Bethenny Frankel took the stand in her ongoing custody battle with ex-husband Jason Hoppy, Wednesday morning, claiming Hoppy subjected her to emotional and mental “torture” after their 2012 split.
The Real Housewives of New York star, 48, wearing an black and white dress, began crying as she claimed she had once agreed to joint legal custody of their daughter Bryn, 8, because she believed a truce would “stop the bleeding” in their fractured attempts to co-parent.
It was clear that did not work, she described how the conflict erupted into chaos.
“We started to see a parent coordinator, and the intensity of the conflict became greater,” she told family law attorney Ronnie Schindel in a New York courtroom. “The conflict was day in and day out torture. Emotional, mental, phone, FaceTime, being followed, being harassed, being verbally attacked and all-out assault in every possible way, on my character, on my mental state, on my family, on my parenting, on my career, on my life.”
The skinny girl mogul added she was forced to place a padlock on the door of her bedroom in the apartment she then shared with Hoppy, 48.
Frankel continued, saying she “pleaded and begged” her former husband to stop “abusing” her. She said she went as far to hire a criminal attorney.
I was afraid it was affecting my daughter’s emotional well-being” she said. “I felt like what he was doing was illegal.”
Her moves to protect herself only made Hoppy more angry, she claimed in court.
“He said, ‘You don’t scare me with your white-collar attorney.’ He would send me email after email saying, ‘You are cowering behind your attorneys.’ He would send me emails asking about my life insurance policy,” she said. “He was like, ‘You’re a sad, miserable person.’ He would say, ‘Thank God we have a daughter to combat your mental illness.’ He would say, ‘You’re ugly and old and you’re irrelevant.’”
The final straw came in January 2017, an incident she described as Hoppy confronting her in a schoolyard with Bryn at her side.
“He couldn’t control his anger…I was afraid for my safety,” she said.
After that incident, Hoppy was arrested for stalking and harassment following the fight. In October 2017, he struck a plea deal in the case, promising to stay away from Frankel for six months in exchange for a dismissal of the charges.
Later in the testimony, Frankel began sobbing uncontrollably when she accused Hoppy of calling her a “witch” around Bryn.
“He would read witch stories and say, ‘Mommy would be great at being a witch,’” she cried.
After claiming Hoppy would use phone calls with their daughter to ‘abuse’ her, Frankel asked the judge to order her ex to stop “glaring” at her.
Frankel now wants full custody of Bryn, claiming Hoppy is a danger to their young daughter.
For his part Hoppy has said he ‘regrets’ past things he said to Frankel, and has accused his ex of exposing Bryn to things he deemed dangerous as well, namely Frankel’s ex-boyfriend Dennis Shields, who died of a drug overdose in August 2018.