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It seems Teresa Giudice isn’t the only Real Housewife of New Jersey star facing major financial troubles! A new report states that Twitterholic, Jacqueline Laurita and her husband Chris Laurita were recently named in an $8M lawsuit for “improperly using funds and assets” from their company Signature Apparel.

RadarOnline is reporting that Chris and his brother Joseph formed Signature Apparel Group (a company that once owned brands such as Rocawear and Eve’s Fetish) in 2005 and “drained the company” amassing a debt of $7,804,227 which was used to “support their luxurious lifestyle”!

According to documents the company banked more than $250 million between 2005 and 2009, but then surprisingly declared bankruptcy in September 2009, and just like their friend Teresa, someone started complaining that the bankruptcy petition might just be fraudulent. The suspicious bankruptcy filing prompted the debtor “to come forward with the complaint”, claiming company monies were “misused,” RadarOnline reveals.

Chris and Joseph “drained the Company of all its funds and assets in order to support their families’ increasingly opulent lifestyle of private jets, limousines, extravagant parties, premium automobiles, designer clothing, ostentatious home furnishings and lavish vacations,” the complaint filed November 2, 2010 alleges. “Signature’s assets were misused to make outright and unjustified payments to Laurita family members, and to fund the operations of the Laurita brothers’ other companies and business ventures.”

So what exactly did the Lauritas spend all that money on? Well, according to the documents, here’s the breakdown:

  • Nearly $2 million in credit card payments for the Laurity Family, including payments to more than 40 bank accounts
  • At least $331,637 for payments on no less than eleven leased cars, including a Bentley and a Maserati
  • At least $284,793 in airline travel expenses for the Laurita Family
  • At least $145,894 for private airplane rentals for the Laurita Family
  • At least $7,280 for travel agent expenses for the Laurita Family
  • At least $755,184 to defendant Christopher Laurita for undocumented or insufficiently documented reasons
  • At least $784,160 of disbursements directed by the Laurita Director Defendants (Chris and Joseph) to unknown recipients, without any documentation whatsoever

Even worse, the complaint alleges that Jacqueline had knowledge that shady business dealings were taking place and willing participated in wrongfully accepting money from the company, which is why she is named as part of the suit! The documents claim Jacqueline, along with Anthony Laurita, “knew of the Laurita Director Defendant’s wrongful conduct, and each substantially assisted the Laurita Director Defendants in breaching their fiduciary duties by, among other conduct, accepting funds they each knew belonged to Signature and for which they each knew they had performed no services and/or provided no value.”

“Funds that should have been used to grow Signature’s business and to pay Signature’s vendors and creditors, instead were diverted to the Laurita Family Defendants.” Oops – that’s not good.

Chris has denied “nearly all of the 155 allegations made in the claim” and believes it should be summarily dismissed, citing: “a failure to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action and a failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.” The case is still pending so Reality Tea keep you posted with all the updates! Jacqueline has yet to comment, but if Bravo had wind of this matter it may have been another reason she skipped the RHONJ Season 3 Reunion!

In my limited knowledge of bankruptcy law, this is what I understand to have happened: it seems that instead of paying creditors to keep the business lucrative the Lauritas allegedly pocketed the proceeds and spent the money for personal use, then filed bankruptcy to avoid paying their bills. Now they are being accused of fraudulently filing bankruptcy. Any legal or financial experts out there please chime in!

In other news, when it flurries it becomes a Norwegian! Just a few days ago it was reported that Jacqueline was indeed a stripper before marrying Chris and Jacqueline is still adamantly denying it! You know the old expression “the lady doth protest too much…”

Jacqueline took to her personal website to clear up any lingering suspicions about how she met Chris and is sticking to the story that they met while she was a convention model. She also posted yet another Tweet denying she was a stripper and accusing someone (ahem…Teresa) of leaking false stories: “Im being 100% honest w/everyone w/my story of how Chris&I met in Chicago. I WAS NOT A STRIPPER/PROSTITUTE as said by shady people 4 money”

I, for one, can’t wait to hear what sister in law from hell, Caroline Manzo has to say about the latest!

[Photo credit: Sylvain Gaboury / PR Photos]

THOUGHTS ON THE LAURITA’S FINANCIAL SITUATION? DO YOU BELIEVE THEY ARE INNOCENT OF ANY WRONG DOING? ARE YOU SURPRISED BY WHAT THE ARTICLE IS ALLEGING? DOES THE RECENT INFORMATION CHANGE YOUR OPINION OF JACQUELINE?

The drama surrounding Real Housewives of New Jersey continues to explode! Melissa Gorga and Caroline Manzo are scrambling to get their sides’ of the story heard while ostracized castmate Teresa Giudice is indisposed filming Celebrity Apprentice.

Or perhaps they are just responding to the latest round of stories reported by In Touch Weekly, which are rumored to have been planted by Teresa, herself!

Speaking out on New York Live, Caroline did not hold back! “I noticed a change [in Teresa] when other ladies joined the cast,” she revealed. “We were acquaintances, not friends. Off camera, there was nothing — no interaction,” she insists.

“It has been an unbelievable experience. A growing experience, a learning experience, but I’ve had a lot of heartbreak because of it,” she explains, alluding to her rift with Dina Manzo, which she seems to believe was caused or at least exacerbated by Teresa. “So much I won’t say, because I don’t want to hurt anyone. I’m not going to blame the network. For a TV show, I’m not going to hurt someone. I’m not going to do it,” she declares.

Caroline is also still reeling from Teresa’s attacks against her children, who in her mind have never crossed the threshold into adulthood or something. “My children didn’t sign up for this. We put ourselves out there and have no idea.” Caroline insists, claiming they had never seen reality TV before joining the cast and were not prepared for the negativity.

Caroline also joined Melissa and Kathy Wakile for an interview with The Insider where they spoke about, what else – Teresa! Oh, and the upcoming Season 4 drama!

“Why should I feel sorry for someone who walks away from love?” Caroline asks, referring to castmate and never-really-friend Teresa. “You don’t have the right play the victim, when you’re the one doing all the hitting,” she admonished.

Describing her relationship with Teresa prior to the reunion and the explosive stripper-gate incident supposedly filmed the night before, Melissa expresses her shock over Teresa’s behavior. “I get very disappointed in her,” Melissa laments. “When we’re so good, why would you take that chance?”

“We were great, probably better than ever. And I owe a lot of that to Bravo” Melissa explains, claiming that the interaction required for the show brought them closer and helped a positive a more relationship develop.

As for the friendship between the other castmates, Melissa describes: “It’s just easy, there’s no insulting going on.” Caroline and Kathy echo those sentiments, claiming they are supportive of each other, not competitive, and they “help each other” by offering opportunity and support.

Melissa also spoke to Hollywood Life about the reunion and dealing with the sister-in-law from hell on national television. And she believes the other ladies did not gang up on Teresa!

“Everyone was upset with her,” she states. “We had an explosive night the day [before the reunion] — that was a lot of the reason for the bad blood that you saw,” Melissa reveals, refusing to give any more details about what may have happened.

“I felt the pressure she was going through,” Melissa mentions, claiming she tried to keep a low-profile since Teresa and Caroline were embroiled in so much animosity. “Obviously you saw the commotion between her and Caroline, so I didn’t want to sit there and her think that we were ganging up on her. That was not the intention at all. We’re not trying to team up on her. We are addressing the issue. That’s what the reunion is.”

Melissa also agreed that poor plagued by stripper-rumors, Jacqueline Laurita would not have been able to pull herself away from Twitter handle the reunion! “It was something that Teresa has done that Jacqueline does not agree with,” Melissa cites “She just wouldn’t be able to handle a nine-hour filming session.”

As for how Teresa could make amends with her family and her former (maybe never?) friends, Melissa thinks a simple apology will suffice. “We all do things wrong, we’re all not perfect; she just needs to be able to say ‘you know what, I’m sorry.’” Although Melissa confirms: family is family. “I’m always going to be here to support her and her children.”

My Thoughts: Caroline’s new-found relationship with Melissa and Kathy seems eerily similar to her prior fauxlationship with Teresa! And for someone who was merely an on-camera acquaintance she certainly played up the “like family/thick as thieves” angle in S2 and off camera in interviews and appearances. Which is interesting because Caroline emphatically states over and over that she does not lie. Now, I am 100 percent certain Bravo demanded their relationship seem authentic, but Caroline did a mighty good job of convincing us that it was! Also, Teresa’s reactions at the reunion seemed to indicate she believed they had an authentic relationship (although it’s hard to be sure with her).

Second of all Caroline’s children are adults and have been for the duration of filming. Therefore they did sign up for this show – they knowingly signed contracts, agreed to film, and were compensated for their involvement. Does that give Teresa the right to insult their ideas or behaviors in a cookbook for her own financial gain? No, of course not. But the Manzo children are not innocent by-standers in the situation. They insulted Teresa plenty this season and did not seem to have any qualms about their behaviors. The children who truly did not sign up for this show are those of the Gorgas, Giudices, and Lauritas (save for Ashlee).

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THOUGHTS? DO YOU THINK THERE IS HOPE FOR TERESA RECONNECTING WITH HER FAMILY AND CASTMATES? DO YOU BELIEVE CAROLINE, KATHY, AND MELISSA HAVE A GENUINE RELATIONSHIP? ARE CAROLINE’S CHILDREN INNOCENT VICTIMS OR IS SHE OVER-REACTING?


On last night’s FINAL episode of Real Housewives of New Jersey I breathed a serious sigh of relief, opened up the wine for a guzzlet or two, and prepared to cringe. I have run out of steam with these people. I’m going to try and cover this the best I can, but there was a lot of yelling about things like Kool-aid that left me confused. So, hang in there!

The show opens with Andy’s attempts at fun by bringing up Joe G-to-the-Orga’s horniness and The Gorgasm? A montage of all the couples’ lovey-dovey moments is replayed, except for Caroline and Albert. Cause I guess they don’t have them – or Caroline just won’t discuss them. Uh-huh. Apparently Joe Gorga has a history of dressing up like a lady – it goes way back to when he was little. This is explains a lot. Did The Gorgas want two Teresas?! Ooooohhh… the stress that image just caused!

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Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice is firing back at her costars in a big way by gracing the latest cover of In Touch Weekly magazine!

According to the mag, the real reason Teresa’s costars have turned against her all has to do with jealousy and the resentment of her success! And definitely not at all with her taking shots at them in her cookbooks or talking smack about them in her blogs!

The shocking magazine cover reads: “Jacqueline skips reunion after a “mental breakdown”, Melissa caught confessing she married for money; Caroline’s shocking financial mess.” So let’s examine each claim shall we!

Jacqueline’s Finances & “Mental Breakdown” - An “insider” close to Teresa tells In Touch that the real reason Jacqueline Laurita skipped the reunion had more to do with greed and jealousy rather than that whole Porsche Fashion Show drama thingy. The mag states Jacqueline is “envious” of Teresa’s success as she is now suffering from her own financial troubles. “I’ve seen her husband Chris’ credit card declined numerous times,” the insider claims.

Another “source” says they suspect Jacqueline was the one who sold the now infamous photo of Joe Giudice dining with another woman (who has now been revealed as Davana Medina) to the press. Jacqueline has always denied this and below, Kim G. takes credit for leaking the pic. As for Jacqueline’s recent twitter rants, one of which included calling Teresa “scum,” the source claims she suffered a mental breakdown. “She went a little crazy,” says the source. “She lost it.”

Caroline Manzo’s “Financial Mess” – The same “insider” tells the mag Caroline Manzo is in a big financial mess and also experiencing money troubles of her own. “She and her husband have big credit problems, and they’ve mortgaged the hell out of The Brownstone,” their family banquet hall, claims the insider. Caroline is also reportedly very jealous of Teresa’s success as the insider claims it’s always been Caroline’s dream to have her own cookbook and make more money. Err didn’t Teresa say the same exact thing in her blog last week??? “It’s got to be hard watching Teresa, whom she hates, do just that,” states the mag.

Melissa Gorga “Married Joe For Money” – Tre also refuses to let go of her claims that her sister-in-law Melissa Gorga is a gold-digger! Teresa managed to get in some shots against Melissa as she once again publicly states Melissa married her brother Joe Gorga for his money. “We were out to dinner with a few other couples,” Teresa tells In Touch of the incident that took place early on in Melissa and Joe’s marriage. “She got a little buzzed, and she said she didn’t like him when she first met him. ‘But then,’ she says, ‘I saw his house.’”

You can read more of this story in the latest issue of In Touch Weekly.

Immediately following the release of In Touch magazine yesterday, Jacqueline took to her twitter to fire back at Teresa’s the magazine’s claims. Jacqueline not only believes Teresa is behind the In Touch cover story but also stated that Teresa is planning to file another bankruptcy at a later date. Ai ya ya!

Jacqueline tweeted, “Another disgusting display of Teresas lies. Keep hanging yourself!Tell every1 the plan2file4bankruptcy#2@how u laugh At beating the system!”

She later added: “Teresa,keep spending all the money u do &making profit from people/ fake stories u sell.It will catch up to u.U never stopped spending.” A screenshot of Jacqueline’s tweets are below.

Meanwhile, the one and only troublemaker Kim Granatell has now taken credit for leaking out the Joe Giudice picture to the press. Kim G. tweeted yesterday: “InTouch Mag. Teresa’s husband and his latest GF. Thanks to Tom Murro and myself for having those photos! Jacqueline nothing to do with them.”

And finally, the Huffington Post is also reporting that Teresa is maybe in talks to get her own cooking show! Sources tell the site that once she finishes shooting the Celebrity Apprentice, she is off to film her own cooking show. Oddly enough the blog states that details of Tre’s cooking show are “scarce” pointing out that there’s a big difference between shooting a new show and having a successful program make it on TV.

“If all goes [according] to plan, Teresa will be on TV from January to May in ‘The Apprentice,’ May to October with ‘RHONJ’ season four and then with her own show focusing on real Italian food,” reveals an insider. Teresa using ingredientses such as ‘cummin’ on her own cooking show? Must.see.TV!

TELL US: DO YOU BELIEVE JACQUELINE AND CAROLINE ARE HAVING FINANCIAL PROBLEMS? THOUGHTS ON JACQUELINE’S RESPONSE & THE ARTICLE? WOULD YOU WATCH TERESA’S COOKING SHOW?

Last night’s Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion from hell gave me stress-induced anxiety, like for real! I could not guzzle the wine fast enough! The rage was palpable and the ladies were down right dirty. This made RHONY’s reunion seem almost tolerable. Did I just type that?!

First of all, does anyone remember that notorious website Socialite Rank? Well, I wish we had a website devoted to Housewives Ranking, called of course, Housewives Rank, because if we did The Caroline and Teresa would be neck and neck for bottom of the heap after last night’s dreadful performance! Melissa had her moments of dirty as well, and for the most part Kathy kept her hands clean and imagined beautiful beaches and escape. Me too, Kath!

*Simple Disclaimer – I am a woman without a housewife – I play no favorites. I participate in equal opportunity snarking. All the ladies are ridiculous to a degree (yes, some more than others) and I like to spread the snark around!

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More Real Housewives of New Jersey drama to report today!

The latest is Caroline Manzo is finally speaking out against her former friend and costar Teresa Giudice. Following Sunday night’s finale which revealed the growing rift between the two ladies, The Caroline is not mincing her words when it comes to Tre! The drama began when Teresa insulted Caroline by stating she is “as Italian as the Olive Garden,” and then to add insult to injury, she also took a shot at Caroline’s son Christopher Manzo in her cookbook.

In an interview with Life & Style magazine, Caroline, 50, states fame has changed Teresa, 39. “I’m done with her,” Caroline states. “We’re housewives, nothing more,” Caroline asserts. “But she believes she’s Angelina Jolie or something!”

“She’s a bully,” Caroline adds. “She crossed the line in so many ways in trying to maintain this image that she has, that there were no boundaries.”

Oh but there’s more! In a separate interview with The Insider, Caroline accuses Teresa of playing the victim. “You don’t have the right to play the victim when you’re the one doing all the hitting,” said Caroline. “Everybody here wants to hug… Everybody loves each other here, it’s all love.”

Teresa apparently sees herself as the victim as she blogged last week: ” The whole time we were filming, I had no idea what other people were saying about me. I just assumed they were all my friends.”

Caroline, who had remained loyal to Teresa on the show, almost to a fault, then goes on to admit she even mistreated Teresa’s sworn enemies family members Melissa Gorga and Kathy Wakile based on what Teresa had told her about them.

“I was awful to them, awful to them. [Kathy] came to my house, this poor thing — her angel wings are underneath the dress, you don’t see them — and I abused her. Because I had a preconceived notion about who they were, and it was so far from the truth,” said Caroline.

Caroline finishes the interview stating: “Why should I feel sorry for somebody that walks away from people that want to help her, that walks away from love and tries to hurt?”

A former friend of Teresa’s tells Life & Style: “She is just not the same person. When filming began on the show, she seemed so sweet but now she doesn’t seem to care about the people around her.”

Our RHONJ insider told us Teresa is now friendless as evident by the fact that none of her RHONJ castmates attended her recent party to launch her Fabellini wine with the exception of Dina Manzo.

And speaking of Dina, Caroline is finally confirming what we reported a while back. Back in June, we broke the news that Caroline and her sister Dina were no longer on speaking terms. A source confirmed the story to us back then in addition to the fact that the two sisters stopped following each other on twitter.

Back then Caroline denied the feud, perhaps wanting to protect her family, but in a new preview clip for the upcoming reunion, she finally comes clean. In fact she blames Teresa for straining her relationship with Dina.

In the clip below, Teresa says to Caroline, “No wonder why Dina doesn’t want to talk to you! Like, what happened to you?” Caroline responds: “I lost a lot of my relationship with her.” Andy Cohen then asks, “With Dina?” Caroline states, “Yeah.” Andy asks over what, and Caroline right at Teresa and says, “I’m looking at you.” Whoa!

Part 1 of the reunion airs this Sunday on Bravo at 10/9c.

TELL US – THOUGHTS ON CAROLINE’S COMMENTS? DO YOU AGREE THAT TERESA IS A BULLY AND PLAYING VICTIM? THOUGHTS ON CAROLINE NOT TALKING TO DINA & BLAMING TERESA?

Teresa Giudice says to Caroline, “No wonder why Dina doesn’t want to talk to you! Like, what happened to you?” Caroline says, “I lost a lot of my relationship with her.” Andy asks, “With Dina?” Caroline says, “Yeah,” and when Andy asks over what, Caroline looks to Teresa and says, “I’m looking at you.”

Well, finally – finally – we reached the season finale to the arduous, tortuous, never-ending season of Real Housewives of New Jersey. And it was kinda disappointing, no? Maybe cause we already knew what was happening real time.

Things start off with Melissa meeting with Teresa’s her stylist, because she is an over-the-hill wannabe pop star and over-the-hill wannabe pop stars need to look good! Really booby and trampy apparently = good. Melissa’s stylist, or is it Teresa’s stylist, suggests she wrap a scarf around her boobs and wear it as a shirt. Right. Let me get this straight: TWO WOMEN are paying this woman money to make them look like hookers and fighting over who she styles? There is some issue about how Teresa didn’t want her to also style Melissa. Maybe she wanted Melissa to actually look good?

While Terlissa’s stylist is there, Melissa gets a call from Teresa about the family photoshoot they are planning. Melissa claims this is the first family photo shoot she and Joe have been invited to and she is excited to put the past behind her and move forward. Why do I not believe her?

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Poor Danielle Staub! Her new bread and butter, Lemon Basket has, unfortunately closed “indefinitely” after a mere five months!

The restaurant, which opened in May, was as part of Danielle’s tour on Famous Food and the prize she received for out-cunning her competition, like: Jake Pavelka, Ashley Dupre, and Heidi Montag, and walking away the co-winner along with DJ Paul.

Apparently despite the exposure from the show and Danielle’s tremendous celebrity, “the restaurant just never took on, and partners Mike Malin and Lonnie Moore of The Dolce Group were forced to throw in the towel,” Eater LA reports. “We gave it a shot but it just never picked up traction,” Lonnie Moore explains of the closing.

The restaurant received lukewarm reviews, and despite heavy promotion (and even a Groupon offer), never seemed to improve from there. Then in September the restaurant was forced to temporarily close after a reported cockroach infestation! One month later they shut down their doors “indefinitely.”

Danielle hasn’t released a statement yet about the fate of Lemon Basket, though she did Tweet the following to fans wishing her well: “I appreciate the well wishes.” Now that she’s no longer in the restaurant business, I guess Danielle could always return to her former career of stripping reality TV villainess.

Do you think the tragic name had anything to do with it? Or that diners were afraid of actually running into Danielle while eating there?

Photo Credit: FayesVision/WENN.com

Are you surprised the restaurant closed after only 5 months? Would you (or did you) ever eat there?

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