Teresa Giudice Accuses Melissa Gorga of Sending Her to Prison in RHONJ Reunion Shocker

The Real Housewives of New Jersey's Teresa Giudice made an explosive allegation about sister-in-law Melissa Gorga during the Bravo series' May 30 reunion episode.

By Brett Malec May 31, 2023 1:00 AMTags
Watch: Teresa Giudice & Melissa Gorga: Inside RHONJ's Heated Family Feud

Teresa Giudice just dropped a bombshell relating to her time behind bars.

During part one of The Real Housewives of New Jersey's season 13 reunion on May 30, the Bravo star went to war with sister-in-law Melissa Gorga over their decade-long family feud. But Teresa shocked everyone the most when she repeated a rumor about Melissa and Joe Gorga she heard from ex co-star Jacqueline Laurita.

"Jacqueline told me so much s--t that you and my brother were doing," Teresa said before bringing up her and ex-husband Joe Giudice's prison sentences for fraud, which they completed in 2015 and 2019 respectively. "Joe's ex-partner, he didn't go to jail because he outed me. They were hanging out with him and they were speaking with him."

Melissa denied ever talking to the former business associate. "I didn't even know Joe Giudice's ex-partner," she stated. "This is like [when you said] Caroline Manzo put you in jail."

Teresa replied, "I take that back. I think you did." Unfortunately for viewers, Teresa's prison allegation ended with a cliffhanger.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey Season 13 Reunion Looks

That was hardly the only disagreement shared between the embattled co-stars. Earlier in the episode, Teresa called Melissa "disgusting" for joining the show in season three.

"Your whole storyline was me," she claimed, to which Melissa fired back, "Your whole storyline is talking about your brother in every scene."

Alas, Teresa went in on how she's shared every moment with fans. "I had a baby on the show, I went to jail on the show," Teresa replied, "I got married on the show." Melissa's response? "You went to jail, we're so proud of you."

Jocelyn Prescod/Bravo

And when asked by host Andy Cohen what each hopes to accomplish during the reunion, Teresa reiterated that she wants Melissa out of her life. Forever.

"I wanna close the chapter and move forward," she said. "I wish her well, peace, and I just want to close that chapter."

The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on Bravo. Keep reading for a complete timeline of Teresa's feud with the Gorgas.

Joe & Melissa Skip Teresa's Wedding

Rather than watch Teresa and Luis "Louie" Ruelas tie the knot, Joe and Melissa were spotted having a day at the beach on Aug. 6, 2022, after Joe seemingly shaded his sister's nuptials the night before on Instagram. Sharing a pic with other family members and friends, Joe captioned his Instagram story, "Blood doesn't make you family."

At the time, a source told E! News the couple skipped the wedding following family tensions and a recent argument.

Wedding Bill Rumors

Three days after tying the knot, Louie responded to rumors that Teresa sent her brother and sister-in-law a bill for missing the wedding. "We would never in a million years ask for money from Joe and Melissa—we are not petty," he commented on a fan account Instagram post on Aug. 9. "Joe and Melissa were missed."

Joe & Melissa Break Their Silence

On the Aug. 11 episode of her On Display podcast, Melissa said there was a "laundry list of reasons" why she and Joe skipped Teresa's wedding, including a fight that broke out between them while filming RHONJ season 13.

"There was something that went down at the finale of filming," Melissa revealed. "Those exact details, I obviously cannot say today. Anything that we have filmed is something that I am not able to talk about."

The Bravo star also stated that no one knows "the full entire story" of what caused their rift, adding, "There is drips and drabs of it, and that's because the stories that are out there are obviously not coming from my camp. So, pay attention."

What's Done Is Done

Teresa called the whole situation "so sad" while chatting with E! News in September 2022, adding, "It's not how I wanted things to end up."

Despite that, the RHONJ star revealed that she had no plans of making amends with Joe and Melissa, stating, "No, no, no, that's really it. That's it."

Joe's Olive Branch

When asked whether there's room for reconciliation between him, Melissa and Teresa, Joe told E! News' Erin Lim Rhodes at BravoCon 2022 on Oct. 14, "Well, there's always room. What can I say, I love my sister. I really do."

"I feel like we went back to when we first got on the show," he continued. "And we're older now, and it shouldn't be this way, and it saddens me. It really does. And at the point I am in my life, at my age, I don't want this. I really don't want this. So, it's not a good situation."

But as for what it would take to move on from the drama? Joe simply replied, "I don't know."

On Oct. 15, Teresa got emotional when responding to her brother's positive words at BravoCon, telling E! News, "My wedding was really devastating to me that he wasn't there and right now, I'm focusing on my children and my husband. I need time to heal. I'm very heartbroken."

Melissa Feels "Exhausted"

Also at BravoCon, Melissa opened up about their family's current struggles in an interview with E! News on Oct. 16, during which she admitted to feeling "exhausted" by the whole thing.

"There's always highs and lows for us in our relationship," she explained. "I would say right now is definitely one of our lows. We are family and I think right now the family just needs a little time. I think we need time, I don't think anybody is in it right now. I'm listening to her interviews, sounds like she's not in it, not willing to move forward."

Teresa Claps Back

The Giudice-Gorga family feud took a turn for the worse after Joe poked fun at Teresa's marriage during a BravoCon episode of Watch What Happens Live. When Melissa was asked whether she thinks her husband's stand-up career or Teresa and Louie's marriage will last longer, Joe got up and responded, "I'm gonna answer the question. My stand-up career, baby!"

Reacting to the comment, Teresa said on the Oct. 25 episode of her Namaste B$tches podcast, "That's not my brother," adding that she doesn't know "what kind of character he's trying to play."

"What he just did at BravoCon, that's very mean-spirited, very sad," the RHONJ star continued, "and I just wish that he would stop talking about us to try to make himself relevant."

Teresa wrapped up her feelings by stating, "This is the last time I'm talking about this because there's gonna be a lot of things addressed, obviously, at the reunion. And then, after that, I'm done."

Done With the Drama

In December 2022, Melissa told E! News that she was done with all the coverage of their family drama.

"It's upsetting that there's a lot of tit for tat going on," she said at the Villa Azur Grand Opening at Grand Canal Shoppes inside The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas on Dec. 8. "It's starting to feel like people are using things as ways to win the audience over. When I don't, I don't like that. I don't respect that as much."

She went on to applaud Tamra Judge and the cast of The Real Housewives of Orange County for how they manage conflict among the cast.

"That they can get in a knockdown, drag-out fight, but they leave it," Melissa explained. "They leave it there, they leave it at home, and they don't continue the chaos on social media. And I have to say The Real Housewives of New Jersey is not great at that. They really continue the chaos."

Season 13 Showdown

Fans got their first glimpse of how the family's drama will play out on the Bravo series in the RHONJ season 13 trailer. And the Dec. 21 sneak peek featured several anger-fueled moments that could be the fight that made Joe and Melissa skip Teresa's wedding—from Joe and Louie arguing at a guy's dinner to Teresa and Melissa yelling at each other at a 1920s party and more.

Perhaps the most intense fight teased comes at the end of the trailer. After Joe yells "f--k you" at Teresa during a fight, Louie threatens to punch his brother-in-law in the face.

"She's always wanted to keep my brother and I apart," Teresa says of Melissa in the trailer. "She got her wish."

Not Going Anywhere

Following the intense RHONJ season 13 trailer, rumors began circling online that Teresa wanted to quit the Bravo series because of her conflict with Joe and Melissa.

But Teresa quickly shut those rumors down, clarifying in a December 2022 interview with People, "I would never step away. I started the show," adding, "I'm never going to give that to anyone because I'm the one that started the show."

"Other people are trying to put that out there, like, 'Oh, Teresa wants to leave,'" she continued. "It's so crazy to me how people are trying to plant the seed that Teresa wants to leave the show…the games that people play. No. I started this. I'm not walking away until Bravo wants me to walk away."

Antonia Gorga Weighs In

On the Dec. 22 episode of her On Display podcast, Melissa revealed how her daughter Antonia, 17, has been handling all the family chaos. And much to the star's surprise, she said her daughter is simply "unfazed" by it all.

"It's so crazy that she is such a drama-free—like she almost giggles at drama, like laughs at me," Melissa explained. "She'll laugh at me and she'll be like, 'Oh Mom, please.' Like, she's unfazed by the fact that even her cousins unfollowed her parents on Instagram. She just is like, 'You know what, Mom? Not your problem, theirs.'"

Melissa also noted that growing up on reality TV may have helped Antonia—as well as her and Joe's sons Gino, 15, and Joey, 12—learn to deal with conflict "in a calm manner."

"I think she's also watched certain situations and things that I've been through too, and how I handle them and the calmness in the room instead of the chaotic-ness," Melissa said, "and I think she's learned from that. And it could also just be her personality."

Teresa's Involvement in the Melissa Cheating Rumor

During the season 13 finale, which aired May 17, it was revealed that Teresa and Louie secretly met with Joe to tell him about the cheating rumor about Melissa a friend of Margaret Josephs had started. Melissa slammed the "baseless rumor" and confronted Teresa about trying to ruin her marriage.

"How dare you tell my husband that I would cheat on him!" she said. "Pretty f--ked up sister-in-law I have, isn't it?"

The rumor was the last straw for the Gorgas, who didn't not attend Teresa's wedding on the series.

Teresa's Prison Accusation

During part one of the RHONJ reunion May 30, Teresa made a bombshell accusation about her 2015 prison sentence for fraud relating to Melissa and Joe.

"Jacqueline [Laurita] told me so much s--t that you and my brother were doing," Teresa said before bringing up her and ex-husband Joe Giudice's own prison sentence. "Joe's ex-partner, he didn't go to jail because he outed me. They were hanging out with him and they were speaking with him."

Melissa denied ever talking to the former business associate. "I didn't even know Joe Giudice's ex-partner," she stated. "This is like [when you said] Caroline Manzo put you in jail."

Teresa replied, "I take that back. I think you did." 

Teresa Is Done...Forever

During the RHONJ reunion, Teresa said she wants her brother and sister-in-law out of her life forever, declaring, "I can't wait to never f--king look at your face again after today."

Melissa's response to Tre seemingly wanting her off the Bravo series? "Why, where you going?" she asked, to which Teresa replied, "You're leaving."

Gia Giudice Weighs In

During the June 13 reunion episode, Joe alleged that Teresa's daughter Gia Giudice said her uncle could "do better" than Melissa. So Teresa called her eldest daughter up to tell her side of the story.

"I called him regarding the wedding saying that he should do the right thing," Gia said, "that Nonna and Nonno are looking down on them and my mom wanted him to walk her down the aisle. I never told him that he could do better than my aunt Melissa. And it's sad, zio Joe, that you're trying to call me a liar."

Overcome with anger, Teresa then stormed off set. "You're f--king disgusting. Disgusting!" she ranted. "This is not how I would raise my children, ever! You should be ashamed of yourself. And don't come following me!"

The Bo Dietl of It All

Heard of Bo Dietl? Tha famed private investigator became a hot topic on the reunion after Margaret Josephs, Joe Gorga, Frank Catania and John Fuda accused Louie of hiring him to dig up dirt on the cast.

Louie fiercely denied hiring him and, after the reunion concluded, Andy revealed Bo actually texted him about the drama.

"I just want to say on his behalf, he said, 'I never did any investigations on the cast of the Housewives of New Jersey,'" Andy shared on the June 14 episode of his SiriusXM radio show Andy Cohen Live. "'I never said that I didn't do any other investigations for Louie.'"

Joe & Teresa's Final Parting Words

After three reunion episodes with constant fighting between Teresa and Melissa, the feuding family members decided to go their separate ways after season 13.

In a heartbreaking conclusion, Joe delivered a parting message to his sister. 

"You know what the best thing to do is?" he proposed. "Forget about me, I will forget about you. That's it. Do your thing, leave me alone, leave everybody alone, live your f--king lives."

As for Melissa, she shared, "I definitely feel the hate, right, you see it. It's clear that I can never please her, I never could from day one. No matter what I did it was wrong and, obviously, some things never change. I do love you, no matter what you think. I worry about you and I'll go with the flow with whatever the family decides to do."

Where Rachel Fuda & Margaret Josephs Stand

Rachel Fuda and Margaret—who has a long history of feuding with Teresa—ended the season team Melissa, especially after the Bo Dietl of it all.

Margaret slammed Louie repeatedly during the reunion and claimed he called her son's work to harass him (which Louie denied) while Rachel's husband John alleged Louie hired the P.I. to contact his ex-wife to stir up drama (which he also denied).

Where Dolores Catania & Jennifer Aydin Stand

As Teresa's longtime BFF, Dolores Catania continued to straddle the fence between blind loyalty and questioning some of Teresa's more serious claims—especially the accusation that the Gorgas were responsible for her prison sentence.

"It's hard to believe," Dolores told Andy. "Do I think that a brother could do that to a sister? No."

But Dolores didn't hold ill will towards Melissa either. "It's time for them to part ways now because it's just toxic for both of them," she added, "and they're both hurt."

Jennifer Aydin—who also helped spreading the Melissa cheating rumor—remains 100-percent #TeamTeresa.

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