Ever since the moment now ex-housewife Danielle Staub referred to Teresa Giudice's sister-in-law on the Season 2 reunion of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," the fans and the media have been interested in who this woman is.
"I remember that summer weekend was really crazy," Melissa Gorga tells Zap2it. "I was in all the magazines for this and that and I was sitting out by my pool reading all about myself and I couldn't figure out how this all happened. It was a little surreal."
Well, the world is about to meet Melissa when the series returns to Bravo with probably its craziest premiere episode we've ever seen on Monday (May 16), because along with Teresa's cousin, Kathy Wakile, Melissa is now an official housewife.
Zap2it spoke to Melissa about how the attention became focused on her and she responds to several things Teresa has said in the media about her.
So, it's true, right? The first time the viewing audience heard about you was when Danielle Staub mentioned that Teresa had not visited your son in the hospital after he was born.
Yes, that was my son she was speaking about. I have no idea how she got that information or how she knew that, but that was my son she was talking about. I've never met Danielle. Yeah, so I guess that was when the world was introduced to the fact that Teresa even had a brother and sister-in-law.
What truth was there in what Danielle was accusing Teresa of?
I don't even remember the exact words she said. The truth of it is that Teresa did come to the hospital. She did stay for about 20 minutes. I must have told my friends or something that the situation was she came, she didn't even look at the baby, she didn't pick up the baby, she just talked about herself on 'Regis & Kelly' the whole time and somehow that turned into the story that got passed on to Danielle. And I didn't mean for that to happen and I'm assuming that's what she was talking about. I don't know for sure, but I'm assuming that's what she's talking about.
Did you feel horrible when Danielle used that against Teresa?
Yeah, you know I didn't want [the story of my] son to get all blown up and especially that season reunion was a little bit crazy. So, I didn't want my son being mentioned at all. I didn't really understand it, but it happened. And I guess people started to figure out, because I had just had a baby who she was talking about.
Did the real media circus around you start with the reunion or did it begin when rumors of you joining the cast began circulating?
You know it was both. They had by then already contacted me. When that aired, the show had already contacted me. When that reunion aired, I was still making the decision whether or not I wanted to do the show or not. So, I think it was a little of both.
Recently, Teresa said she had to find out from Bravo about you joining the show and no one from the family thought to tell her. How true is that?
I get a call on a Friday that they wanted me and this, that and the other thing. And I hadn't made my decision. She had called me by Sunday screaming and yelling and threatening me that I should never do the show. And I hadn't even had the chance to call her if I wanted to. I was still trying to make the decision in my mind whether it was something that I wanted to do. And to be perfectly honest with you, Teresa and I weren't speaking at the time, so it wasn't something that I would call her and say, 'Hey, what should I do here? Should I do this?' No, we weren't even speaking at the time. So, my mentality was things can't get any worse. You know, she's done a lot to us and it wasn't something where I was going to go to her and let her make that decision in my life, because that's a huge decision to make and it's a huge opportunity. So, just because Teresa was stomping her feet doesn't mean I was going to turn it down.
Why do you think Teresa didn't want you on the show?
I don't know, a lot of reasons. It is her younger brother and her younger brother is very successful and we have an incredible marriage. We are a bit of a younger version of whatever you're seeing with her. Teresa's not big on family. She never hangs with family that much. She's more of a friend person. She likes people who don't really know the real truth. She likes people who don't know the whole background and where she's been, what she's come from. And I think it was a little bit of a threat to her to have someone come on and who knows the whole story and knows the whole background and I don't think she likes that.
Teresa has also told the press that she tried to get along with you after you married her brother, but that you were cold to her. What's your take on that?
I have both sisters down The Shore and she was going to be the only sister that I had. And I really did want a relationship with her. And I feel we did try in the beginning. And she did try. But little by little, the things she would say, the way that she was was very different from the way that I was and we started to bump heads. And as Joey and I started to become more successful, I think she started to change and her personality toward me started to change. And she looked at me as a competitor instead of a sister-in-law and that's when things just started to go downhill and all of that was just bizarre to me, because I have none of that going on in my family. And I have two older sisters and cousins everywhere, so I'm not used to that. It took me for a loop. And every time she spoke my jaw would drop. I couldn't believe the words that were coming out of her mouth. So, it's kinda hard for me. It was a really hard time. I think we've all come to a place now where we've accepted it. It's not happening. It's just never going to happen, so we just kind of gave up. But, you will start to see us try to mend fences and try to fix it.
Watch a preview of the family tension below:
The Season 3 premiere of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" airs at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.
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Photo/Video credit: Bravo