Six years ago, Bethenny Frankel first came to our attention as a contestant on Martha Stewart’s version of The Apprentice. Three years ago, she first showed up as a cast member on The Real Housewives, which both she and Bravo each almost rejected.
Today, Bethenny has taken her fame from the Bravo series and turned it into a brand that’s quite so lucrative, her Skinnygirl line of margaritas was just sold for about $120 million. In a feature story, The Hollywood Reporter says that her “approximately $120 million deal gives Beam Global complete ownership of Skinnygirl cocktails and any alcoholic beverage under the Skinnygirl umbrella.”
In the story, which is fascinating, Bravo president Frances Berwick said Bethenny was almost not selected: “We had a few reservations … since we don’t take reality stars and put them on the network.” Bethenny says she likewise almost rejected Bravo’s eventual offer, and admits, “I went on the show single-handedly and exclusive for business. I knew it was a risk and I had the most to lose, because I already had a platform. When I went on the show, no one was going on for business, no one had done anything.”
The trick, of course, is that Bethenny also paired that self-promotion with hilarious, sometimes brutal honesty, both about others and herself. We see her at her worst, and that inspires her fans to be even more loyal and buy all kinds of things with her name on them.
The magazine also reveals that Bethenny only plans on filming one or two more seasons of her show, saying, “I like to leave the party when it’s in full swing.” She’s now reportedly discussing her own talk show.