Well, isn’t this interesting?
The Orange County Register reports that Gretchen Rossi from “The Real Housewives of Orange County” has obtained a restraining order against Jay Photoglou, the man who claims to have dated her while she was dating/engaged to Jeff Beitzel. (Jeff died in September, and during “The Real Housewives of Orange County” reunion a few weeks ago, Tamra Barney said Jay had called and told her he was Gretchen’s boyfriend.)
The restraining order request, which was filed on March 6 in Newport Beach, states that Jay has threatened to kill Gretchen, 31, and her dogs, burn down her Costa Mesa house and has already stolen things from her abode. She also claims he has made harassing phone calls, grabbed her hair and yanked her head back, and vandalized her car and home. But that’s not all – oh, no. Gretchen also says he threatened to “dispose” of former “Real Housewives” star Slade Smiley.
“He was someone I trusted and believed had my best interest at heart until he started blackmailing me and became volatile,” Gretchen wrote in her request for orders to stop harassment. “He has since been nothing but verbally and pyshically (sic – which is another way of saying that Gretchen can’t spell) abusive to me.”
Jay, 39, lost his Huntington Beach home to foreclosure in December, the newspaper reports. He claims he’s been friends with Gretchen since January 2008 and denies making any threats or harassing her.
Slade, meanwhile, was arrested last month at Gretchen’s house (gee, that’s a busy place!) on a civil contempt warrant, the paper says. He reportedly served Jay the restraining order.
Gretchen denies ever having a romantic relationship with Jay, although apparently she has admitted in other interviews that the pair briefly dated before her engagement to Jeff.
Jay – who supports himself as a car salesman – says he did have a relationship with Gretchen both while Jeff was alive and afterward, and that Gretchen is lying about it to “keep her image clean” and “protect her newfound celebrity status.”
Gretchen said that Jeff is a con man who constantly lies. “I just want this guy out of my life,” she said.
And then the plot thickens even more: A neighbor of Gretchen’s said that Jay moved into her house right after Jeff died. It “certainly seemed that” the two were dating, he said. The neighbor says it appears that Slade is currently living there.
Meanwhile, Jay will have the chance to respond to the order during a hearing set for 10:30 a.m. March 27.
The newspaper also reports that Jay had a previous restraining order filed against him by an ex-girlfriend in 2002. In addition, he had dozens of traffic violations and in 2002 faced allegations of domestic violence. Those allegations were later dismissed.
I don’t even know how to respond to this story…
Update: A real-life Jersey girl (that would be me – born, bred and still resides) will blog live on Facebook beginning at 11 p.m. EDT Tuesday, May 12, during the premiere of Bravo’s “Real Housewives of New Jersey.” Come join me and share your thoughts as we meet these five women. Click here or look up my handle, TV Blogger Ava Gacser, on Facebook. I look forward to seeing you!