Reality TV star, talk show host and entrepreneur Bethenny Frankel appeared in court with her estranged husband, Jason Hoppy, in New York City on Wednesday in a bitter custody battle for their 4-year-old daughter, Bryn.
When Frankel, 43, took the stand, she related some unpleasant details about the unraveling of her marriage as part of her testimony. The entrepreneur behind the Skinnygirl brand of cocktails claimed Hoppy changed after she presented him with a letter asking for a divorce in 2012.
“He told me we were going all the way,” Frankel alleged to Justice Ellen Gesmer. “If you want to end this, I'll never talk to you again,” she said, quoting Hoppy.
Frankel also said Hoppy threatened to “destroy” her, called her “garbage," and said "Get ready, we're going to war," after she filed for divorce.
“You're already losing fans. I'm going to ruin you,” she said, quoting Hoppy.
When asked how she responded to his threats, Frankel said, “I know you're angry, we can be a family, we can be friends. You won't always feel this way.”
Later she admitted she “cracked,” calling Hoppy “white trash” and telling him, “I was so wrong about you. I didn’t think you were this person, all about money.”
She told the justice she knew their divorce would be public and didn’t want to make it any worse for either of them or their daughter.
“I said, 'Let's make this quick. We don't want this to be a spectacle,'” Frankel recalled, adding that Hoppy allegedly kept taunting her with statements like “You are dead to me. I want nothing to do with you. You are a piece of sh*t.”
After a brief recess for lunch, Frankel continued her emotional testimony, saying that living in the same New York apartment with Hoppy after filing for divorce was "brutal, horrendous, excruciating."
She gave examples of how he allegedly would “leave the apartment in shambles” and never give her and daughter Bryn any alone time.
“If I was reading to her in bed, he'd crawl in bed and make faces at me,” she said.
She also claimed he recorded her, checked her e-mail and sent a private investigator to follow her. She called Hoppy “relentless” and “angry,” calling his actions “torture,” and even accused him of mistreating their family dog, Cookie. She told the justice Hoppy would lock the dog in the storage unit and drop her off at a doggie hotel without telling Frankel where she was until much later.
Frankel said she eventually moved out of their Hudson Street home and into into a two-bedroom rental in Tribeca, which put a strain on their care for Bryn.
She said before the separation, their daughter ate a healthy vegetarian diet, but afterward, Hoppy allegedly fed her “hot dogs, bacon and fried chicken.”
She said he also sabotaged her Skype calls with Bryn, asking the little girl “to say goodbye after 30 seconds” and saying during story time that "mommy should be the witch” or that “she should play Ursula."
Frankel got teary-eyed during her testimony, and the justice handed her tissues.
The court recessed for the day at 4:30 p.m. ET. The couple is expected back in court on June 11, according to People Magazine, but no word yet on whether Hoppy will take the stand.
Frankel and Hoppy wed in March 2010 in a ceremony that was shown on a Bravo network special called "Bethenny Getting Married?" and Frankel filed for divorce in January 2013.