Luann de Lesseps Claims 'RHONY' Cast Was 'Relieved' at Bethenny Frankel's Exit

Luann de Lesseps doesn't think the Real Housewives of New York City cast was exactly devastated to hear Bethenny Frankel would be exiting the show. Monday, the Bravo star weighed in on Frankel's August announcement that she was quitting the show ahead of Season 12 on Jenny McCarthy's Sirius XM podcast, claiming the show is "better than ever" now.

The former countess admitted when she first heard Frankel was leaving the show behind after 11 seasons, she was "surprised and not surprised," hinting that the Skinnygirl mogul's exit had a lot to do with boyfriend Paul Bernon.

"I was shocked … I was, you know, surprised and not surprised in a way because I think that she is in a relationship that I don't think she wants to bring around on the show," de Lesseps said, adding that while her former castmate is "a lot of fun" and "very funny," she can also be "really nasty."

"Those are the people you kind of get up for in the morning because they challenge you," she added. "I just feel like that part I'll kind of miss because it's kind of — you know, it's challenging. And I found kind of fun in it … I'll miss her, but at the same time when you're around her it's like walking on egg shells."

That being said, the cabaret singer claims she and her fellow castmates were "relieved" after Frankel left, saying, "I think the whole cast is relieved in a way, and it also leaves breathing room for other women to shine and show their personalities. Because a lot was Bethenny coming in and kind of stealing the show."

Now that she's gone, de Lesseps says the new season of filming has been "better than ever."

"She can't steal our show," she continued. "This season is amazing, and I can't wait for everyone to see the new season."

De Lesseps also teased who would be coming in to fill Frankel's shoes for filming, as Bravo has yet to announce a replacement.

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"Our new housewife is really great," she hinted. "I can't talk much about her except that she's a great addition to the cast. She's got backstory. She's an interesting woman, she's smart. She's successful."

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