'Real Housewives' stars 'relieved' Bethenny Frankel left show, Luann De Lesseps says

Luann de Lesseps is opening up about Bethenny Frankel’s departure from “The Real Housewives of New York.”

Luann de Lesseps said in a new interview that despite the initial “shock” of Frankel's exit, she believes the series is “better than ever” without the Skinnygirl CEO.

“I think the whole cast is relieved in a way,” de Lesseps said on “The Jenny McCarthy Show.” “It also leaves breathing room for other women to shine and show their personalities.”

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“A lot was Bethenny coming in and kind of stealing the show, but guess what? She can’t steal our show,” de Lesseps continued. “This season is amazing, and I can’t wait for everyone to see the new season.”

When asked about her reaction about Frankel’s exit, de Lesseps revealed she was “surprised and not surprised.”

“I was shocked … I was, you know, surprised and not surprised in a way because I think that she is in a relationship that I don’t think she wants to bring around on the show,” de Lesseps said in reference to Frankel’s relationship with boyfriend Paul Bernon.

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Speaking on Bethenny herself, the Countess said, “she’s a lot of fun, she can be really nasty … she’s very funny.” “Those are the people you kind of get up for in the morning because they challenge you.”

“I just feel like that part I’ll kind of miss because it’s kind of — you know, it’s challenging,” she added. “And I found kind of fun in it … I’ll miss her, but at the same time when you’re around her it’s like walking on egg shells.”

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Season 12 of “The Real Housewives of New York City” is expected to premiere next year on Bravo.