Bethenny Frankel kicks off her talk show hosting duties Monday (June 11) with singer, actress and author Vanessa Williams as the first guest on “Bethenny.” The Skinnygirl mogul and “You Have No Idea” author chat about their tenuous relationships with their mothers and how it carries over into how they raise their own children.
Bethenny vowed to never speak to her estranged mother, Bernadette Burke, again after Bernadette told Star magazine earlier this year that Bethenny and husband Jason Hoppy were headed for divorce. While Vanessa and her mother, Helen Williams, mended some fences by co-writing the memoir “You Have No Idea,” in which Vanessa reveals she was molested as a child and had an abortion in high school — secrets she kept from her mom.
“I don’t want to repeat a lot of the stuff that I went through … my mother would say, ‘No’ and I’d say, ‘Well, you know what? I’m going to do it anyway,'” Vanessa says. “There was a dynamic there.”
“A lot of my life is based on me not wanting to repeat my childhood — the kind of mother my mother was,” Bethenny says. “I know you reconciled with [your mother]. Did you reconcile because you felt, as we get older, that maybe you’d feel guilt later if you didn’t close a chapter? Getting closure. I’ve sometimes felt that the guilt. What would happen if something ever happened to my mother? Who I really don’t have a relationship with … then the guilt. Is that the closure part?”
“I always had a relationship with my mom,” Vanessa says. “The battle stopped once I got married. Then she said, ‘OK, I can’t control her. She has set her life now.'”
“I envy the fact that you were able to write a book with your mother. I couldn’t even imagine my mother even discussing anything that happened in my childhood,” Bethenny says.
Do you think Bethenny and her mom can ever reconcile?