Real Housewife of NJ Danielle Staub Talks About Her Abusive Ex

As her memoir The Naked Truth hits stores, the reality-TV star recalls the violent marriage in her past

The most-talked about subject on Real Housewives of New Jersey (besides "bubbies" and "chuckies") is the checkered past of housewife frenemy Danielle Staub. Staub's first husband Kevin Maher has said that Staub was involved in drugs, prostitution and extortion -- but now Staub tells Us Weekly that Maher did something much worse.

"I was severely abused," Staub, 47, says of Maher. "I was in fear for my life. I was visibly bruised, injured, scared and victimized."  The mother of two says that Maher, a private investigator and former FBI informant, started abusing her after they married in 1988. "He was very possessive... I was hospitalized several times. There is no way to describe how it feels to not have a safe place to go... We are talking days and days in a row before he was exhausted, or ran out of drugs, whatever it was that he was on."

Staub describes this period of abuse in her memoir The Naked Truth, which hits stores today. The book is partly a rebuttal to Maher's own 1995 biography Cop Without A Badge, which describes Staub as an unstable criminal, cocaine addict and stripper (a book which played a prominent role in the first season of Real Housewives of New Jersey). The exes' different versions of the truth have landed them in court: in October, Maher filed an anti-defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife, claiming that she lied to the media about how he terrorized her.

"I did hit her. It's true," Maher tells Us, but says it was "in self defense." Wow. We wonder what the judge will have to say about that.

Plus:
- PHOTOS: 10 Rules to Living Like 'The Real Housewives of NJ' Star Teresa Giudice
- PHOTOS: Going From Civilian to Celebrity: Seven Survival Tips

Do you think Danielle Staub has been honest about her past? Chime in below!

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