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Luann de Lesseps Bids Goodbye to 'RHONY' Co-Star Bethenny Frankel After Exit Announcement

Real Housewives of New York City star Luann de Lesseps said goodbye to Bethenny Frankel, who confirmed she is leaving the show before its 12th season begins. Frankel is moving on to other projects, including developing new unscripted shows for MGM Television and Mark Burnett. De Lesseps and Frankel were two of the original RHONY stars.

"It’s been a great run with so many great memories. Wishing [Frankel] nothing but the best," de Lesseps wrote on Instagram, alongside a photo of the two stars with actress Jennifer Lawrence during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen last year.

Frankel, 48, and de Lesseps, 54, were two of the first RHONY stars. Frankel left after the first three seasons, but returned in Season 7. The two have been close friends, with Frankel even helping de Lesseps return to rehab in July 2018, notes PEOPLE.

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Although de Lesseps shared a gracious goodbye to her friend, Ramona Singer told PEOPLE Frankel did not tell any of her co-stars she was leaving before she released a statement to the press Wednesday.

"Bethenny found love in her life, and it's so fantastic that she'll be taking the time to grow that relationship away from the cameras and to explore other business opportunities," Singer told the magazine. "I'm only disappointed that Bethenny did not inform her costars that she's not coming back to the show."

"When she left in season 4, we found out through the press she was doing her spinoff, Bethenny Getting Married," Singer continued. "She was upset we never congratulated her, but we were upset she never told us! And that's how we feel now. There is a camaraderie among us as a cast. Love us, hate us, not like us — we are a team. To hear this from the press and not through her is upsetting."

Despite that, Singer still wished Frankel well.

"The show's a machine and it will continue on," Singer added. "We're all just a cog in the wheel. No one is irreplaceable."

"I have decided to leave the Housewives franchise to explore my next chapter," Frankel said in a statement to Variety Wednesday. "It's time to move on and focus on my daughter, my philanthropy and my production partnership with Mark Burnett, producing and starring in shows which represent a shift in the conversation for women."

Frankel added, "With the changes in modern culture, I want to highlight the strength, confidence and unstoppable power that women have. My experience at Bravo has been an incredibly magical ride. I am so grateful to them for highlighting my entrepreneurialism and allowing me to pave the way for many women to achieve their goals. I am excited for my future. The best is yet to come."

Frankel later thanked fans for their support on social media.

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Aside from RHONY, Frankel fronted two spinoffs, Bethenny Ever After and Bethenny & Fredrik. The Skinnygirl founder also hosted a talk show, Bethenny, during the 2013-2014 TV season. Lastly, Frankel recently signed a deal to executive produce and potentially star in unscripted shows for MGM Television and Burnett.

Photo credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for "Bethenny"

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