The Bravo universe has been buzzing since last week, when it was discovered that Melissa and Joe Gorga backed out of attending their sister, Teresa Giudce’s, wedding last Saturday.
Speculation has been swirling about why Teresa’s brother and sister-in-law would refuse to go to her wedding. Joe is her only sibling, and her closest relative after the deaths of their parents.
Months back, a new fracture in the family was made when Teresa publicly announced that Melissa would not be asked to be one of her bridesmaids. Fans were shocked, since Melissa is basically her only sister, and she was a bridesmaid in Melissa’s wedding years ago.
While Melissa said she was OK with Teresa’s decision because she should make her own choices for her wedding, Joe was upset with his sister, and felt it was an attack on him and his wife.
All seemed quiet on the home front, until the week of the wedding, and the last week of filming for the Real Housewives of New Jersey. A huge blowup among the cast led to Joe and Melissa refusing to attend Teresa’s big day.
Now information is coming out about exactly what happened to make Melissa and Joe so angry with Teresa, and it is messy.
RHONJ: Reports say that Melissa Gorga had cheated with an actor
The rumor that Melissa cheated on Joe was reportedly started by a former friend of Melissa’s BFF and fellow Housewife, Margaret Josephs. The frenemy, Laura Marasca Jensen, is being accused of spreading this rumor as a way to try to secure a spot on the hit Bravo show. Laura has reportedly been interviewed to be on Housewives three times, and was not cast.
Longtime friend of Melissa and Joe, actor Nick Barrotta, is the other man involved in this story, and it has been said that Melissa and Nick kissed one time, after a night out in NYC a few years ago.
Sources close to the married actor strongly denied any wrong-doing on either side, and that this rumor is “ridiculous,” saying Nick has been committed for 14 years and they are friends with Melissa and Joe.
Laura, who is at the center of this drama, insists Margaret is to blame for this rumor even starting. “I was told about this [by Margaret], who was not even there, herself,” Laura claimed. “She told me that someone told her who was there that night.”
She also revealed that Margaret told her about this alleged kiss years ago, and Laura kept the secret the whole time. “I do not think that Margaret was telling me that to ruin Melissa’s marriage,” Laura said. “She was gossiping — it’s what she does.”
How did the rumor involve Teresa and lead to the family feud?
In February 2022, Laura reached out to Teresa and Housewife Jennifer Aydin, in the hopes of becoming friends with them. She was no longer friends with Margaret after a falling out in December 2021, and wanted to interview for a spot as a New Jersey Housewife.
The trio ended up meeting for four hours to just get to know each other, but Laura brought up the rumor about Melissa and her kiss with Nick. Laura claims she was not trying to hurt anyone’s family.
Laura claimed, “The intention was for me to talk to Melissa alone and let her know what was being said about her because I felt I was probably not the only one that knew. I didn’t think Margaret only told me [the cheating rumor]. It had nothing to do with being on-camera at all.”
But insiders say that it was Jennifer, not Teresa, who spilled the beans about the rumor on-camera during the last week of filming. Regardless, Joe and Melissa were angry enough at Teresa to refuse to go to her wedding, and they believed that Teresa played a part in the rumor being revealed.
Laura denied that Teresa had any bad intentions toward her brother and sister-in-law, and adamantly denied that Teresa would have wanted the information on camera.
This storyline will indeed play out when Season 13 airs later this year.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey is on hiatus.