Bethenny Frankel requests full custody of daughter, calls Ex’s behavior ‘abusive’

After a years-long divorce and custody battle, Bethenny Frankel and ex-husband Jason Hoppy faced one another in a New York City courtroom on Monday, March 4, as the Real Housewives of New York City star, 48, sought full custody of their 8-year-old daughter, Bryn.

“Why are we doing this? To protect the child,” Frankel’s lawyer told the court, according to RadarOnline.com. “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.”

Frankel’s lawyer outlined other ways in which Hoppy, 48, allegedly bullied the reality star. “[He was] physically pulling the child away from Ms. Frankel, leaving negative articles out about Ms. Frankel, [and] doesn’t flush the toilet,” he said in his opening argument, according to the New York Post’s Page Six. “[He] locked up Cookie [Frankel’s late dog], in a storage closet and wouldn’t reveal her whereabouts for hours.”

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Jason Hoppy and Bethenny Frankel in happier times
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Jason Hoppy and Bethenny Frankel in happier times
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 12: Bethenny Frankel (R) and Jason Hoppy are seen on March 12, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Mario Magnani/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: (L-R) Bethenny Frankel, Jason Hoppy and Nari Gill attend SELF Magazine Celebrates Cover Star Bethenny Frankel at Beauty & Essex on April 24, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Henry S. Dziekan III/Getty Images for SELF Magazine)
BETHENNY EVER AFTER -- 'Paradise Found'' Episode 310 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jason Hoppy, Bethenny Frankel -- (Photo by: Luke Inman/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
BETHENNY EVER AFTER -- ''Aspen-ational' Episode 313 -- Pictured: (l-r) Bethenny Frankel, Jason Hoppy -- (Photo by: Zach Ornitz/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 02: Jason Hoppy and Bethenny Frankel are seen with daughter Bryn Hoppy on the streets of Manhattan on January 2, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Alo Ceballos/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 25: (L to R) TV personalities Jason Hoppy, Bethenny Frankel, and Bryn Hoppy play in a Tribeca park on May 25, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
�2010 GAMEPIKS Bethenny Frankel and her husband Jason Hoppy sit courtside as they attend the Los Angeles Lakers/Sacramento Kings NBA game at Staples Center in Los Angeles on December 3, 2010. The Lakers defeated the Kings 113-80 to end their four-game losing streak. XYZ (Photo by Philip Ramey/Corbis via Getty Images)
BETHENNY EVER AFTER -- 'I Need Some Lovin�( From My Oven' Episode 208 -- Pictured: (l-r) Bethenny Frankel, Jason Hoppy (Photo by Isabella Vosmikova/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
BETHENNY EVER AFTER -- 'Paradise Found'' Episode 310 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jason Hoppy, Bethenny Frankel -- (Photo by: Luke Inman/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
MIAMI - FEBRUARY 27: Bethenny Frankel and Jason Hoppy are seen on the beach on February 27, 2011 in Miami, Florida. (Photo By Fred Hernandez/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic)
�2010 GAMEPIKS Bethenny Frankel and her husband Jason Hoppy sit courtside as they attend the Los Angeles Lakers/Sacramento Kings NBA game at Staples Center in Los Angeles on December 3, 2010. The Lakers defeated the Kings 113-80 to end their four-game losing streak. XYZ (Photo by Philip Ramey/Corbis via Getty Images)
BETHENNY EVER AFTER -- 'Skinny Girl Event' -- Pictured: (center l-r) Bethenny Frankel, Jason Hoppy (Photo by Barbara Nitke/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
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During the proceedings on Monday, the court heard a text message exchange in which Hoppy told Frankel to “think of the example” she was setting for Bryn, adding that the Bravo personality was “perceived as a mean girl.” Frankel’s response: “Fyi, this ‘mean girl’s’ ratings are way up. And provides for you, bryn, and pays your rent. … You’re welcome to hire a parenting lawyer.”

Hoppy’s lawyer contended that his client has shown remorse for his past behavior and just wants to move forward with the existing joint custody agreement intact.

“While Bethenny seems intent on making this trial about her and Jason, and about the alleged issues between the two, this court must instead be guided by what is best for this child,” the lawyer argued, per Radar. “And the evidence will show that Bryn is happy, healthy, smart and well-adjusted.”

Frankel and Hoppy married in March 2010, split in December 2012 and finalized their divorce in July 2016. The RHONY star, who was previously married to Peter Sussman from 1996 to 1997, is now dating Paul Bernon.

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