Gretchen Rossi Ordered To Court & Talks Tamra, Slade, & Inheritance In Interview

Gretchen Rossi

Gretchen Rossi has been ordered to court to disclose her finances according to RadarOnline. This all has to do with Jay Photoglou of course, and the $18,900 he was awarded in legal fees connected to a restraining order case she filed against him last year.

A Newport Beach, California Judge ordered the Real Housewife of Orange County to appear in court March 10 to provide information about her finances and assets.

Which brings us to Gretchen’s new interview with the LA Times, during which she opens up about her financial situation, more importantly sets the record straight on the $2.5 million her deceased fiance Jeff Beitzel left her in his will. While Gretchen admits she was left $2.5 mil by Jeff, she also insists she has yet to receive the money as Jeff’s estate is in a deficit.

Gretchen also discusses her never-ending feud with Tamra Barney, as well as where they stand today. She also talks Slade, the whole Alexa Curtin ordeal and how she deals with the negativity that comes with being on the show. What she doesn’t talk about however is Jay.

Excerpts from Gretchen’s interview below –

It was hard to track you down. You’re a busy gal. What are you working on right now?

Oh, gosh. If I told you, you’d be worn out by the time we were done.

Maybe you should tell Vicki [Gunvalson]…

That’s so true. I should call Vicki up and say, “Come spend a day with me and let’s have a little chitty-chat about what I really do.”

Right now, at this given moment, the last week has just been kind of crunch time for my makeup line (Gretchen Christine Beaute) that I’m launching.

And we see that you’re not rolling in the dough — as some suspected — after Jeff’s death.

Everybody had this misconception that I was with Jeff for his money. And that Jeff had millions and millions of dollars and … he didn’t; meaning right now his estate is in the deficit. It really was never information that I thought was appropriate to share but, unfortunately, when his will gets released to the public and everyone is reading it and saying he left me $2.5 million — well, he did. The problem is, is that if he doesn’t have $2.5 million to give me — you know, his estate doesn’t have it because it’s in the deficit — I’m not going to get it. If somebody doesn’t have the money, it really doesn’t matter. That’s where I think the misconception comes in. Everybody thinks I got left millions of dollars — which I did — but I have not received it. The thing, too, is that I never saw Jeff’s money as my money. It was always nice to be in a relationship with someone who was well off at the time that we were dating; I was spoiled rotten, yes. And I had a great lifestyle with him … but I also made my own money and the show really didn’t show that side of me. They didn’t show me as the entrepreneur that I was.

So how did you get involved? Did you audition?

For me, it was a different scenario. I was at a girlfriend’s party down at a restaurant here in Newport. Jo [De la Rosa] and Slade [Smiley] were actually sitting across the table from me at this party and I was being my crazy, flamboyant, obnoxious self and they started whispering to each other. I was like, “Are you guys talking crap about me?” — teasing them. They were like, “No, but you’re perfect for the show.” I was like, “Perfect for what show?” Cause they hadn’t been on for a couple of years so I wasn’t really sure what they were talking about. And they said I’d be perfect for “Housewives.” I was like, “You guys are smoking crack. I’m not doing that.” Slade kept insisting.

The next morning, I get a phone call from the casting agent at 7 a.m.; she said, “I hear you’re perfect.” It took a whole day of phone calls back and forth for them to even convince me. It really came down to me sitting down with Jeff. He was the one who convinced me to do that. I think the reason for that was that at that point, we had been in and out of the hospital for the last three or four months. We were right at a point where we thought we would get told he was going into remission. He was like, “You know, honey” — cause I had actually been approached three other times to do reality shows; I just turned them down because it wasn’t something I wanted to do. He just said, “Honey, you keep getting these opportunities. Maybe there’s something in the universe telling you to do this. And I’m really kind of sick of everything, everyday being about cancer. This sounds like fun.”

I think he saw it as an opportunity to travel and have an excuse to go do things. So he was the ultimate reason I ended up doing the show.

The rift seems to now center on this blog entry you wrote. Tamra [Barney] wants you to take it down, but you refuse. Can you talk a little bit about why?

I’m not going to take it down. There were so many things that Tamra put out there to the press and the show that were contradictory or that were lies. All those things are out in cyberspace forever and ever. So as soon as she can figure out a way to get all those things taken down, then I’ll be happy to take it down. But as long as those things are out there, the blog is my only source of truth and my only source of getting what really happened out there. I was rather taken aback by her because I believed she was my friend all season, and when she attacked me at the reunion show I was like, ‘Where in the hell did this come from?” So I wanted to clear the air up.

So are you guys still somewhat friendly? I mean, we see that you do have fun when you’re in a group setting. Have you reached out to her since news of her divorce?

No. Tamra and I don’t talk. We’re not girlfriends. We don’t call each other and say, “Let’s go hang out and have coffee.” I never really had problems with Tamra. I always liked Tamra; I got along with her and I thought she was funny and I thought our personalities were very similar. I liked her. But you just know when there’s poisonous people in your life and you know when people are trying to pull wool over your eyes and, for me, she’s one of those people. She might not be that way with other people, but she is with me. She is someone that I work with and someone I will be cordial with. And we’ll have a good time. The whole situation with the divorce and stuff … after the way she treated me after Jeff passed away, I don’t necessarily see myself calling her up and saying, “Hey, how ya doing?” Cause of the way she treated me. I’m a big believer in treating people the way they treat you.


We also see tension develop between you and Lynne [Curtin] after your attempt to reach out to Alexa. Some of our readers were on Lynne’s side, saying you had no right to get involved. How are things between you and Lynne?

Lynne and I seem to be fine. I’ve talked to her a few times and she’s like “Oh, it was forever ago.” If you really review the footage, I never ever once gave Alexa advice. And I never ever once told Alexa — or even Lynne — that she was a bad parent. All I said was that her daughter is obviously reaching out and acting out; she’s saying she wants some guidance. She wants some direction. And you, as her mother, maybe needs to reevaluate that because you keep saying they’re difficult … she just kept acting like it was just cause they were teenagers. And I do believe that that’s the reason to some degree. I was a teenager. I know. But there has to be certain sense of responsibility for the parents as well. I just didn’t feel like there was a sense of responsibility.

And it angered me when she said I didn’t have kids and so I didn’t know what I was talking about. Sometimes, there are some things in life that are just common sense. I don’t have kids. But I’ve been around kids my whole life. I’ve been a nanny eight times over. I ran a children’s fitness facility. I also have a degree in psychology and a minor in family studies and child development … so I actually was trained to look out for the signs of young girls struggling. So when Lynne brings in a youthologist that doesn’t have any of that formal training, and the girl doesn’t have kids herself, why the hell is she beating me up saying, ‘You don’t have kids, you don’t know” but she’s gonna bring in some youthologist that doesn’t even have the degree I have? It’s just kind of cuckoo if you ask me.

Again, I love Lynne. I did only did it out of concern for Alexa. It had nothing to do with trying to make Lynne look bad. I went to Lynne first. Unfortunately, it went in a different direction. But Lynne and I have talked since then. I think it’s all worked out. I think in the future … I’ve learned with this group of friends — and I shouldn’t even really call them friends — that it’s best to keep my distance on certain things.

But I guess that’s what I don’t understand. You’re not an actor … just a regular gal. So why, if you don’t have to, would you put yourself in a situation where you face this kind of scrutiny and have to deal with the so-called lies and misunderstandings?

It comes down to the business aspect. I’ve had so many great opportunities come my way …

I didn’t intend to use that as a transition, but let’s talk about Slade. How did you guys become involved?

I’ve known Slade for eight years. I knew him from the real estate business. He was in the title business. I was working for the top producing real estate agent at the time. He was one of the top title reps so we worked together a lot because of that. By the way, just so you know, I’m frosting cupcakes right now. If that’s not housewife enough, I don’t know what is. Frosting cupcakes for Valentine’s Day. That’s very housewifey. Anyway, Slade and I have been friends for eight years. And I really, truly, never expected to be in the relationship that we’re in right now. We just always have been great friends. It was always Jo and Slade. And I was married at the time when I had first met Jo and Slade. And then I was in a relationship with Jeff after that. It just was never an option or a thought. When I was going through what I was going through with Jeff, he was one of the only people who truly cared and stayed in contact with me.

I guess because viewers weren’t aware of the back story on your relationship, it just seemed as if he was riding your coattails … trying to take advantage of you.

Here’s my favorite part about that argument. I keep looking behind me for those coattails. What coattails is he riding on? I don’t have anything for him to take advantage of. Quite honestly, if there’s anybody riding on anybody’s coattails, I’m riding on Slade’s because he’s the one that has the contacts and has really, really helped propel me into getting these opportunities that I have. We all know I’m not rich. It’s not like I’m Angelina Jolie and making $8 million a movie while he’s sitting at home smoking a cigar. If it was like that, then I’d think people have a valid point. But that’s just not the scenario. Slade is one of the hardest working men I know.

Can I ask — just out of my own curiosity — what exactly does Slade do now?

He owns a consulting business. And he basically consults brands. He takes brands and really turns them into bigger brands. He’s been able to bring a lot of opportunities to me. He works with a lot of big companies. He’s so good at it. He is helping me out a lot with the empire I’m trying to build.