Earlier this week we talked about how Bethenny Frankel got outed for telling a lie or rather over-dramatizing an adventure she had on the high seas. According to her, and what she told the press, Bethenny and her husband were almost shipwrecked. According to the captain of the ship that was far from the truth and there was never any danger. That lie, or slight fabrication, was something Bethenny did to boost ratings for her reality show. It might have slightly hurt her credibility as an accurate storyteller but she did it to actually help her career.
However, this week Bethenny has now been caught lying about her finances and real business. It turns out that Bethenny’s Skinnygirl cocktail mix, reportedly sold for $120 million, was actually sold for $8.1 million. When news of the former Real Housewives of New York star’s Skinnygirl sale broke, Forbes magazine reported that she was one of the highest-earning women in entertainment, topping Beyonce, Taylor Swift and Angelina Jolie. Forbes is taking this accusation very seriously as they put Frankel on the cover and touted her as the next big celebrity entrepreneur. Dan Bigman, Forbes Executive Editor told Huffington Post, “We based our numbers at the time of reporting on solid sources. We’re aware of the new information [uncovered by HuffPost Celebrity] and we’re looking into it right now. We’re going to review all the information thoroughly and talk to Ms. Frankel before taking any steps. If there are any inaccuracies, we’ll correct them. If clarification is required, we’ll do so.”
It should be noted that Bethenny has removed from her website the Forbes cover that declared her “the it girl of reality TV [who] sold her line of Skinnygirl drinks for $100 million,” which leads me to think the number was certainly not $120 million. She may have never officially confirmed that number but she never said it was $8.1 million either. If they do have to retract the statement or provide clarification this could severely damage Bethenny’s career as a businesswoman, which she has taken pride in saying she is. Her credibility has been severely weakened. Her celebrity status may not be tarnished but her business potential is.
According to a recent study from Marie Claire Magazine, 74% of readers say the odd fib at work is inevitable, 47% say they lie one to three times on any given day and 71% have stretched the truth when calling in sick. According to BNET writer Steve Tobak, though you may get caught in a lie, it is not necessarily a career killer, at least for people in business and if the lie isn’t that scandalous. It also helps if they are very high up in the company. The most common reason for lying at work is to change the subject or avoid a topic. This includes denying knowledge of an event or situation, saying that a call will be returned, claiming that another call is coming through, or even that they were not present when certain information was sent out. But even lying for the best possible intention can result in compromised credibility, questioned integrity, and negatively impacted business success with co-workers and clients alike.