Even if you’re like me and you can’t stand reality TV, you’ve at least heard of The Real Housewives series currently running on Bravo. They have a Real Housewives show for several major cities across the country, and on the show, they follow a group of spoiled, obnoxious, and loudmouthed housewives who do nothing all day but cause drama and get into fights with one another. It’s train wreck reality TV at its very worst (or best if you’re into that kind of thing).
Not surprisingly, the “reality stars” this show has created have more than their fair share of off screen legal troubles. From mob ties to drunk driving charges, the list of legal problems for Real Housewives cast reads like a Hollywood script, but these are all real.
- Frederick Richardson accused of murder—Back in October 2009, Frederick Richardson—fiance of Atlanta Housewives star Kandi Burruss, was arrested after a strip club brawl in which A.J. Jewell received a serious blow to the head and died several hours later. More recently, charges were dropped against Richardson following an announcement that Jewell died from a sickle cell crisis. Many are still very concerned about the accuracy of the autopsy.
- Slade Smiley arrested for being a deadbeat dad—This former cast member of the Housewives Orange County edition was arrested for civil contempt. Apparently, Smiley didn’t keep up with his court ordered child support payments, owing $80,000 to his sick son. What’s more, when he was arrested, he was at another Housewives’ house with Gretchen—the woman who is engaged to an older man with leukemia.
- New Jersey cast members have mob ties—No, this isn’t an episode of The Sopranos (I wish it was).It turns out that the father-in-law of three cast members—Dina, Caroline, and Jacqueline—was a mobster…that is, until he was found shot to death in the trunk of his car.
- Jersey girl faces foreclosure—The Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice seems to have spent herself right into foreclosure. After spending literally hundreds of thousands of dollars on furnishings for the home, a foreclosure complaint was filed against her and her husband, saying they owe $127,500 on the property, which they purchased for $170,000.
- NeNe gets booted from her home—Housewives Atlanta cast member NeNe Leakes was evicted from her five-bedroom home because they owed thousands of dollars in back rent. This caused quite a controversy as it turns out the Atlanta housewife isn’t as well off as she pretends to be on the show.
- Kim Zolciak receives threatening voicemail from co-star—Nothing like some good ol’ recorded threats to stir up drama and legal troubles. In 2008, Kim Zolciak, from The Real Housewives of Atlanta, received a threatening voicemail from her co-star Lisa Wu Hartwell. Lisa can be heard on the voicemail saying “You need to call me…I just might be coming to your house.”
- Sonja Morgan arrested for DWI—Sonja Morgan, from the New York edition of the show, was recently arrested for drunk driving. The 46 year old got pulled over in the Hamptons after running through a stop sign. She failed the field sobriety test and went off to jail.
- Kelly Killoren Bensimon arrested for assault—New York Housewives star Kelly Killoren Bensimon was arrested in 2009 for misdemeanor assault on her boyfriend. She punched him in the face, busting open his eye. Her boyfriend said he didn’t want to just “sit there like a punching bag” so he called the cops.
- Jeana Keough narrowly avoids foreclosure—Former Orange County cast member Jeana Keough narrowly avoided foreclosure by getting a last minute loan modification. She had previously received a notice of default on her Coto home, but she was able to take care of the issue and is now in the clear.
- Alexis Bellino’s unattended babies nearly drown— On July 4th, Alexis Bellino, from The Real Housewives of Orange County, was partying with her husband when they left the stroller carrying their two-year-old daughters Melania and Mackenna unattended next to a pool. While they were off not being parents, the stroller rolled into the pool. Thankfully, the girls were rescued and not harmed. No legal charges have been filed, but this is clearly a case of poor parenting.
- Michaele and Tareq Salahi crash the White House–We finish off the list with perhaps the most outrageous incident to happen not only to a Real Housewife, but on reality TV, period. In November of 2009, Michaele Salahi from the upcoming Real Housewives of DC, snuck into a White House party for the Prime Minister of India. The couple managed to get past multiple levels of security and pose for pictures with Vice President Biden. When the officials learned of the security breach, the Salahis were questioned by the Secret Service and Congress. As of last month, a grand jury is still investigating the Salahis.