3:06pm PT by Eriq Gardner
'Real Housewives' Lawsuit: The Fallout for Bravo
On Monday, a lawsuit was filed claiming that Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Guidice beat up a Chicago family on a trip to the Dominican Republic. Much of the attention has been focused on Guidice's altercation and that she's being sued. Not to be missed, however, is the fact that the production companies, Sirens Media and Bravo, are also defendants.
On her trip, Giudice allegedly began spraying a bottle of champagne around a bar, which supposedly hit plaintiff Yolanda Martinez and caused her severe eye irritation and discomfort. Martinez was tended by her son-her-law, Adolfo Arreola, and according to the complaint, he asked the cast and crew of the reality show cease harming, humiliating and insulting his 53-year-old mother-in-law.
Instead, the cast and crew is alleged to have physically attacked him, and when Arreola's cousin, Jason Gomez, came to his aide, they allegedly attacked him too. Supposedly, the three family members were savagely beaten, punched, scratched, jumped on and had glass smashed on their heads.
In the complaint, no motivation for for any of this is given. To our ears, the story sounds extremely thin.
But assuming it's true, wouldn't producers want to show it on television?
The complaint allows that the plaintiffs did sign a release and offers one of the strangest justifications we've ever heard for why the release isn't valid.
Allegedly, the family was at the police station and needed proper medical attention. So "under great coercion, duress, and emotional stress...plaintiffs Adolfo Arreola and Jason Gomez were told that if they did not sign the release, neither they, nor their families, would be able to leave the Dominican Republic."
Really? They says they signed it and got $25,000, plus reimbursement of medical costs and expenses.
But wait -- it gets better. The complaint continues:
"Upon information and belief, there was a conspiracy between the defendants, Punta Cana police, the Magistrate, Hard Rock Cafe...wherein plaintiffs were forced to waive their rights and counsel was forced upon them so that they and their families could leave the Dominican Republic."
A conspiracy? Let that one sink in for a minute.
Here's the full complaint: