The Hollywood Reporter interviewed Jeel and dropped a very interesting story today. One paragraph in particular, buried in the middle, really stood out. It seems that Bethenny became a star with truckloads of money, and it’s all because of Jeel’s brilliant eye for casting. Bethenny became a bestselling author, left the Real Housewives of NYC, landed her own show on Bravo, then sold the rights to her Skinnygirl cocktails to Jim Beam for upwards of $100-120 million. When you have a gigantic deluded ego, you tend to exclude and deny anything you don’t want to hear. Then you assume responsibility for everything good that happens in the world. So how did Jeel seem to take credit for casting Bethenny and making Bravo tons of money? Here’s what my intuition is allegedly telling me.
What likely happened is that Bravo was chatting with Jeel one day, and Jeel had this friend Bethenny. Wouldn’t it be cute if her friend could also be on the show? She wasn’t even a housewife! Just the poor best friend. She had once been on Martha Stewart’s reality show, so let’s help out poor Bethenny and throw her a bone. Then Jeel has someone to hang out with during filming. How many times have we seen a friend of a reality show character appear on a show? A lot. What Jeel never imagined in a million years was that she and Bethenny would move from the friends category over to bitter enemies. And the drama surrounding their “breakup” would be the driving force that inadvertently helped build Bethenny’s startup brand into an empire. Yes, Jeel did accidentally build Bethenny up, but not deliberately. I suspect that if Jeel had the most remote inkling that they would end up as bitter friends, Jeel would be fired from the show, and Bethenny would become a multi-millionaire with her own show, she would have quickly changed her mind about “casting” friend Bethenny as Bravo‘s biggest breakout star.
Meanwhile, Jeel is in reality TV entertainment limbo spending a lot of time maintaining the destruction of her career on Twitter with one bizarre statement after another, day after day. (I’m not complaining. Let’s just hope she keeps it up!) Here’s the Hollywood Reporter question and Jeel’s answer.
It has been reported the network let you go after ongoing salary disputes.
That is absolutely untrue. First of all, we were finally making a decent amount of money last season. That was never a concern. They’re getting a lot of money now, so that’s another thing I’m disappointed about. I didn’t get to make the money I feel I deserved. I didn’t just help make the show popular; I cast it. I brought in Bethenny [Frankel], and I don’t get a percentage of anything she spins off. The first, second and third season salary pretty much added up to the fourth season. I worked really hard.
I have to ask, if Bethenny hadn’t really taken off, or worse, completely failed in the reality TV arena, would Jeel be accepting the blame for Bethenny’s failure? The truth is that Jeel wants what Bethenny has. And she believes none of this would have ever happened if it weren’t for her brilliant casting eye. If Jeel is really this amazing at casting, I might suggest she start a production company and just start casting talent for reality TV shows. If that’s really what happened, then this new business could be bigger than Skinnygirl. She could be the Simon Cowell of reality TV. Don’t hold your breath.
The only thing Jeel is doing right now is making Bravo really glad they ended the relationship sooner than later.
“My husband and I were recently in L.A. for meetings about a potential television opportunity. And now I finally have the freedom to do that,” Jeel says.
So no hard feelings then because there’s a possible Jeel Zarun reality show coming down the pipeline? It’s virtually impossible to break a fame addiction. The perks, life in the fast lane, money, glamour and attention are so delicious.
And of course, I personally want a new show for Jeel because I can’t resist a good train wreck. And Jeel is the biggest, best train wreck that ever was and may ever be. My only fear is that Jeel gets too heavily involved in the editing process of her potential new show and the villain character she plays so masterfully is twisted into the role of a saint. Nobody wants to see that happen.
And just for fun, a Real Housewives Hollywood Reporter clip.