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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.”
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.
Photos credit: Getty, WENN and via Instagram