Real Housewives of New York star Bethenny Frankel is trying to deal with her failed marriage with ex-husband Jason Hoppy, father of her only child Bryn. As part of Bethenny’s healing process, she decides to visit her formerly estranged stepfather John Parisella, who raised her since she was five years old. Saying Frankel had a difficult childhood is an understatement. She wrote about it in her memoir, A Place of Yes. But she still has questions. So she went to meet with “the only real father” she’s known, her stepfather, John Parisella. Bethenny’s father Bobby Frankel didn’t stick around to see Bethenny grow up. He died in 2009.
Like Robert Frankel, John Parisella was a successful racehorse trainer. Parisella trained horses for celebrities including James Caan and Don Rickles. He was known for training Fight Over and Simply Majestic. He had 1,222 first place finishes in 6,692 starts and more than $22 million in career earnings. He married Bethenny’s mother, Bernadette Birk, in 1975, when Bethenny was 5 years old, and raised her like she was his own. Parisella later remarried and had a daughter but that marriage also ended in divorce. Real Housewives of New York airs Thursdays at 10pm on Bravo.