podcast host, “One of the things that producers also told me is that you get paid based off your performance from the season prior. So that already set me up to want to perform well going into season 10.” She also shared that she didn’t make any extra money from VPR over Scandoval, despite the scandal boosting the success of the show.
“The number out there saying she made several hundred thousand dollars for the season is false. Completely false,” Frankel said. She pointed out that executive producer Alex Baskin has claimed that the show was failing heading into season 10 and Scandoval revived the franchise, then added that she didn’t believe Leviss would have made $361,000 after only a few seasons on VPR, especially if the show was failing. “It just wouldn’t happen,” she said.
The RHONY alum then said the PR “machine” from Bravo was “trying to throw out numbers and clump together everything [Leviss] has ever made on ‘Vanderpump Rules,’ not this season.” She added that Baskin and Vanderpump were working hard to protect the show and its reputation.
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Bethenny Frankel Commented on the Speculation That She Didn’t Pay Raquel Leviss for Her Appearance
Frankel also took the opportunity to respond to a report by Entertainment Tonight that said an insider reported that Leviss wasn’t paid by Frankel for appearing on her podcast. Frankel responded, “Just so you know, whether I paid her not or not, how do you know what I did? How do you know what I’m doing with her? Nobody knows what I’m really doing but I love the speculation.”
Frankel also said she welcomed the response, positive and negative, as it was bringing her exposure and engagement, so told critics to “bring it on.” Despite that, she opened her podcast by saying the response to her interview with Leviss had been “unsettling” as she was now taking on quite a bit of the hate that had so far been aimed only at the VPR star. “It’s been interesting,” she said, then added, “I’m proud of myself for not caring really that much.”
Raquel Leviss & Bethenny Frankel Covered Many Topics During Their ‘Just B’ Podcast Conversation
Leviss’ interview covered a range of subjects about her time on VPR and the scandal, her friendships with the cast, and her time at a mental health facility getting treatment following the season 10 reunion.
Perhaps most notably, Leviss confirmed during the interview that she wasn’t returning to the show for its 11th season, which has been filming this summer. During part 3 of the podcast, Leviss said it came down to salary negotiations and claimed that producers weren’t willing to pay her equally to Tom Sandoval and Ariana Madix. “I asked for equal pay with Tom and Ariana and for them to reimburse me for my treatment expenses,” she told Frankel. “They refused to pay me equally.”
After Leviss’ interview came out, Vanderpump told TMZ that it “didn’t matter” to the show if Leviss returned or not anyway and pointed out that the show was “successful before her.”