The offscreen drama in Orange County never ends. Jim Bellino filed a lawsuit against Real Housewives of Orange County stars Tamra Judge and Shannon Beador claiming they made inappropriate comments about him and his split from his now ex-wife Alexis Bellino.
Watch the video above or keep reading for everything we know about the legal case.
Alexis and Jim Split
Five years after Alexis last appeared on RHOC, she and Jim called it quits following 13 years of marriage in June 2018. The couple denied any drama between them in a joint statement to Us Weekly that month: “Outside of the news of our decision to part ways, there is nothing provocative, alluring, or sordid about the dissolution of our marriage. Quite to the contrary, we strongly support each other just as we have since the beginning of our relationship.”
The Alleged Remarks
Judge and Beador taped a live appearance on Heather McDonald’s “Juicy Scoop” podcast in June after the split news broke. “He was very crusty … I almost sent [Alexis] a message saying so sorry and then you sent me that text going ‘Do you think that he’s like trying to protect her … Do you think possibly that he’s in trouble, you think she can’t testify against him, he’s in trouble and all that stuff and I’m like oh that’s a whole ‘nother story,” Judge said on the release version of the podcast.
According to the court documents obtained by Us Weekly, Judge also referred to Jim as a “shady mothaf—ka” and said he was “going to jail.”
Beador also claimed “people get paralyzed” at Jim’s trampoline park, per the docs.
Cease and Desist
After the podcast was released, Jim sent letters to Judge and Beador threatening to sue them for their “morally corrupt” comments.
Making it Official
While Judge and Beador said they were “just poking fun” at the former RHOC star and her husband during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live in July, Jim did not believe them and filed the suit against the two women for more than $1 million on July 27.
The Blast reported in September that Beador and Judge both filed responses to Jim’s lawsuit, asking for the case to be dismissed.
Enter Gretchen and Slade
Jim said in the paperwork filed in September that Judge’s former costar Gretchen Rossi and her partner, Slade Smiley, told him the couple will “provide testimony regarding the anger, hostility and ill-will that Defendants harbor with respect to Bellino.”
Smiley also allegedly told Jim he and Rossi can provide evidence that “the Defendants have a pattern of making up stories to create notoriety for themselves in the media,” according to the docs.
In return, Judge asked the court to prevent Rossi from testifying against her on behalf of Jim. In Judge’s response obtained by Us, she called the motion “foundationless” and “conclusory hearsay.”
Hand Over the Texts
Jim demanded Judge hand over her text messages and emails with McDonald prior to the June podcast taping to reveal “substantial direct or circumstantial evidence” that she was trying to defame his character, according to court docs.
That’s My Opinion
Jim reiterated that he does not think the comments made about him were a joke in court documents filed in October. Judge was not making “mere opinion or a joke or ‘irreverent social commentary’ but a simple, straightforward and provably false assertion of fact that is actionable as defamation,” the docs read.
“If Ms. Judge believes it is ‘true’ that Mr. Bellino is ‘shady,’ then logic dictates that the statement can not only be proven to be true, as Mr. Judge contends, but also be proven to be false. Either way, it must be a factual assertion,” the docs read. “Thus, Ms. Judge’s own briefing undermines her own position on this motion and dispels any notion that she was merely expressing an ‘opinion’, rather than a fact, when she stated that Mr. Bellino is a ‘shady mothaf—ka.’
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