Update, Dec. 8: According to a statement by a Bravo spokesperson, “There is no merit to this lawsuit.”
Melissa Gorga and Andy Cohen are being sued for $30 million by the Real Housewives of New Jersey star’s ex-business partner who claims the reality star and producer made her look like a “felon” on TV.
Jackie Beard Robinson, who ran the clothing boutique Envy with Gorga, is accusing the RHONJ star and the Bravo producer of defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Robinson filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on Wednesday.
Gorga and Robinson met in 2014 and opened the store in Montclair, New Jersey, the following year. Robinson was named manager of the shop, named Envy by Melissa Gorga. By 2016, the business relationship was over.
According to the lawsuit, Robinson states she went to the store to get her belongings in “broad daylight” in January 2017 after alleging Gorga was “misappropriating over $37,000 from Envy without authorization.”
During one of the RHONJ episodes, Gorga claimed Robinson “snuck into Envy in the middle of the night and stole clothing.”
Gorga’s allegations were discussed on What What Happens Live, hosted by Cohen, who asked the RHONJ star “Wow, so, that lady wound up kinda ripping you off?.” Gorga replied, “yes.”
Robinson argued that the comments made her look like a felon, which hurt her business as “an entrepreneur and international fashion influencer.” Robinson also lists herself as “a blogger and style consultant.”
NBCUniversal and Dorothy Toran, a production executive on RHONJ, are also listed in the suit.