Bethenny Frankel and NeNe Leakes are spilling ALL the tea about their falling out with Andy Cohen!
On Tuesday’s episode of the Just B podcast, the two former Real Housewives stars went into detail about their relationship with the Bravo boss! They’d been known to be the late night TV host’s favorites, regularly seen by his side or on Watch What Happens Live — but according to both ladies, things apparently weren’t what they seemed…
NeNe was first to speak up about how their bond with Andy was never really true friendship:
“I don’t feel like we were good friends. My good friends, I go to their house or I visit their home at some point, so I never visited his home. … [We were] probably a little more than [colleagues] because I could call him on his cell. I have gone out with him, out on the town, and I’ve gone drinking with him and I’ve partied with him. … [But] I did not know where it stood. I thought we had a good relationship.”
Not friendship, but good. That “good relationship” wasn’t even as good as she thought, though. The 55-year-old went on to refer to Andy as “a big game” every Housewife in the franchise has to work with:
“He’s at the top and he is moving everybody around on the board.”
Bethenny wasted no time agreeing there’s a game playing aspect to it:
“There’s always questions, ‘Who texts you the most? Who do you text the most?’ And the thing is, we’re all in the game.”
The 52-year-old went on to recall how she wanted to gain Andy’s approval back during the time while she was close with him:
“I remember one year, I was off the Housewives and I went to his house for his Christmas party and there were all these famous people there and I felt special. And then, you know, I’m sitting next to him at this reunion and now I feel special. And it reminds me of you with your parents … we all want his approval, we all want to be the favorite. We want to be able to say, ‘I’ve been on that show the most.’ It’s like a calling card.”
She went on to suggest there’s an ongoing “power play” between the TV host and the Housewives:
“There’s a psychology that goes on with this group and this show. He used to be an executive and he’s a producer so there’s this power play. … It’s tricky.”
It does make a lot of sense. He’s the executive producer and he hosts WWHL — there’s no doubt he’s got a lot of power when it comes to decision-making and, as NeNe said, “moving everyone around the board.” It’s SUPER important to be on his good side as a Housewife! No wonder they want in his good graces!
But Bethenny really did think they were friends! And now she feels like her relationship with Andy wasn’t at all what she thought:
“I thought this whole time that Andy and I were kind of really friends ’cause we text back and forth, but we don’t really — I’ve been to his house once for a Christmas party 10 years ago. Every time we’re together, we’re only talking about the Housewives. Am I coming on, am I going off? Is that person getting fired, is that person coming on? We’re not really — you know what your real friends are like.”
She added that she felt like he held a “resentment” toward her because she was “supposed to be beneath him”:
“So now I’m in this hybrid world where I think, ‘We kind of really don’t like each other, but we’re both playing this game.’ And yet, when things are happening for me, he’s not really congratulating me. And I feel like he has this sort of resentment because I’m supposed to be beneath him, because we sort of came up at the same time. … So I’m thinking, ‘I don’t think he likes me at all. I think we were both playing this game for some time.’ And one day I just decided not to be afraid and open my f**king mouth because the only person I was protecting in that whole realm was him, and he hasn’t been protecting me.”
NeNe was quick to completely agree:
“Hello! I kind of feel the same you do. I don’t think he ever liked me.”
The podcast host’s latest appearance on WWHL was the one that really opened her eyes, though, as she said the toxic environment of pitting the Housewives against each other isn’t foreign to them:
“We’re so used to that environment [of being asked gross and problematic questions] … [But Andy is] always protected from [these kinds of questions], and we’re always f**king skinned alive with Tabasco sauce all over us, naked. … We’re out there and we get thrown like pieces of meat to just get ripped apart by that vehicle that we kiss the ass to get on. … And we all play the god damn f**king game, because we’re using him like he’s using us, because we want to promote our s**t. But it all just seems so gross.”
The I Dream Of NeNe star also took the opportunity to discuss her issues regarding the lawsuit she filed, alleging Andy, NBC, network executives, and other entities related to RHOA were violating anti-discrimination laws. She said she’s been “severely retaliated against” since speaking out — and has “not been able to work at all in any area of entertainment”:
“Listen, I’m a talent, and I am talented. I am not just a reality star, I’m an entertainer. I sing, dance, act, and do reality, OK? As a Black woman, I have to be able to do everything. At the end of the day, I do cartwheels and flips. They shut my work down. I do everything. So you mean to tell me as talented person, there was nothing for me to host, there was nothing for me to act in, sing in, dance in, jump in clap in — nothing?”
She went on to place the blame on Andy and his power in the industry:
“The doors were closed. [Andy] said the door is closed, and apparently when he says when the door is closed, the door is closed across the industry … My feelings are they pretty much said, ‘F that Black bitch!’ They never respected me, no one, to even give me one call … I want fair treatment.”
So, so awful.
NeNe went on to say she HAS tried to contact the 55-year-old radio host — but he hasn’t hit her back:
“I did call him. He has not taken my phone call. I’ve tried to find a way for he and I to sit down and talk but he’s never wanted to do that. … This is just to clear the air, not for anything else — not to be a Housewife, not for anything. Just to understand him and for him to understand me, pretty much. I actually feel sad for a person who doesn’t have a forgiving heart. I can be mad at you, but I’m not going to be forever mad at you. I can’t carry that grudge and that hatred in my heart forever. He’s he’s never wanted to [move on]. And it’s OK. I’m not pushing it. Everybody moves when they’re ready in their time. He’s not ready and that’s okay.”
Bethenny added she does “consider” the talk show host’s perspective, however:
“I feel badly for how I envision his mind is perceiving it. He’s perceiving it that he represents an institution that has given us opportunities that have been amazing for us, and we do not negate that. But we’ve all worked for that… I feel badly for the way he must think I have f**ked him over when it’s not about him.”
Oof. They really put it all out in the open! What do U think, Perezcious readers? Let us know (below).
[Image via Watch What Happens Live/YouTube]