Who knew that Bethenny, who seems so grounded, grew up in a household with alcohol and abuse?
Though Bethenny Frankel has hinted at her unhappy childhood before (she said she was “raised in a cave … by wolves” on an episode of Bethenny Getting Married?) but in a shocking new interview, she reveals the full truth about her abusive past. “I never had a true childhood,” she tells People. “There was a lot of destruction: alcohol abuse, eating disorders and violent fights.”
Bethenny’s father, well-known horse trainer Bobby Frankel, walked out on Bethenny and her mother, Bernadette Frankel, when the Real Housewife-to-be was just 4 years old. She moved in with Bobby in Los Angeles to escape her “extremely volatile” mother, but quickly realized it wasn’t the place for her when she saw that Bobby “lived a very hotshot life, [full of] drugs and young girls.” Bethenny recalls, “It wasn’t a life for a little girl. I was always at restaurants or at the racetrack.”
Bethenny’s mom re-married another horse trainer named John Parisella when Bethenny turned 5, which prompted them to move homes seven times over 10 years. Bethenny’s father cut her off when Bernadette accused him of keeping money from them.
And Bernadette’s marriage to John quickly turned hostile. “The house would be in shambles,” Bethenny says of her mom’s vicious outbursts in which she would smash “dishes, pictures, the TV — anything she could see” and physically fight with John. During these terrible fits, Bethenny says she would either have to hide in her closet or call the police to break things up.
Then came Bethenny’s personal battles with her weight. She began starving herself and purging at the age of 13. “I was owned by dieting,” she says. “I hated myself.” Her situation worsened when she began clubbing in her teens, drinking heavily and even doing cocaine.
Wow… we had no idea Bethenny had such a troubled past, but it only makes it all the more incredible that she’s become so successful. A great husband (Jason Hoppy), an adorable baby girl (Bryn Hoppy) and a thriving career both on TV and in her line of Skinnygirl Margaritas.