Two sources connected to the RHONY cast tell ET that Frankel's exit from the show is a shock to the other cast members. The two sources claim that the cast members were not given a heads-up that Frankel was exiting the show and found out about it in the press.
According to the two sources, filming for season 12 got underway on Wednesday, with one source calling Frankel's exit, "blindsiding." Another source tells ET that some RHONY cast members, including Ramona Singer, were busy filming the show Wednesday night.
In a statement to ET, Singer opened up about her feelings regarding Frankel's departure.
"I'm happy for Bethenny and wish her the best but I think it’s strange that me and the other cast members had to read about it in the press instead of hearing it from her directly by text," she said.
Meanwhile, RHONY newcomer Barbara Kavovit told ET in a statement, "Bethenny played such a huge role on RHONY over the years and I’m sad to see her leave the show. That being said, she excels at all that she does and I’m excited to see what the future holds for her."
Luann de Lesseps also released a statement to ET about Frankel's departure. "It's always sad to see a member of the housewives family go, especially a fellow OG," she said. "Bethenny and I have had our ups and downs, I choose to remember the ups. I wish her nothing but the best moving forward."
"I'm very sad that Bethenny will no longer be a castmate," Tinsley Mortimer told ET. "She was a great mentor and friend, and I will miss working with her. I’m very thankful Bravo gave me the opportunity to work with such a legend, and I wish her the very best in the next successful chapter of her life."
ET confirmed that the Skinnygirl founder would no longer appear on the Bravo series on Wednesday. The business mogul shared a statement with ET, saying, "I have decided to leave the Housewives franchise to explore my next chapter. 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. 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 also shared a goodbye message to all her fans on her Instagram, thanking them for "sticking with me through everything."
"You started this journey with me in my tiny apartment in my late 30s, wondering what would happen to me. I was broke, single, had no family and no idea what the future held," she wrote. "I had big dreams and I never stopped, but I honestly didn’t know if I would ever get here. You helped me to get here."
Frankel also took to her Instagram Story, while spending a day at the beach, to thank fans for all of their love and support.
"Are we not talking about the elephant in the room, or in the beach, about what happened today," she asked her followers. "It was a big day, big doings, and I'm dying and loving all of your comments. I'm not going to pretend that's not going down. Literally if I could get my heart out of my chest and I would give it to you, because feeling it, reading it, loving it, [I] live for you.
"You are everything to me," she added.
Frankel has been a part of RHONY since 2008. She left the show after the third season in 2010, before rejoining in 2015.