How did all this go so wrong between Jill and Bethenny? Jill is a giver. She gives relentlessly, whether you want it or not, and expects equal payback as though friendship is a stock she’s optioning. Some people find that comforting; others don’t. There was a time in which she took over Bethenny’s life, and gave her love and good times and a place to stay in the Hamptons and her mother Gloria’s advice. I think they had fun together. I also think that Jill expected Bethenny to take Jill along with her as she grew her brand and career – that somehow to Jill the friendship she gave Bethenny was an emotional investment from which she wanted business dividends. To me that’s faulty logic. Most of us on the show are working as hard as we can to grow our businesses or otherwise better our lives for our families and ourselves by hard work and creativity, not by hitching our wagons to our castmates. When Bethenny fell in love, her heart found a home in Jason and she felt complete. Friendships always go through the ringer when people fall in love, and that’s when you see whom your real friends are. The ones who are superficial fall away, and the ones who are in deep stick around. There are friends I’ve had for decades and sometimes we don’t talk for a couple of years because we’ve been too busy having babies or working or something. We ALWAYS circle back, even if it’s just a hit and run email to let them know we’re thinking of them. Simon and I got to meet a few of those friends of Bethenny’s last weekend at her wedding, and I believe Bethenny thought she had a similar friendship with Jill. It was a crazy, work filled and falling-in-love summer and I think to her, falling in love was something Jill should understand, support and step away from so she and Jason could figure out where this relationship was going before the cameras started rolling in September. Instead of that, B got angry phone calls, the “why aren’t you taking me with you,” harangue again and again, whether it was a vacation or hosting the Today Show, etc. etc. I see how it happened, and I’m not surprised.
Regardless of how it started, a huge divide got even bigger when Bethenny phoned Jill. I thought it was reprehensible that Jill put Bethenny on speakerphone and didn’t announce LuAnn, and also that LuAnn wanted Jill to say she was alone. Let’s get one thing straight. It’s true that when we make reality TV, we are often asked to place calls on speaker. The biggest reason for that is so there’s no microphone reverb and they can record both sides. It DOESN’T automatically mean there are other housewives around. Yes, the crew is there, and yes, we know two million viewers will see it six months later, but it’s also a real conversation and we don’t expect that other cast members are lurking. The nasty smirks on Jill and LuAnn’s faces, coupled with Bethenny’s tears and disoriented wandering around the sidewalk, pretty much tell the whole story.