Bethenny Frankel testifies that her ex would regularly taunt her shirtless on Facetime

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The more I hear about contentious and drawn celebrity custody battles (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie) the more I appreciate celebrities who stay friendly with their exes (Jenna Dewan and Channing Tatum, Chris Pratt and Anna Faris). Bethenny Frankel is currently in court with her ex, Jason Hoppy, vying for primary custody of their daughter Bryn, 8. Bethenny and Jason split in 2012 after two years of marriage. As Bethenny has pointed out, her divorce process lasted twice as long as her marriage as it wasn’t finalized until 2016. In early 2017, Jason was arrested and charged with stalking and harassing Bethenny. She obtained a restraining order against him at the time. During her testimony for the court case, Bethenny detailed the ways that Jason would regularly taunt and harass her prior to that. He sounds like an abusive jerk but since it’s emotional manipulation and not physical abuse I doubt he’ll lose custody. Here’s more:

During a court hearing in New York City on Monday, Frankel, 48, was in tears as she was questioned by one of her attorneys, Ronnie Schindel, who presented a video of a past FaceTime call with Hoppy, 48, that the Real Housewives of New York City star recorded nearly four years ago.

On the May 9, 2015 call, Frankel asked to speak with 8-year-old Bryn, who was with Hoppy at the time, before he hung up the phone on the Bravo personality.

“I have a video I recorded. I was trying to FaceTime Bryn. And I experienced every day and every time I tried to do that, Jason using it as a tool to taunt and harass me. That day I recorded our correspondence — that weekend was Mother’s Day weekend, Bryn’s birthday and birthday party and celebration,” a visibly emotional Frankel said about the video.

“He sent me a series of abusive emails that day. He called me a wise ass, he mocked me, he said I needed to seek help and told me if I couldn’t control my behavior I shouldn’t come to her birthday party. Making me feel not welcome,” alleged Frankel, who went to the party later that day. “It was Jason’s party for her and Jason’s parents and friends surrounded her so I just stood back. … I’m the outsider.”
Her legal counsel then played the footage for the court. In the video, Frankel asked to “talk to Bryn for a minute,” and Hoppy said, “Keep recording me. Keep recording me. Okay, you lost your privilege for recording me,” before he hung up the call.

After the recording played, Frankel claimed that she would experience things like this “two times a day every day” until the order of protection was placed on Hoppy. “Jason would use FaceTimes to taunt me, laugh at me … harass me … torture and taunting every day.”

Also in May 2015, Frankel took a screenshot of a shirtless Hoppy FaceTiming with Bryn, which was presented in the court as evidence. Frankel testified this was “very typical,” and that “Jason would FaceTime Bryn and myself in what appeared to be no clothes on.”

The fourth day in court saw Frankel, whose boyfriend Paul Bernon was there supporting the Skinnygirl mogul, tell the judge that she has “tried everything” to have a positive relationship with Hoppy as they navigate raising their daughter apart.

“I have tried everything. I have tried a brave face, parent coordinating, pleading, ignoring, blocking, surrogates. I have tried everything to collaborate and work in the best interest of my daughter,” she said. “What is best for Bryn is the rational person making good decisions. Everybody just wants to protect their kids.”

[From People]

Bethenny went on to say that Jason has “vowed to destroy” her life and that he “finds creative ways to torture me [and] hurt me and that is not the best interest of Bryn.” She hasn’t heard from Jason since the incident I mentioned above where he harassed her in early 2017. That sounds like a good thing but she also said that he hasn’t apologized or expressed remorse either.

I’ve made it clear that I’m not a fan of Bethenny’s for many justifiable reasons. When I first heard the story about Jason’s abuse I wasn’t sure I believed her version. Now I do though. That doesn’t make her a likable person, but unlikable people can still be victims. The worst part of this story is that they have an eight year-old daughter who has seen her father treat her mother like that for as long as she can remember. I doubt Bethenny is easy to get along with, but I also believe that Jason treated her awfully and looked for ways to hurt her.

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Jason out in 2016 with Bryn, a babysitter and Bryn’s friends.

Photos credit: Getty, WENN and via Instagram

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22 Responses to “Bethenny Frankel testifies that her ex would regularly taunt her shirtless on Facetime”

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  1. Clare says:

    I find Bethany to be unnecessarily mean and a bully – but that doesn’t mean she isn’t a victim of a vicious man. As you say, nasty people can be victims, too.

    Makes me wonder how much of Bethany’s nastiness is a result of the shit this man has put her through. Or is that excuses her bad beavhour? I don’t know.

    • holly hobby says:

      She’s been mean before she met this jerk. All you have to do is watch her season of Martha Stewart Apprentice. It sounds like she met her match with this one – unfortunately.

  2. Sparkly says:

    Emotional abuse is still abuse. Kids who grow up in those environments are not safe or healthy and are very often traumatized (speaking from experience, and it rarely stops at emotional abuse). I hope the judge realizes that.

  3. Livethelifeaquatic says:

    Shirtless? How GAUCHE!

  4. Erinn says:

    “if I couldn’t control my behavior I shouldn’t come to her birthday party”

    I mean… is that wrong? And if it’s a party he’s throwing, then I don’t understand why it’s a surprise that his family and friends are involved. I think a mother would be just as likely to say that to their ex if they were throwing a party and the ex was pissed off.

    I don’t doubt that they’ve come to blows and that both have done some pretty garbage things to each other. I also don’t think Jason is a saint in all of this, despite my opinion on Bethenny. But I guess I’m failing to see the horribleness in some parts of this story. The recording part – not sure on that one which state they would be in/whether it’s a two party consent situation.

    She’s just always seemed like the kind of person who seems oblivious when it comes to her own behavior. I think she’s lived a pretty damaged life, and I do feel bad about that. But at the same time, she’s an adult woman who needs to take accountability for certain things. She seems to alienate everyone around her, and not be aware of when she is being ridiculous. Jason – I don’t know him as well. I am willing to believe there has been some emotional abuse going on, though. And from my brief time watching HW – pre-involvement with Jason she seemed to be unable to get along with a lot of people. But nothing was ever her fault.

    At the end of the day – something clearly needs to change. They’re obviously unable to co-parent at this point, and that really sucks for Bryn.

    • Relli80 says:

      Totally agree on all points.

    • Kebbie says:

      This all seems minor given that he’s been arrested for harassing her and given restraining orders. He was bombarding her with thousands of texts and emails. He’s insane.

    • DS9 says:

      @erinn, the if you can’t control yourself reads as some serious gaslighting based on the other things he’s said and done

  5. Littlefishmom says:

    They are BOTH A**holes. I cannot stomach a minute of this woman.

  6. HK9 says:

    I used to watch the reality show she had years ago with her ex husband. In one of the last episodes they were doing relationship counseling on a boat, and some of the things he said to her when he forgot he had his mic on were shocking. After that-I knew all the stuff she said about him was true. He has his own money, why he continues to treat her this way is a mystery. He can’t seem to move on.

    • theotherViv says:

      THIS! I have said this before on this site: he is a piece of work and kept up the Nice Guy act for a bit while on her show, but you could watch him slowly show his real face- he was constantly saying subtle things belittling her. People were so focussed on how outspoken she always was that they totally let his evil behaviour slide. He was downright nasty while acting like he couldn‘t hurt a fly. He also LOVED when she made that big money selling her company. He smiled through it all thinking how rich he would be now- but he was so so jealous at the same time.

  7. Kerfuffle says:

    Bethenny won’t stop because she thinks that she should have sole custody – Jason is just a sperm donor in her eyes. She’s stating that feeling unwelcome at the birthday party he’s thrown for Bryn’s birthday is emotional abuse? No, it’s not.

  8. Grant says:

    As a rabid RHONY viewer, I find Bethenney to be extremely high-strung, neurotic, and Type A, but I don’t think she is a bad person. I appreciate all of the humanitarian work that she has endeavored within the past few years for places like Puerto Rico, North Carolina, etc. Also, as a family law attorney, it has been my experience that most parties who are involved in long, drawn-out custody disputes aren’t actually trying to protect the best interests of the children; usually, it reaches a point where the litigation is just meant to be a way to say F you to the other side. I can count the number of cases I have had on one hand that lasted longer than one year.

  9. DS9 says:

    And this is why I get twitchy when I see all these threads where people blather on about how you need to get along with your ex when there are children involved.

    You can’t make nice with emotionally abusive jackwagons. It’s not healthy for the other parent. And it’s not all that healthy for the child.

  10. Lala11_7 says:

    I don’t know WHY I watched the reality show when she married this creep…but I did…every episode…

    The dislike between those two…was palatable even BEFORE they said “I do”….

  11. Erin says:

    It sounded like she is there, in court, because “although he has stopped harassing her, he hasn’t apologized or shown remorse.” (paraphrased- I’m on my phone)
    It is my understanding that he is unable to directly contact her in any way while subject to a restraining/protective order. Am I wrong? I understand that he did a lot, hence the order of protection, but if he hasn’t done so in a year, why are you back in court to change custody? I’m just confused at the level of emotion & the weird things she is using to try to show his unfitness to be a parent. I am a parent with 2 exes. There are just some things that you have to get over when you co-parent with someone. Not wearing a shirt is one of those things.

  12. Cara says:

    Bethenny might be hard to get along with and yadda, yadda, yadda, but abuse is never okay and abuse is a soul smasher, even to someone like Bethenny. Her story is very triggering for me as I was once married to someone very much like Jason. My ex is/was way more covert than this guy though, which in a way is worse. Emotional abuse is so unbelievably damaging and unless you have experienced it you just can’t imagine what it is.
    I’m still recovering from the abuse most people never ever saw and don’t believe existed. To be honest, as sick as it is to say, it would have been way easier if he had just broken my nose or given me a black eye.

  13. Mollie says:

    Sparkly, yes!!!!