An interior designer by profession, Bernadette Birk is recognized as the mother of The Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel.

Bethenny is an American reality television personality, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and author who came into the limelight after being runner-up on the NBC reality competition series The Apprentice: Martha Stewart in 2005.

Moreover, she has hosted some of her own series: the Bravo spin-offs Bethenny Ever After, the FOX daytime talk show Bethenny, Bethenny & Fredrik, and the HBO Max reality competition series The Big Shot with Bethenny.

Bernadette Birk Age and Ancestry

Bernadette Birk was born in a strict Christian family in 1950 and was raised following Roman Catholicism.

Born in America, she holds American nationality but has Welsh ancestry.

She started her schooling at a Catholic school and might have attended and received a degree from the university.

She probably studied interior designing which she later took as her career.

After successfully working as an interior designer for more than 40 years, she has now ended her career and is living a retired life.

Bernadette Birk’s Two Failed Marriages

Bernadette Birk married her first husband Robert J. Frankel in early 1970 in Brooklyn, New York.

Birk changed her religion from Catholic to Judaism after her marriage with Robert.

The couple welcomed their only daughter Bethenny Frankel on November 4, 1970, the same year of their wedding.

Bernadette Birk’s former husband Robert J. Frankel and daughter Bethenny Frankel

After 4 years of their wedding, the couple split quietly without revealing the reason for their divorce.

However, there were several rumors that she was secretly having an affair with her ex-husband’s friend and a competitor John Parsiella.

Bernadette Birk on her second wedding

After a year of divorce from her first husband, Bernadette married John in 1975. She was 24 at the time of her second marriage.

Like her first, her second marriage didn’t last either. She and Parsiella split after some years.

First Husband: Robert Frankel

Her former husband Robert Julian Frankel, born on November 4, 1970, was an American thoroughbred racehorse trainer who was regarded as one of the most successful and respected trainers in the history of thoroughbred racing

He won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer 5 times and was also inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1995.

Robert remained single for many years and finally got married to Bonita Boniface in 2003. But they later divorce in 2006.

He died of leukemia on November 16, 2009, in California, at the age of 68.

Second Husband: John Parsiella

Birk’s former spouse John Parsiella is an American horse trainer who has trained some popular racehorses Fight Over and Simply Majestic.

Bernadette Birk with her ex-husband John Parisella and daughter Frankel
Source: Daily Mail

He was also married twice. After his divorce from Bernadette, he tied the knot with Melissa Parisella in the 1980s.

The couple has a daughter named Gabrielle, born in 1989, from their short-term marital life.

Daughter, Bethenny Frankel is a Celebrity

Her daughter Bethenny Frankel is an American reality TV star, entrepreneur, talk show host, and author. She was born on November 4, 1970, in New York City, U.S.

Frankel attended several schools in her childhood and graduated from New York University with a degree in psychology and communications.

She initially worked in several small roles in the movies and also started a business BethennyBakes.

Bethenny appeared as a contestant in the reality TV series The Apprentice: Martha Stewart and also reached the finals.

In 2008, she started appearing in the Bravo television series The Real Housewives of New York City.

Moreover, she has hosted her own series Bethenny Getting Married?, Bethenny, and The Big Shot with Bethenny.

Bethenny Frankel’s Relationship and Daughter

The TV star married Peter Sussman, an entertainment executive, in 1996. However, they split after a year.

Frankel then tied the knot with Jason Hoppy in March 2010. The couple became the parents of a daughter Bryn.

Bethenny Frankel and her daughter
Source: Bravotv

The couple split in December 2012. Frankel filed for divorce in January 2013 which was finalized in January 2021.

Bethenny then started dating film producer Paul Bernon and is currently engaged to him.

Bernadette Birk-Bethenny Frankel Relationship

Bernadette Birk doesn’t have a good relationship with her daughter Bethenny Frankel and has been estranged from her.

After her parents’ divorce, the RHONY star lived with her mother but revealed that she “never had a true childhood”.

She also blamed her mom for not being a mother to her and said that her parents caused a lot of self-destructive behavior in her life.

Bernadette Birk also appeared in an interview and called her daughter a liar.

‘Bethenny is a liar and a shark. She ran through my guts and she will get along with the other sharks. She is a moron, She got very lucky, and she just knows how to surround herself with people who are intelligent.’

The feud between the mother and daughter has been since the early 2000s.

Bethenny mentioned her difficult childhood and her parents in her memoir A Place of Yes: 10 Rules For Getting Everything You Want Out Of Life in 2011.

She also blamed her family for alcoholism and violent fights when she was a child.

Bethenny once tried to connect to her mother after her daughter Bryn Hoppy asked her about her grandmother.

“My daughter said, ‘Mommy, are your parents alive? […] I want to meet your mommy.’ And I thought, ‘Oh God, I’ve got to reach out to her.”

Bethenny recalled.

She called Bernadette and asked her to meet Bryn however, Birk refused and said she has no motherly feelings for her daughter and her family. 

“I don’t think she really reached out, her daughter asked about me. She didn’t reach out; the daughter did. It took me a long time to get over [Bethenny’s] lies and I have no feelings for her at all. She didn’t leave a number and quite honestly, I didn’t think to ask for it.”

Earnings and Net worth

The mother of the reality star, Birk worked as an interior designer during her career. Her average earnings from her profession is reported to be $45 thousand on average.

Her daughter Frankel’s net worth is $80 Million in 2022. She makes a huge income as a reality star, businesswoman, and show host.

She owned a Skinnygirl cocktail line in 2009 which she sold for $120 million in 2011.

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