Shocking news! Not everything we see on reality television is REAL! Okay, we already knew that, but in Melissa Gorga’s case, made-for-tv-drama is coming back to bite her in a very real way. The Real Housewives Of New Jersey’s former business partner, Jackie Beard Robinson, is filing suit against Melissa and Andy Cohen for besmirching her good name publicly. She’s hired hard-hitting lawyer Larry Klayman to handle the case.
Jackie, who opened Envy boutique with Melissa last year, parted ways with the reality star in January due to differences of opinion and clashing visions for the store’s direction, “specifically about Robinson’s desire to expand selection to accommodate shoppers who aren’t, say, a size 2,” according to the press release. Jackie and Melissa both signed legal paperwork to dissolve their partnership, but since then Melissa is reportedly fabricating a story that Jackie deceived her and actually “stole” her merchandise in the middle of the night. Not true, according to the lawyers!
“In January my client and Gorga had a falling out in their business relationship, but that doesn’t mean Gorga had the right to bash her ex-partner’s integrity publicly in press interviews and on Bravo’s network that aired The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” says Klayman, who founded Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch and was formerly involved in court rulings at the White House level. (Yikes!)
According to The Blast, Jackie “sued NBC Universal, Cohen and Gorga for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress” to the tune of a cool $30 million.
Klaymen points out that Jackie – not Melissa – actually owned the store before their partnership was dissolved – even though its name was “Envy By Melissa Gorga.” Therefore, the entire store’s inventory was actually Jackie’s property.
Although Melissa was well aware of their partnership ending, she made it seem like she was blindsided when describing her version of what happened on the show – and in the press. “I woke up one morning and Envy was completely emptied — not even a hanger left. I cried for three days straight,” Melissa told Bravo’s Daily Dish. She also told Andy on Watch What Happens Live that Jackie “ripped her off.”
These public claims are not sitting well with Jackie, who is actually in the retail business. “Media reported Robinson had teamed up with Gorga’s on-and off-screen nemesis Kim DePaola. Yet, the boutique’s merchandise was indeed owned by Robinson, who has been defamed and accused of stealing on National TV,” according to the press release.
This defamation “made her look like a felon and has negatively impacted her business and personal life,” claims Jackie, and could hurt her business reputation in a big way.
Jackie’s lawyer plans to hit the network and Melissa hard. Klayman says, “we’ll show that Gorga was so naïve and inexperienced in fashion retail, she didn’t deserve a hanger to hang on.”
TELL US: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF JACKIE’S SUIT? DOES IT HAVE MERIT? DID MELISSA LIE FOR THE SAKE OF A STORYLINE?
Photo Credit: Manny Carabel/FilmMagic/getty