On display? Not quite!
After Internet reports surfaced Friday that Real Housewives of New Jersey cast member Melissa Gorga was previously employed as a stripper, the man who once gave Gorga a gig -- as a bartender! -- is leaping to her defense.
Larry Guarino, Gorga's former manager at Lookers Gentleman's Club in Elizabeth, N.J., insists to Us Weekly reports of Gorga's past are grossly exaggerated, and that while the reality star did clock in to work at Lookers, it was not as a stripper.
"She was a bartender for a couple of months years ago, it was such a short time," Guarino tells Us of his former employee. "Lookers was really upscale then too; it wasn't like she was bartending in some hole in the wall."
Late Friday, Gorga herself took to her blog to slam the stripper rumors, declaring them "100% not true." Confirming she worked at Lookers during college, Gorga says her work outfit "was a tank top, shorts and sneakers. SORRY, no bubbies there," she wrote. "You will have a better chance at seeing some nudity on the [Housewives] episode this Sunday."
Rumors of Gorga's supposed profession spread earlier this week, when the Real Housewives cast came together to attend a fashion show at Posche, the boutique frequently seen on Bravo's series.
Though the Huffington Post reports that network producers brought Gorga's "former boss" to the show in order to confront her, Guarino insists the man, Angelo Voorhees, had little to no contact with her to begin with.
"She was never ever a dancer. Angelo never even worked with her because he worked during the day and she worked at night," argued Guarino, who trained Voorhees as a Lookers manager prior to Gorga's hiring.
And while Gorga's sister-in-law Teresa Giudice may have attempted to comfort Gorga during the fashion show, a source confirms to Us that Giudice was in on the set-up.
At the fashion show, "Teresa was like, 'I'm trying to protect you, I'm all about family,'" the source confirms, adding that Gorga confronted her sister-in-law about a set-up and asked why she didn't warn Gorga of Voorhees' presence. "[Teresa] was trying to embarrass Melissa and imply she used to be a stripper. All the other [cast members] thought it was wrong of Teresa."
Confirms the source: "The girls were like, 'If Teresa's all about family… stop stirring the pot!"