Bethenny Frankel on if she made $120 mill: ‘The number is irrelevant’

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Last Thursday, Rob Shuter at the Huffington Post called out Bethenny Frankel for maybe-lying to Fobes about the amount of money she made from selling her SkinnyGirl beverage business. Forbes declared in a June cover story that Frankel had made over $100 million from the sale. Shuter went through the quarterly financial statement from the company that purchased SkinnyGirl, and misread the amount of “good will” afforded the company, $8.1 million, as the total sales price. A later segment of the report suggested that Skinny Girl was purchased for around $32 million. Accountants and financial lawyers among you commented that the financial details were being misread, that it was impossible to tell from the report what the purchasing price was, and that celebrities and millionaires regularly misrepresent their wealth in order to sound richer. Shuter and Huffpo later issued a correction stating that the numbers had been misread. In response, Frankel tweeted that Shuter was a “freelance writer with false info to get attention” and claimed she paid more than $8 million in taxes. She never gave a precise number as to what she sold SkinnyGirl for, and the company that bought it, Beam Global, said that we should “not expect that a black and white lump sum ‘purchase price’ figure will be made available. Suffice to say, this was not an $8.1 million acquisition.” No exact numbers, then, but I suspect it wasn’t quite as high as Bethenny would have us believe and that she knows it.

In an appearance on the Today Show this morning, Bethenny never gave a direct answer when Matt Lauer asked her if she made $100 million or not. She just hedged, called the publications that reported the $100 plus million figure “credible,” (as opposed to anyone who called her out on it) and said an exact number was “irrelevant.” She also defended her supposedly harrowing lost at sea experience that just happened to be captured on cameras for her reality show, but she talked around the accusations of the towboat operator who said it was a stunt.

On TODAY Monday, reality TV star and Skinnygirl entrepreneur Bethenny Frankel blamed jealousy and irresponsible journalism for recent reports about the sale of Skinnygirl cocktails.

“I think my recent success has polarized people,” she told Matt Lauer. “All I ever wanted to do was be able to pay my rent. They say mo’ money, mo’ problems; I never had problems like this.”

Forbes magazine and others estimated the price of acquisition of Skinnygirl cocktails by Bean Global at upwards of $100 million, but a Huffington Post blogger said that number was inflated – the deal was only worth $8.1 million. After a follow-up article in Forbes pointing out errors in the HuffPo story, the site ran a correction admitting that its number was wrong.

Though given a chance to set the record straight, Frankel stayed mum on the exact figure. She was, however, emphatic about the success of her brand.

“The number is irrelevant to me … when fans are wondering whether I said it was 10 times more than it was, I’m left to defend myself,” she said. “The bottom line is the public believes irresponsible bloggers who write anything they want … Skinnygirl Cocktails is about to sell a million cases in nine months. It’s remarkable. The money is irrelevant, but it’s a success.”

The star also discussed the controversy around her claims that she was lost at sea.


Either she made over $100 million or she didn’t. Don’t go claiming one thing all over the press for months and then act like it doesn’t matter and that people are stupid for calling you out on it. She concluded by referencing Giuliana Rancic’s breast cancer and saying that “this is garbage. You worry about your health, your family and this is garbage.” Again, she’s fine with putting out numbers about her supposed wealth when it’s to her liking, but when people ask her a direct question about it none of it matters and it’s all “garbage.”




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37 Responses to “Bethenny Frankel on if she made $120 mill: ‘The number is irrelevant’”

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  1. Christine says:

    Um, even if she ONLY made $8 million, or ONLY $32 million: (a) that is a LOT of money; and (b)who cares?! And I’ve never understood where the original $120 million figure came from? Any way, all this publicity is totally helping the Skinny Girl brand. Which is pretty tasty. And it IS impossible to quantify numerous transactions – especially if she gets a cut of future profits.

  2. Relli says:

    Has Michael K seen this video yet? He is going to love the new eyebrows look she has going.

  3. jc126 says:

    What a sleaze. I don’t really care what she made, but she obviously wants people to think she’s loaded. “The number is irrelevant” – then she wouldn’t be on an interview talking about how it’s irrelevant. She would’ve just issued a statement about how the $108M isn’t accurate, but that she doesn’t want to discuss it further.
    SHE is irrelevant, but a $100M difference never is.
    Her talk about being lost as sea was embarrassing to watch. Some cameraman’s camera didn’t work because he lost a battery. Boo hoo.

  4. Heatheradair says:

    I have a feeling that she actually has no idea herself.

    As an accountant, I understand that a lot of times the finer points of huge transactions like this can get complicated for clients and — as soon as people enlist other “handlers” and “managers” and “agents” to handle pieces of their empires, things get confusing — so my guess: she’s not sure exactly how much she’s worth, exactly how much she netted in the sale, she has people to manage that for her, and she’s hedging because she’s not even sure herself…..

    Seems feasible, anyway.

    And unless Shuter is familiar with reading financial statements, it would be EASY to make a mistake and misinterpret something…..

  5. gee says:

    I still like her.. but I’m probably going to need more than this to stop wondering what the hell this was all about.

  6. the original bellaluna says:

    jc126 – Oh, she’s loaded alright…with BS!

    I don’t like her. I never have. And I could totally see her big 4 hour Gilligan’s Island experience being a plot line (fake) for her show.

  7. Liz says:

    I don’t really understand why she HAS to answer the question. It is her business.

  8. lem says:

    i read in the reality tea article this morning that she actually signed a confidentiality agreement that stated she could not discuss or reveal the amount SkinnyGirl was purchased for. She is probably trying to adhere to that gag order without outright saying that she can’t talk about it.

  9. Ogechi says:

    Mo money, mo problems? Then help the poor.

  10. anemoneblue says:

    @ Sue Ahahaha!! Yes, she does.

    If she didn’t want to answer questions from the press or the public, then she should consider not having a reality show and showing every detail of her life when it is convenient for her. She is such a self absorbed fake.

  11. Kim says:

    So it was jealousy and not her LYING is why the wrong number came out??! She really is a piece of work.

    Skinny Margarita tastes like crap. I cant believe someone paid even $1 for it! Everyone I know hates it.

  12. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    Lying about how much money she has might show that she is a total jackass, but it doesn’t hurt anyone.

    What I can’t forgive her for is lying about the sodium benzoate in her “all natural, no presevative” crap that she shills. Newsflash to that ho: sodium benzoate IS a preservative, and a known carcinogen. Which I am sure she knows full well. That type of lying is what makes her a true low life.

    I pity anyone who fell for her lies and actually paid money to buy her disgusting crap. I guess PT Barnum was right.

  13. says:

    Whatever amount she made, it is way to much.

  14. Lady D says:

    Love the “Sets the record straight” tagline.

  15. Riana says:

    And just like that I don’t respect her at all.

    She was all too happy to pose on Forbes for a piece of garbage huh?

    I truly hope her business and all future ventures crashes and burns.

  16. DiaBLa says:

    Everyone just needs to mind their own biz….who cares?? Shuter needs to STFU and learn to read.

  17. Dawn says:

    What I keep wondering is just how these type of people become such huge celebrities? Really. What does she bring to the table that makes people so interested in her? Why does she have fans for being a business woman who through sheer luck was branded a “housewife” of NYC? And in reality when this show started I do believe she was single. What I see is nothing more than a grating shrew that is spoiled rotten and thinks she is entitled to do as she wants when she wants and then sits in judgment of any who may disagree with her. Even her mother says she has issues with the truth and feelings of entitlement. Yuk…just yuk.

  18. Sassy says:

    It is called narcissistic personality disorder. Classic presentation.

  19. Exactly says:

    I remember seeing her on Watch What Happens Live right after the sale of her company was publicized and every time Andy asked how much she made from the deal she wouldn’t give a number. She just smiled and said she’s been very fortunate. Maybe I’m missing something, but has she ever given a number?

  20. NoMo says:

    Exactly: I came to post ‘exactly’ what I recalled from WWHL as well. She was total class in spite of Andy asking her several times. Not a Bethenny fan, but I will state she has handled her success (of which the other housewives can only dream of achieving) as one would expect of someone who has a successful business.

  21. Sasha says:

    I can’t with her adopting that phoney “street” accent to say “mo’ money, mo’ problems” (this isn’t the first time she’s done it). She grew up with money & went to an exclusive boarding school. For her to do this is they HEIGHT of phoney and the OPPOSITE of “real” (which she prides herself on being).

    She’s a total fake.

    And to answer Liz & Christine — SHE is the one who “leaked” the $120 million figure with the sale (or, at minimum, didn’t bother to correct that number) and SHE is the one who posed on the cover of Forbes magazine allowing everyone to believe that number. That is why SHE has to answer questions about it. (#14) is right — whatever she got is way too much.

  22. F5 says:

    ugh that piranha face (◕ ︿_◕)

  23. anne_000 says:

    I noticed that she didn’t say the GPS &/or the boat weren’t working. Notice that she didn’t mention that the first towing co. they called had refused to come out because that company didn’t think it was an emergency (which is what the 2nd tow capt alleges). Notice that she says they would be sent to jail for calling the Coast Guard if it wasn’t an emergency, BUT in fact, the Coast Guard really didn’t think it was an emergency that they themselves needed to respond to. The Coast Guard told her therapist, who was the capt (& owner?) of the boat, to call up private towing companies instead. So, if like she says, if you call 9-11 and it isn’t an emergency, you can go to jail, then when was the last time you called up 9-11 with a supposed emergency and they told you to contact private firms instead?

    I notice that what seemingly constitutes an emergency is that a sound guy can’t swim (why would he need to swim when the boat wasn’t damaged &/or sinking?), some of the tapes were damaged by salt air (I don’t know how that happens so quickly unless it was done thru negligence, & do they usually use tapes nowadays for such productions?), and that the camera batteries were lost (but somehow they were still filming from midnight or so to at least the point where she was filmed kissing the dock ). So the cameras’ batteries weren’t “lost” (or drained?), right? What?

    Then she says there’s a gag order on the tow capt. Why? That seems desperate on her (or Bravo’s?) part. Couldn’t her claims of a broken boat or GPS be easily substantiated? The tow capt said he didn’t even tow them in, they just followed him back to shore. Also, this claim about the tip, couldn’t that be easily substantiated too? And, in a previous interview, didn’t she confess that the reason the Coast Guard didn’t come get them was because there was nobody in immediate harm? Also, there was a working radio on board.

    It’s just the things she doesn’t say, the doublespeak, the unconnected answers she comes up with, etc. that make me go “Hmmmmm…. What?!?”

    If she had said in this video: “Yes, our GPS/boat was broken. My therapist has the repair bill to prove it. Yes, we gave the tow capt a tip, & here’s the credit card receipt to prove it. Yes, it was a real emergency, & here’s the record from the Coast Guard to prove it.” instead of saying that they put a gag order on the tow capt….

    Also, if she had stated previously that she’s contractually disallowed from stating the ball park figure asked for by Matt Lauer, then why not just state that as the reason, instead of saying it’s “irrelevant?” That makes it sound like she can give the figure, but won’t do it just because. She needs to stick to one excuse or it sounds like she’s just playing for more publicity.

  24. sally says:

    Mrs.Krabapple, I agree about the sodium benzoate. That’s really the only lie I care about. The thing is, she probably could have done just as well with the sale of skinnygirl if she had left off the “no preservatives” statement on the bottle. I mean seriously, how many people who drink a lot of tequila in the form of premixed cocktails care so much about a trace amount of preservative? It just didn’t make sense to lie about it.

  25. BELLA says:

    Why is she even famous? Cant`t stand looking at her!!!!!

  26. dahlia1947 says:

    glad i havent bought any of her stuff!

  27. Neelyo says:

    My god she’s aged like 50 years. Is this the result of a crash diet to regain her pre-pregnancy figure?

  28. Turd Fergussen says:

    If someone in the press referred to Bethenny as “probably weighing around 150 lbs” I bet that’s a number she wouldn’t find irrelevant.

  29. LittleDeadGrrl says:

    Yeah I agree with some of the other posters. Don’t quote a number to Forbes and than say the number doesn’t matter. I can’t stand when people are caught lyig and theys till bullshit you to your face. This really makes me lose alot of respect for her and her brand.

  30. lucy2 says:

    If she feels numbers are irrelevant, she’s the worst business person ever.
    If she couldn’t/didn’t want to disclose it, fine, but don’t go on the cover of Forbes flaunting it.
    Friends of mine had bought some of that stuff, and we all tried it and hated it.

  31. tracking says:

    Defensively shrilling the “irrelevance” of the sale amount doesn’t jibe with the smug, misleading Forbes cover. Considering her appeal was largely based on her reputation as a straight shooter, she has definitely tarnished her brand with grandiosity and fakery.

  32. Chris says:

    @ Turd – ROFL!

    She is a scumbag, a liar and self centered ego maniac….but had great timing. Made and sold the product at the peak of her popularity…tell you what, this wench is money smart, but pathetic all at the same time.

  33. Amanda says:

    It didn’t really help her case saying that it doesn’t matter when referring when answer “so how much did you make selling skinny girl cocktails.” But who really knows?…

  34. Luise says:

    She is just plain fucking weird looking. Big ass jaw and sagging eyes. I can’t stand her. And of course, her overbobbed nose.

  35. Rudypatudie says:

    I love her.

    I hope she made a boatload of money

    She is awesome, her husband is a dream and her baby os beautiful.

    She has it all, and anyone whom is a hater is CLEARLY jealous as a loon.

    She is phenomenal.