Throwback Thursday: From penthouse to jailhouse, the ‘Real Housewives’ and their (many) legal troubles

Celebrity, Crime, News

As the saying goes, reality is stranger than fiction. And we’re betting that Joe and Teresa Giudice and any of their “Real Housewives of (you fill in the locale)” counterparts would agree.

The Giudices, stars of Bravo’s the “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” were recently sentenced to jail time for a myriad of fraud charges, including bank fraud, bankruptcy fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud. Joe was sentenced to a 41-month term while Teresa received 15 months. The couple was also ordered to pay over $400,000 in restitution and fined some $18,000.

But the Giudices are far from alone. Trouble seems to follow Bravo’s housewives — or maybe Bravo follows troubled housewives — from one affluent, McMansioned neighborhood to another. Here, a roundup of the casts and their rap sheets.

‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’

Apollo Nida, husband of Atlanta housewife Phaedra Parks, recently traded in one ball and chain for another, reporting to a federal prison after being convicted of fraud. It appears Nida created fake collection companies so he could steal personal identities. He then used those identities to get fraudulent auto loans. He is to serve eight years in prison, then five on probation.

Porsha Williams was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor last spring after she brawled, on air, with fellow housewife Kenya Moore. Williams posted bond and was released.

Kim Zolciak was such a popular “Real Housewife” that she got her own Bravo show called “Don’t Be Tardy,” a title taken from her dance-chart hit of the same name. She was, however, sued by the song’s producer for nonpayment.

NeNe Leakes, the brash Atlanta housewife, was living large but not on her dime. She was evicted from the home she rented for owing back rent. Her husband was sued for owing back taxes.

‘Real Housewives of Orange County’

Vicki Gunvalson, a partner in Vicki’s Vodka, was sued by her business partner for fraud and failure to meet contract agreements. While Gunvalson was ultimately released from the suit, her boyfriend, Brooks Ayers, was not. Gunvalson reportedly gave Ayers a nearly 17 percent stake in the company without her business partner’s knowledge. Ayers sold that share back to the partner to pay off the IRS and child support debt.

Tamra Judge has been in a long and messy custody battle for her three children with her ex-husband Simon Barney. Barney has alleged that Judge is a negligent mother who did not take adequate care of their kids when they were in her care. He is seeking full custody of the children.

‘Real Housewives of New York’

Sonja Morgan, in addition to dealing with a DUI, was sued by a production company for not ponying up the funds she agreed to pay to help finance a film set to star John Travolta. She was ordered to pay $7 million in damages, which contributed to her filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Heather Thomson was sued by Spanx for allegedly stealing their three-paneled camisole idea when she launched her Yummie Tummie shapewear line.

And the list continues …

From DUIs (New Jersey’s Joe Guidice, Beverly Hills’ Brandi Glanville and Miami’s Marysol Patton) to financial woes (New Jersey’s Gorgas and Lauritas) to discrimination claims (New York’s Cindy Barshop), the “Real Housewives” seem to break laws as much as hair extensions and marriages.

What’s next, Bravo, “Real Housewives of the Big House”?

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