Bethenny Frankel, Jennifer Gilbert, Kelly Kiloren Bensimon

Giovanni Rufino/Bravo

This season, fan favorite Bethenny Frankel isn't going to be an absentee housewife. But she is going to be a nonexistent one.

Bravo's breakout solo star has finally announced the inevitable: She will not be returning as one of the Real Housewives of New York when the show begins filming its fourth season next month.

Not for all the satchels of gold in Manhattan.

It's hardly surprising news, as Bethenny has hinted of her nonreturn since the third hellacious—and friendship-destroying—season wrapped earlier this year, but it will nevertheless deliver quite the blow to the Bravo family.

"Last season was scary and painful," Frankel told Us Weekly by way of explanation, adding that she didn't "see any reason to go back."

"It took all of the joy out of it."

The 39-year-old new mom (and, finally, veritable housewife—how's that for ironic timing?) spent most of last season feuding with former BFF Jill Zarin and trying to fend off the obnoxious and roundly offensive non sequiturs (and professional critiques) lobbed by Kelly Bensimon.

Can't imagine why she wouldn't want to go back for more.

Still, Bethenny is unlikely to be off Bravo's screens for long. According to Us Weekly, she's still contracted to pop up on RHONY despite her aversion to being a full-time castmate, and if Andy Cohen has his way, it's highly likely her small-screen return will come courtesy of a second season of her motherhood- and marriage-chronicling spinoff, Bethenny Getting Married?

Provided it gets a new title.


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