Photo Credit: Courtesy of Bravo
Did Melissa Gorga work as a stripper at a gentleman's club? And -- putting aside whether or not that's true -- did Teresa Giudice scheme to bring that little piece of gossip out in the open, on their TV show? This has been the central theme and source of tension of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, season 4, and it was the focus of Sunday night's explosive finale.
There's never been much love lost between Teresa and Melissa, who's the wife of her brother Joe Gorga. Teresa has long called her sister-in-law a gold digger and a copycat. But not until season 3 did she seize upon some (potentially) real dirt to sully Melissa's reputation. An unseemly hair salon owner named Angelo Vrohidis told Teresa that Melissa used to work for him -- at his gentleman's club.
Hours later, at Kim D.'s annual Posche fashion show, Angelo shows up, comes by their table, and greets Melissa -- who doesn't seem to remember him. But Teresa is determined to peel this onion! She and her cameraman follow Melissa to the bathroom, where she confronts her on the matter. Naturally, Melissa denies the allegation that she used to strip, admitting only that she worked as a bartender in a bikini bar. But with cameras recording Teresa's doubts and questions, the damage has been done to Melissa's reputation.
Had Teresa orchestrated Angelo's arrival (and the conversation it provoked)? A mysterious friend texts Jacqueline Laurita to warn her as much. When she confronts Teresa about trying to embarrass her sister-in-law, Teresa denies it. "Obviously there's somebody trying to set me up," she snaps. "And maybe you're involved."
Watch Jacqueline and Teresa's clash of the titans!
Thus, in one swoop, Teresa manages to alienate not only Melissa but Jacqueline, too. All the while, Caroline Manzo clucks in the background, rolling her eyes, "I told you so" style.
Based on clips of next week's reunion special, this conflict isn't going to be cleared up. Teresa stands her ground, while the others pile on like, well…like Bravo's Real Housewives do.
The irony is that Melissa's husband Joe probably wouldn't mind a wife with a stripper past. But as usual, this show isn't about what the men think!