Days after a Chicago cop filed a lawsuit against Bravo and some cast members of the Real Housewives of New Jersey, the network is now responding by stating the lawsuit has no merit.
The lawsuit filed by police officer Adolfo Arreola and his cousin Jason A. Gomez claims they were savagely beaten up by Joe Giudice, Albie Manzo, and Chris Manzo during a brawl that took place earlier this year in the Dominican Republic. Adolfo stated in the filing that the drama began after Teresa Giudicesprayed champagne on his mother-in-law at a club and refused to apologize. He claims he was then attacked by the guys after confronting Teresa.
However, we pointed out yesterday that there was a major hurdle for Adolfo to overcome in the lawsuit filing. What you ask? Well Adolfo himself admitted he and his cousin Jason received $25,000 each in hush money to sign a release in which they also promised never to sue or speak out about the case. In fact, the men used some of that money to pay off their Dominican Republic attorneys.
And despite their claims that they signed the release under duress and to be able to leave the country, the Bravo network (which presumably paid the sum) sees things very differently.
In a statement issued Tuesday night, Bravo stated that the $25,000 settlements which were negotiated by Adolfo and Jason “will be enforced and these claims are completely without merit.”
Bravo also added that the show was not taping at the time the incident occurred, which might explain why previous reports stated the brawl would not be televised. The statement in full is below -
“Bravo has not seen a copy of the complaint so we cannot comment on the specifics. We can, however correct the misstatements that were reported. The Real Housewives of New Jersey was NOT taping at the time the incident occurred. We believe that the settlement agreements both the plaintiffs and their lawyers previously negotiated and signed will be enforced and these claims are completely without merit.”
This all stems from the widely reported brawl that took place earlier this year when the RHONJ cast visited the Dominican Republic for a vacation which was being filmed for the Bravo hit show.
Adolfo Arreola (pictured above), an officer with the University of Illinois at Chicago’s police department, claims he suffered a broken arm, blurred vision, cuts and bruises after some members of the cast “savagely beat, kicked, punched, scratched, jumped” on him and smashed glass on his head, according to his lawsuit.
His cousin Jason A. Gomez (pictured below) also claims he suffered a broken leg and a torn MCL after he came to Adolfo’s defense.
In the lawsuit uncovered by the Chicago Tribune, Adolfo, 42, and his cousin allege that on the early morning of Feb. 23, they and their families were dancing and socializing at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino bar in Punta Cana when Teresa sprayed champagne on Adolfo’s mother-in-law and mocked the 53-year-old woman as she tried to wipe the alcohol from her eyes. They allege other cast members stood around her laughing at the incident.
Adolfo states that after that, he confronted Teresa, and was attacked by cast members that included her husband,Joe Giudice, and sons of Caroline – Albieand Chris Manzo. Bravo is named in the lawsuit as well as Albie & Chris’s roommate Gregory Bennett. The earlier reports that came out stated Joe was “beating on the guy” and struck a male patron with glass.
However, this is where things get a little tricky as Adolfo acknowledges in the lawsuit that two days after the encounter on Feb. 25, he and his cousin signed an agreement agreeing to drop the matter in exchange for $25,000 apiece as long as they agreed never to sue or talk about the incident publicly.
In fact, the cousins immediately paid $8,000 to their Dominican lawyer though they claim they never cashed their $17,000 cut. Adolfo and Jason are however now claiming they signed that agreement under duress so that they could get their passports back and leave the country. Their lawyer is asking a court to declare the release invalid. It’s not clear where the money came from but it might be safe to assume it came from Bravo. It was also reported a while back that the network had no plans to air any of the fight footage.
Adolfo claims he underwent surgery on his right arm and is now undergoing physical therapy. And as for those reports that stated he punched Teresa in the face, Adolfo denies those claims.
More pictures below of Adolfo and his cousin Jason’s injuries.
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE LAWSUIT? DO YOU THINK IT HAS ANY MERIT?
Last night’s episode of Real Housewives of New Jersey was all about the role of the mother and life’s ever changing directions. Melissa struggles with balancing future pop-stardom with Gorga/Giudice drama, The Caroline still (always and forever) has empty-nest syndrome, Jacqueline is forced into buying the undeserving Ashley a car,Kathy is confused about what show she is on as she tries to educate her children and the public, and Teresa,well she dressed her daughters in matching gold leather vests and attempted to repair her family relations in another round of Gorga vs. Gorga. Can we just get to the C-Celebrity death match already and put this thing to rest?
Things begin at the Gorga household (which is decorated like a funeral home) where Melissa randomly bursts into a very ungraceful version of “Amazing Grace” prompting her husband and soon-to-be manager (spouse-ager? husband-ager?) to exclaim that she sounds like she is coming out of a radio! Cue home movies of a young Melissa aka “future supa star” performing. Melissa explains it was her father who wanted to make her a star – so that explains how she started chasing cameras! Melissa and Non-Juicy Joe come up with a plan – he will become her father (creepy! I am assuming he meant support her as her father did?) and help her pursue her dream! She will be a part-time mommy/part-time pop star! I’m envisioning Jazz Hands here as I type this.
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Melissa spoke to TV Guide this week during which she touched on her portrayal on the show (she doesn’t feel she was edited fairly for the first 1 -2 episodes), her sister-in-law Teresa Giudice (“a leopard cannot change it’s spots” says Melissa), her singing, and how she really came about being on the show. Excerpts from Melissa’s interview below -
Do you feel you’ve been portrayed fairly on the show so far?
Melissa: I’m going to have to say the first one or two episodes I was a little disappointed with and I felt that they were heavily edited. And they were. I get it because they wanted to come out with a bang. I do feel like the more you get to know us and know my family, you’re going to see more of the real us and more of the real me and the real Joe. They’re definitely edited, but I feel like now as I’m watching, I’m seeing more of who we are.
Teresa has told the press that you and Kathy approached Bravo about joining the show and not the other way around. Is there any truth to that?
Melissa: What happened was, I was really just driving in my car on a Friday afternoon when they called me. They just said, “Hi, its The Real Housewives of New Jersey producers. We’re from Bravo. We want to interview you.” I have no idea how they found me. I think they found Kathy on Facebook. Neither of us pursued it, wanted it, were looking for it — it just kind of fell into our laps. Bravo is smart, they figured it out. They heard through the grapevine that there was some type of tension. … They caught on to it.
Do you have faith that your truth about your and Joe’s relationship with Teresa will come by the end of the season?
Melissa: Yes. I know it was said. I know that it was filmed so I don’t know what they’re going to choose to air and what they are going to choose not to air.
In the last episode, Teresa made a distinction between her old self — who threw out your cookies and things like that — and the new Teresa. Have you seen a difference?
Melissa: I think maybe she’s trying. She’s trying to be a new Teresa, but Teresa is Teresa. You cannot change a person. A leopard does not change their spots. … You can say what you want to the people, but I feel like it’s very transparent and everyone sees right through it. I know I do. I see certain times where she is acting a certain way, and I just wonder: Does America see it or is it just me?
Viewers are also going to get your pop star side as you start pursuing a singing career. How long have you been singing and trying to go professional?
Melissa: I have been singing my whole life, but never professionally. It’s just something that I always loved. … This is a great stepping stone for it. I have had the talent my whole life. I have always been the girl who can get on the stage and not be shy. I’m so excited that they captured this all, because it’s a little biography for me as well because I have to see the steps I had to go through to make this happen.
Moving on to tonight’s new episode of the RHONJ (the show moves to Sundays tonight). On the 5th episode this season titled “Stick It,” Teresa encounters her brother for the first time since the tumultuous christening. Elsewhere, Melissa tries to fulfill her dream of being a pop star; Caroline plans to offer matronly advice on the radio; and Jacqueline’s daughter plots to get a car. It airs at 10/9c. A preview clip is below.
Watch What Happens Live – The guests tonight are Flipping Outstars Jeff Lewis and Jenni Pulos. And earlier today, Jenni tweeted of photo of her and Andy Cohen and err, she is looking a bit different. Well, we’ll let you be the judge. The pic is below!
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON MELISSA’S INTERVIEW PLUS THE PREVIEW & TONIGHT’S NEW EPISODE?
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According to reports, a kitchen fire broke out on Tuesday at the Brownstone, before fire officials ultimately stopped the blaze at the establishment. A source reveals it took a total of two hours to get things under control.
Following the incident, Caroline, 49, posted the following on her twitter page – “Thanks for your concern everyone @thebrownstonenj fire is contained no injuries back to business!” Caroline’s son Chris Manzo also chimed in tweeting, “The Brownstone is fine thank u for asking, can’t leave that place for a second.”
Meanwhile, after rumors first came out last year that Bravo had given Caroline’s sons Chris, 22, and Albie Manzo, 25, their own spin-off show, the network announced last week the Manzo boys do indeed have a spin-off albeit a web-spinoff a la Simon van Kempen.
The seven-episode series, which premiered two weeks ago, was shot in Hoboken and will focus on the guys’ lives in their new waterfront bachelor pad. Each episode is roughly about five minutes long and can be seen on Bravotv.com immediately following the airing of the RHONJ.
And finally, just 4 weeks into the third season of the NJ Housewives, Bravo announced the series has been renewed for a fourth season. Not much of a shocker as the show has been receiving pretty darn good ratings. The RHONJ brought in the highest-rated season premiere in Housewives history with 2.87 million total viewers, and has averaged 2.64 million viewers in its first four episodes.
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON CHRIS & ALBIE’S WEB SPIN-OFF? SURPRISED BY NJ’S HIGH RATINGS? DO VIEWERS LOVE THE DRAMA?
Last night the Real Housewives of New Jersey was all about giving thanks even if you don’t want to. Teresa is thankful her friends still put up with her after all her drama, Jacqueline is thankful that Ashley finally learned how to operate a vacuum cleaner, Caroline is thankful Vito hasn’t proposed so Lauren won’t be leaving her, Melissa is thankful that she has Non-Juicy (?) and Kathy is thankful she can bake. And if I were friends with Kathy, I would be thankful for that too.
The episode started out with Melissa and Non-Juicy grocery shopping for Thanksgiving where Melissa grabs some butt that isn’t Joe’s! Melissa spends the entire shopping trip whining at Non-Juicy until I just zoned out and pretended I was watching Extreme Couponing. Meanwhile at Kathy’s house more yummy cooking is happening since she is making all the deserts for the Gorga-giving celebration. Ruining a perfectly delicious scene is talk of Teresa and Non-Juicy’s “sibling rivalry.” Kathy’s hubby Rich mentions that if Teresa shows up at Gorga-giving something interesting might happen to prevent food coma like another BRAWL! Oh Rich, don’t give the Bravo editors any ideas… Kathy is so distracted by all the Teresa talk she burns some pies and freaks out.
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Teresa Giudice once again graces the cover of In Touch Weekly magazine, this time around under the heading “I’m Over It.” And Teresa, 39, isn’t really over the show, but more over her first cousin Kathy Wakile, 45, whom she feels has turned on her.
“Kathy’s trash-talking me,” Teresa complains. “Really, she’s kind of two-faced and she’s taken it to a whole other level. Everyone who watches the show will eventually see that side of her.”
Teresa goes on to reveal that she and Kathy were more like sisters than cousins growing up, and continued to be close, until Kathy switched her allegiance to her sister-in-law Melissa Gorga. “Kathy’s really tight with Melissa,” she notes.
Teresa adds that Kathy’s budding friendship with Melissa isn’t the only problem but that she also feels betrayed when Kathy allows her husband, Richie Wakile, to tease her. “He’s always on me, saying stupid stuff like, ‘How many times have you gone to the mall this week Teresa?’ He is very arrogant, and Kathy never sticks up for me.”
As for Kathy, she wrote in her Bravo blog recently: “[Richie] is a joker and likes to tease everyone. To quote my husband, he doesn’t give a ‘rat’s ass’ about how much Teresa spends.” Teresa goes on to add that she’s tired of being the punching bag for her relatives. “How can they treat me like this? I’m just over it!” she states. Seems like everyone else is the problem except for Teresa.
You can read more of Teresa’s interview in the current issue of In Touch Weekly.
Moving on to tonight’s all new episode of the NJ Housewives. On the 4th episode this season titled, “Gobblefellas,” the wives’ Thanksgiving is stuffed with drama, resentment and regret. Divisions mark Turkey Day when Teresa presides over a “friendsgiving” feast for only Jacqueline, Caroline and their families. Conversely, the Gorgas host a separate get-together with the Wakiles.
It airs at 9/8c. A preview clip is below -
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON TERESA’S INTERVIEW & TONIGHT’S NEW EPISODE?