Courthouse Blues

Real Housewives Gone Bad: Teresa Giudice, Bethenny Frankel & Kim Zolciak (PHOTOS)

Teresa Guidice is the latest “Real Housewives” star to have trouble with the law, but she’s not the only one.

Bravo, Invision/AP, FilmMagic

Bravo, Invision/AP, FilmMagic

Real Housewives Gone Bad: Teresa Giudice, Bethenny Frankel & Kim Zolciak (PHOTOS)

Recently, Jersey “Housewife” Teresa Giudice and her husband, Joe, made headlines for being charged with 39 counts of fraud and conspiracy. Fans of the show are probably not surprised given the pair’s current behavior, but it seems they aren’t the only stars of the Housewives franchise who have been in trouble with the law. 

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Teresa Giudice

Teresa and her husband can’t seem to go a year without ending up in hot water. Last year’s season of Housewives saw the family try to deal with husband Joe’s misbehavior, including an arrest for using his brother’s information to get a license following a DUI. The situation hasn’t gotten better. Both husband and wife are facing 39 counts of fraud and a maximum sentence of 50 years in jail if they are convicted. The charges include evasion of taxes on an alleged income of $1 million over the course of four years, mail and wire fraud and obtaining loans with fraudulent information. They have yet to enter pleas and are out on bail.

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Kim Zolciak

Like many reality stars before her, Kim decided to branch out into music. Her performance was universally panned, but one of her songs managed to reach the top 10 on the iTunes dance chart. Songwriter and castmate Kandi Burruss sued her, claiming she illegally licensed and distributed the song she cowrote with producer Rodney Richard. In other words, Burruss claimed the song was sold and released without the songwriters’ consent. As of June 2013 the case is ongoing. Kim denies any wrongdoing, saying she overpaid Kandi for the song by giving her Grammy Award–winning former friend $6,000. 

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Alexis and Jim Bellino

Alexis can be spacey and Jim can be sleazy, but who would have thought Jim would be sued for fraud. He was accused of wrongfully foreclosing on a hotel he had financed in 2010. At the time, Bellino was reportedly battling a foreclosure on the couple’s own sic-bedroom home in Newport Beach and the bankruptcy of his company Global Marine Inc., which held the title to the house.

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Sheree Whitfield

The ongoing project that was Sheree Whitfield’s unfinished dream house wasn’t going well the last time she was on The Real Housewives before quitting the show. She and Kandi toured the grounds, which were mostly dirt and construction equipment. It seems that house will never come to fruition. Her former lawyers reportedly took her to court claiming she neglected to pay legal fees from her divorce. Whitfield has had bill problems in the past; she had her $100,000 Aston Martin seized to pay back legal fees in 2010. Perhaps she should reevaluate her payment priorities. Whitfield told TMZ the decision was unfair, but “It's OK, it's a car, I'll get another one."

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Taylor Armstrong

Taylor Armstrong (born Shana Hughes, changed to Taylor Ford) and her late husband had a myriad of problems, which she tearfully aired out to a therapist and a television camera. Before becoming a housewife, Taylor allegedly represented herself as a member of the Ford motor dynasty to potential investors of her husband’s firm. Husband Russell filed for bankruptcy in 2005 and weeks before his suicide he was sued for $1.5 million by for misusing investment money. Taylor has denied having any business dealings with MyMedicalRecords or being involved in her husband’s business.

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Bethenny Frankel

Bethenny Frankel has been in the news recently for her increasingly uncivil divorce, but she’s also been on the receiving end of some lawsuits. The housewife mogul developed Skinny Girl, a brand of low-cal cocktails, but her former management company Raw Talent didn’t feel like going out for a drink when they sued for not receiving commission as a result of the sale of the brand under their management. Raw Talent claimed they were owed $12 million from the sale plus an additional $100 million in punitive damages. She quietly settled with the management team out of court.

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Danielle Staub

The woman who incited the infamous “PROSTITUTION WHORE” table flip freak-out from Teresa has had some problems of her own. Her ex-husband filed a $5 million defamation suit against her, the publisher, and the ghostwriter of her memoir, which revealed that he apparently killed her dog and forced her to play Russian roulette. Staub eventually settled with her ex. She was later sued again after allegedly not fulfilling her job agreement with Scores strip club. A judge sided in her favor in the Scores debacle citing her contract as too vague. 

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Tareq and Michaele Salahi

It’s rare that something from the realm of Real Housewives makes the national news, but Tareq and Michaele did just that on their stint of the short-lived Real Housewives of Washington D.C. The show documented the delusional couple as they managed to sneak into a White House event. As of 2009, the pair had been named in 16 different civil suits including unpaid vendors, bill collectors, and unpaid taxes. 

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Kelly Bensimon

Former fashion model and more recently Playboy model Kelly Bensimon has never seemed quite “all there” to viewers during her time with The Real Housewives of New York City. Her mood swings and bizarre behavior was mostly harmless. But police didn’t think she was so harmless when she was arrested on an assault charge for decking her boyfriend. She pleaded not guilty to the charges. The former model struck a plea deal for the assault and served two days of community service.

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Cindy Barshop

It’s fine if you don’t remember this particular housewife. She may not have had a memorable freak-out or ridiculous opulence of some of the other Housewives, but she did have a lawsuit. Her spa company, Completely Bare, was accused of discriminatory practices by a former employee claiming verbal abuse and discrimination because of her race. When she went to Barshop, the ex-employee says, she was fired a week later. The case was later dismissed and Barshop said, “I’m so happy that the truth has come out. I’ve never looked at people based on race, religion, creed, or color. I see people for who they are.”