Leviss' former 'Vanderpump Rules' co-stars took issue with the three-part podcast chat.
Last week, Leviss sat down with Frankel for a three-part interview on The Real Housewives of New York City alums’ podcast, Just B with Bethenny Frankel. The 28-year-old reality star opened up about her time on Vanderpump Rules and Tom Sandoval cheating on Ariana Madix in her first interview since the explosive season 10 reunion aired.
In early March, Madix and Sandoval announced the end of their relationship after being together since 2013 when she first joined Vanderpump Rules. It wasn't long before news broke that Sandoval was cheating on Madix with Leviss. The cheating scandal, often referred to as Scandoval, was a major plot point in season 10 of the Bravo reality series.
"Well it was a hit. A lot of people listened," Kent said on Wednesday’s episode of Give Them Lala, where she discussed Frankel’s sit-down with Leviss.
"I’m happy that [Rachel] finally got to take advantage of a giant platform to tell her story. I only saw clips. And what I gathered from it is, Bethenny completely exploited that girl yet again," Kent continued.
Kent’s co-host, Jessica Walter, noted that it "goes against everything [Bethenny] is preaching." The former Real Housewives star has been vocal in recent months about advocating for the fair pay of reality stars. ET reported last week that Leviss was not paid for her appearance on Frankel's podcast.
"To me, she sat there and said, ‘this girl is going to be easy to manipulate because I’m Bethenny Frankel,'" Kent said, suggesting the Skinnygirl founder attempted to "place [Rachel] in the narrative" that best suited her.
"It was actually really sad to me because I really liked Bethenny Frankel. I felt like everything she said always made sense. She was a great arguer. She was extremely intelligent."
The 32-year-old Give Them Lala Beauty founder then said Frankel is out of touch with both "reality" and "reality TV."
"I felt like Bethenny really tried to like push her into a certain direction," she alleged. "And Rachel being someone who … is very easy to manipulate. You put words out there and she’s like ‘yeah that’s how I feel’ [but] it’s like, you don’t."
She added, “I don’t know why anyone would allow her to do that interview.”
VPR alum Schroeder also shared similar views to Kent when it came to Leviss’ interview.
“It was almost like Bethenny was trying to make Ariana look bad,” the 35-year-old said during Wednesday’s episode of her podcast, Straight Up With Stassi. “It’s, like, that’s not the route we should be taking right now. Ariana hasn’t done anything wrong.”
The former reality star also questioned why Frankel emphasized Madix and Sandoval still living together after his affair with Leviss.
“She’s not living with Sandoval because she’s forgiven him,” said Schroeder. “She’s living with Sandoval because she’s like, ‘This is my house too and I refuse to leave my own home,’ and Sandoval is being a gaslighting prick motherf**ker who is refusing to leave.”
“What I don’t understand is how she didn’t — when she found out she was gonna interview [Rachel] — go and binge-watch Seasons 1 through f**king 10, so that she knew everything,” she said. “It was lazy. It was a lazy f**king interview. Just hearing her talk the way Bethenny talked about Ariana and Sandoval living together, that was a lazy interview. She did not do her research. She does not understand anything.”
Frankel is well aware she’s received backlash for her interview with Leviss and spoke about it on her “Just B” podcast on Tuesday, August 22.
"What a whirlwind. Interviewing Rachel, going viral, breaking the internet. So many rumors, so many press articles, and it’s unsettling, to be honest,” she said. “She’s gotten a lot of hate in the world and I’m taking on a lot of that hate now. And it’s been really interesting because I’m proud of myself for not caring really that much."
"Some people say to me, ‘Oh, wow, is Andy [Cohen] mad you’re doing this? Have you spoken to him?’ And I say, I have not, but I’m sure he is. And this is not a target on Andy. This is not a target on Bravo. This is about a systemic issue in the entertainment industry,” Frankel said.
A source told ET last week, "Rachel wasn’t paid for her interview with Bethenny. Bethenny offered her an unedited long-form platform where she could speak freely. Rachel knew no other outlet would give her that freedom."
Last month, Frankel spoke to ET after questioning why reality TV stars haven't followed suit in the wake of the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes. Addressing Leviss specifically, Frankel defended her as the one getting dragged for her role in creating Scandoval.
While the rest of the gang had all returned to production for the highly anticipated season 11, Leviss was noticeably absent.
"She had an affair. She's not the first person in the world that's had an affair and, you know, bullying or beating someone down for a tragic error that, yes, everybody has, like, Lord of the Flies grabbed and ripped the meat off the carcass. Great. OK," Frankel told ET. "You were wrong, you slept with someone's boyfriend. It happens. You work in a bar on a reality television show, the most toxic environment in history. I didn't think it was a big deal but, of course, the media gods came through and were marketing it like it was the friggin' election."
"So, the girl was a punching bag for everybody on every talk show in the entertainment industry. So you get beaten up. Like Erika Jayne did get paid," Frankel continues. "You're gonna put me in a ring with [Mike] Tyson, I'm gonna get paid. So, yeah, she should not be shooting. She should be negotiating a contract that says ... 'I got dragged through the streets and I was abused mentally.' That is a good example of what reality television is about, that's a perfect example."
Since then, ET exclusively learned that -- after much back and forth -- Leviss decided not to return to filming Vanderpump Rules.
"Rachel will not be returning for season 11 of Vanderpump Rules. There was a possibility up until recently she'd be returning for the new season, but ultimately decided against it," a source told ET. "Rachel is focused on her mental health journey and knew going back to the show would open her up to trauma she's been working on healing. Rachel is looking forward to what the future holds for her."