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October 13, 2015

Did Bethenny Frankel Fake Being Lost at Sea for Her TV Show?

by Catherine Lawson, posted Oct 11th 2011 6:45AM
Bethenny FrankelBethenny Frankel has parlayed being a cast member of 'The Real Housewives of New York City' into a flourishing business empire and reality TV show franchise. Now, however, questions are being asked about how "real" her reality show is. Are some scenes faked for the cameras?

Last month Frankel said that she and husband Jason Hoppy were lost at sea off of the Massachusetts coastline for 20 hours: "It was traumatic. Absolutely traumatic."

Sounds scary, right? Well, maybe not. Frankel's rescuer Tim Russell says that she was never lost at sea, or in any danger, and that the whole thing was a phoney, staged for the benefit of the Bravo camera crew on board the boat with her.

In return, Frankel's denied Russell's claims, telling E! Online that "I wish that boat trip were fiction rather than the nightmare it actually was," adding enigmatically, "My truth is stranger than fiction."

What we do know is that Frankel set sail on a boat from Block Island to Nantucket along with her husband, her therapist -- who was also the boat's captain, with 30 years' sailing experience -- and a six-person production team from Bravo.

She claimed that the boat ran into trouble after the GPS stopped working, and that "The captain had to call the Coast Guard and we were hit by a big wave. It was very scary." Gosh, sounds just perfect for a riveting "Stars in Peril!" episode on a reality show, right?

However, Tim Russell says the boat's GPS was working just fine and that Frankel et al. were never in any danger. He also denies her claim that she gave him a large tip for coming to their aid.

According to the 'Jewish Journal,' the U.S. Coastguard confirmed that they did receive a call from Frankel's therapist, but after confirming that his GPS was working and the boat was not in distress, the U.S.C.G. suggested he call a tow company as there was no need for them to assist.

The therapist then called one tow company who refused to help, saying there was no emergency, before calling Russell. He says that when the therapist called him, he told Russell his exact coordinates. Which he read off of the GPS system. Which Bethenny said wasn't working, thereby triggering the whole "emergency" ...

Russell says he went out to help just to make sure that everyone was okay, and in fact, Frankel's boat didn't have to be towed at all, it just followed Russell's boat back to port. And that's when a relieved Frankel jumped off the boat and kissed the dock, thankful for her rescue from her terrifying nautical debacle.

But only after the crew had disembarked first and set up the shot.

Frankel now says that the nautical caper will be "fun fodder" for her upcoming novel, 'Skinny Dipping,' which "actually is fiction." So now it looks like we can add "author" to her ever-growing list of accomplishments.

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The most recent BRAVO TV promo airing shows the skipper (also her psychologist) stiffly proclaiming they 'do not have a working GPS'. I believe this was all a hoax. I like Bethenny; however, this epsiode crossed the line. I know that Andy Cohen won't care what I think... Having read all of the background, I believe the skit was a bit for TV. "B" overreacts on a constant basis. So, just because she swears that it was true doesn't make it so. Just because Andy Cohen at Bravo TV stands behind her doesn't make it true. They both have many millions to lose. NO ONE on the boat can talk about it because they signed confidentiality agreements. However, many credible independent witnesses believe she faked it for TV and then covered it up to protect herself. Hey Bethenny - you may think you got away with this one, but you did not. I still will watch your show, but I will not view you seriously. I will also share this view with all of my friends. Oh, by the way, when you and Jason break it off, look me up and let's have a drink. I think you are amazing.

February 19 2012 at 6:28 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Bethany and fake in the same sentence? Can't be.

October 11 2011 at 3:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Faked for her show? First reality show to stage something for ratings. YAWN.

October 11 2011 at 12:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Major Angst Girl

I'm sure the producers know that the kind of person who would even watch a "reality" show about a nobody piece of trash in the first place aren't exactly the kind of people who have the reasoning process to question anything they're fed. ( Let's face it, they're the kind of sucker who is also still waiting for that check from the exhiled nigerian prince to show up) So really, the fact that she's a manipulative liar shouldn't affect them at all.

October 11 2011 at 12:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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