MANHATTAN (CN) – Five people say “Real Housewives of New Jersey” cast members “brutally and savagely beat, kicked, punched, scratched, jumped on and smashed glass on the heads” of two men who came to the aid of a family member, and that Bravo Media encourages its cast to “drink excessive amounts of alcohol” while filming, knowing it will lead to fights.
The five family members sued eight members of the cast and crew, Bravo Media and its production companies, in New York County Court. The family also claims that Bravo tried to buy their silence, and threatened that they would not be allowed to leave the Dominican Republic unless they took the money and ran.
Lead plaintiff Adolfo Arreola says Bravo was filming season three of its series at the Hard Rock Hotel in the Dominican Republic when cast member Teresa Giudice opened a bottle of champagne and sprayed the contents around the bar at around 1:15 a.m. The champagne hit plaintiff Yolanda Martinez in the eyes, and Guidice then “mocked, humiliated, insulted and physically approached” her, according to the complaint.
Lead plaintiff Adolfo Arreola, a Chicago police officer, says he went to the aid of his mother-in-law, and “without provocation” members of the cast and crew attacked him and his cousin Jason Gomez, giving them “serious and personal injuries, including but not limited to facial lacerations, bruising, scarring, disfigurement, fractured bones, torn ligaments, pain and suffering, and severe emotional distress.”
The family claims that Bravo encouraged the cast to “drink excessive amounts of alcohol when it knew that doing so would likely lead to verbal and/or physical confrontation between the cast of The Real Housewives of New Jersey and/or with patrons of the Moon Bar at the Hard Rock – Punta Cana.”
Along with Giudice, other defendants include her husband, Guiseppe “Joe” Giudice, Albert and Caroline Manzo and their children, Christopher, Albert and Lauren, family friend Gregory Bennett Jr., Sirens Media LLC aka Siren Nyprodco LLC and Bravo Media.
Arreola and Gomez say that at the police station, Bravo attorneys told them they would have to sign a confidentiality agreement or they would not be allowed to leave the Dominican Republic with their families. The two men say they were given $25,000 for their silence about the incident, and were forced to sign the agreement “under great duress, coercion and physical and emotional stress.”
The family seeks punitive damages on 18 causes of action, including negligence and assault. They are represented by Thomas A. Moore of New York, N.Y., and Thomas Demetrio of Chicago.