How Bethenny Frankel’s RHONY Deal Changed TV Contracts Forever

by Ana Lopez

Bethenny Frankel is an established and businesswoman who began her career in the public eye in the late s on Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New York.”

Frankel’s success is due in part to her “never settle” attitude and not being afraid to stand up for herself when something isn’t right. That’s why she’s “credited” with changing the scope of reality TV contracts forever, with a clause commonly known throughout the industry as “The Bethenny Clause.”

Related: Bethenny Frankel on Her Approach to Business and Negotiating Deals: ‘I’m Good at Drafts, Not Contracts’

In an Instagram reel, Frankel answered a fan’s question about how much money she was being offered for her first RHONY contract in 2008. Frankel said the number was $7,250 and she “didn’t contest it.”

“I was nobody. That was a lot of money to me,” Frankel explained. “The only thing I crossed out was the thing that said Bravo was going to take a percentage of everything I made… Somewhere deep down I understood conceptually that that was wrong, that I was going places and going to do something and no one would do any own part of it.”

Frankel in 2011 sold the cocktail part of her now-famous Skinnygirl business to Beam Global for an estimated $100 million, which caught the attention of the entire industry, leaving TV execs squirming about “lost” money.

Now there’s something called the “Bethenny Clause” in some reality TV contracts, which requires cast members of certain shows to give away a percentage of their earnings to “the powers that be,” as Frankel puts it. expresses.

“You’re smarter than you think,” Frankel told viewers. “I wasn’t a businessman. I had no institutional knowledge or experience in any of this. I read a contract, something didn’t feel right to me, and I pulled it out. And it changed my whole life.”

Frankel said in 2021 that before closing the first deal with Beam Global in 2011, the company wanted to buy the Skinnygirl company as a whole, something she negotiated against and was therefore able to keep the Skinnygirl brand name and its intellectual property.

“I said, I don’t — you guys only specialize in liquor, so keep the liquor,” Frankel explained at the time regarding the acquisition. “So [Beam] paid me and bought a brand, which is really unprecedented. That really isn’t happening… I was just sitting there thinking about it logically. And I’ve been through so many things in my career that have been like that.”

Frankel is one estimated $80 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

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