Appearing on Jenny McCarthy's SiriusXM radio show Monday, the reality star gave her thoughts on Bethenny's abrupt exit from the series she helped launch back in 2008.
"I was 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," Luann told Jenny when asked about the announcement. "And I think that Bethenny is -- I always say -- she's a lot of fun, she can be really nasty, she's very funny. And those are the people you kind of get up for in the morning since they kind of challenge you, so in a weird way..."
"You know, I always held my own with Bethenny," she continued. "Her and I have always had this up-and-down kind of relationship, and she's not an easy person to manage. And I just feel like that's the part I'll kind of miss because it's kind of challenging. I found fun in it. I'll miss her, but at the same time, when you're around her, it's like walking on eggshells."
Lu then asked Jenny, who knows Bethenny personally, how the news hit her.
"I mean, I would feel relieved as hell if I was a castmember," McCarthy replied. "I would be like, 'Oh, my God!' It's kind of like, in your childhood, when you were like, 'I never know what kind of mood my dad's gonna be in or my mom's gonna be in,' so you're walking on eggshells. I don't personally like to live in those types of environments. It's unhealthy. It's up, down, up, down."
"I think the whole cast is relieved in a way," de Lesseps interjected. "It also leaves breathing room for other women to shine and show their personalities, because a lot was Bethenny coming in and stealing the show. But guess what? She can't steal our show. This season is amazing, and I can't wait for everyone to see the new season. It's better than ever, so I'm excited."
Jenny then asked Luann if she and the other Housewives had a group chat. She said, "Of course," which left the radio host salivating at the thought of what those messages might say. She asked Lu what went on in said group chat when the ladies heard the news of Bethenny's exit.
"It blew up because nobody knew!" she claimed. "It's like, 'Thank you so much for letting us know before you let the press know. It would've been nice.'"
McCarthy noted that it would've been "appropriate" for Frankel to let her castmates know ahead of time, which de Lesseps met with a sarcastic: "As appropriate as it would've been for her to say, 'Look, your fiancé is kissing somebody at a bar. I'm gonna tell you first before I tell everybody else and show it to people on national television.'"
"Bravo didn't know! Everything came out on Instagram," she went on to claim. "Hell of a way to leave a show that's been so good to her, 'cause let me tell you, when she tanked in her talk show, she came back with her tail between her legs to 'Housewives.' Don't forget."
Jenny added, "And you guys all had to stand next to a f--king [Skinnygirl] bottle in every scene, so [she] should be really grateful!"
"God, if I had a dime for every Skinnygirl party I had to promote," Lu replied. "And then she can't even promote my cabaret show and be happy about it?"
"Don't you think, though," McCarthy posed, "there's a tiny, little chance of her wanting to come back when her other shit goes down? Not that I wish anyone that, but I'm just saying."
Laughing, de Lesseps revealed some "insider scoop" from the upcoming season.
"So we go to a fashion show, and there is a place set for Bethenny Frankel at this fashion show while we're filming, and Ramona [Singer] freaked out," she dished. "She's like, 'Is she coming?! Is she coming?! She's not coming, is she?!' I'm like, 'Ramona, calm down. It's a mistake. It's just a mistake. Relax. Don't pull your blonde hair out.'"
"She's just scared of her! She's terrified of Bethenny. Terrified!" Lu said. "Ramona would tell you herself she's scared of Bethenny. Most people are."
TooFab has contacted both Bravo and a rep for Frankel seeking comment regarding de Lesseps' claims about the Skinnygirl mogul's exit from the show.