Real Housewives of New York star, Bethenny Frankel and ex-husband Jason Hoppy have been in a legal war for years over the custody of their daughter Bryn, 8. And now it looks like the once happily married couple are finally going to meet in court.
The Skinny Girl mogul and Hoppy appeared in a Manhattan courtroom on Monday, March 4 for day one of their contentious custody trial, according to RadarOnline.com.
Frankel, 48, wearing a black dress was accompanied by her lawyer, Allan Mayefsky. They met with Hoppy and his lawyer Robert Wallack, before the trial was set to begin in an adjacent conference room.
According to the news outlet, Judge Michael Katz addressed Frankel’s motion to modify their current custody agreement, as her lawyer argued the current joint custody agreement is “no longer viable.”
At the start of the trial, Frankel’s lawyer gave an opening statement, requesting she be granted sole custody and full access to Bryn.
“Why are we doing this? To protect the child,” her lawyer began, “the father’s behavior before and after their marriage is extremely harmful to Bryn. His abusive behavior towards her not only damages her relationship with her mother, but to everyone else in her life.”
Mayefsky continued, “We need to protect the mother. His anger at her for pursuing this divorce is evident. Frankel requested a criminal restraining order. It continues to this day up until these proceedings.”
Mayefsky then accused Hoppy of locking Frankel’s late dog, Cookie in a storage closet.
As well as using his emails to disintegrate her age, looks and mental health, sending her over 500 emails in a 90-day period, and more, as addressed in the past.
“All of this abusive behavior is his refusal to take responsibility,” her lawyer said. “The schedule must change.”
He then accused Hoppy of degrading her in front of Bryn.
“Mr. Hoppy will continue to be controlled by his emotions,” he continued. “His need to sign up for every field trip, and hover her when she is in contact with her mother shows he is out for competitive parenting, not in the best interest of Bryn.”
Robert Wallack, Hoppy’s lawyer then gave his opening statement.
“On June 4, 2014, the parties entered a custody agreement where they agreed to share joint custody,” he began.
He then went on to address his clients past actions, admitting the client (Hoppy) was “wrong.”
“Simply put he acted in appropriately at times,” he said. “But there were times they were arguing over Bryn’s religious beliefs, or phone calls over Bryn. She takes that correspondence and goes to police with the packet of emails and has Jason arrested. But For the last year, the parties have continued to communicate and it’s worked greatly. Let’s talk about Bryn who turns nine in two months. Bryn is doing great.”
Wallack added, “While Bethenny wants to make it about their relationship and their issues, she is not mentioning that agreement is good for Bryn. Bryn is happy. She enjoys both her mom and her dad. As the saying goes, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’”
He called the trial an “unnecessary evil.”
“You Bethenny and you Jason are the lucky ones,” he said. “You both are healthy, have loved ones. You both are blessed. You have a great kid. This is about Bryn, your terrific daughter. Think about Bryn first.”
Hoppy then took the stand.
When Frankel’s lawyer asked if he was angry with Ms. Frankel after the custody agreement, he responded, “It was a contentious time.”
“I’ve taken responsibility the past three years, I just want to move on,” he said. “I take full responsibility for my actions at the time. I regret a lot of things I sent her.”
We will continue to follow todays proceedings, check back soon!