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Here are all the biggest Real Housewives legal dramas

Jen Shah to Teresa Giudice: Here are all the biggest Real Housewives legal dramas

Does Bravo have a list of recommended lawyers now?


The Real Housewives franchise is known for a lot of things like messy women, lavish holidays and screaming matches, but in recent years, it has become a cult fan-favourite because of all the legal dramas.

Many of them are spats over their eye-watering net worths, which you’d expect, but sometimes they reach into the more, well, intriguing. Sometimes, the legal dramas extend past greed but more into the criminal underworld. Sometimes, it is just pure bad behaviour, crimes of passion or something else entirely. Here the Real Housewives who have been involved in the Bravo franchise’s biggest legal dramas.

Candiace Dillard Bassett

A legal battle was brewing between some of the cast of The Real Housewives of Potomac in March 2023 when Ashley Darby’s estranged husband, Michael, sued Candiace Dillard Bassett for $2 million that she made about him on the show.

“Your husband likes to leave you and go to a man named [bleep]’s house and suck his dick,” Cadiance said on the seventh series.

Lisa Hochstein

Lisa was accused of stalking her ex-husband Lenny’s new girlfriend Katharina Mazepa after she accused her of dolling out “cyberbullying, intimidation and harassment” in August 2022.

“I have been a victim of cyberbullying, intimidation and harassment from Lisa Hochstein,” Katharina told US Weekly. “Lisa denying these claims and calling them ridiculous are, unfortunately, just another lie and another deceptive tactic to portray herself. My attorneys and myself have evidence to back up every claim I have made in restraining order filing.”

Jen Shah

— adam (@c0untesslumann) January 30, 2024

Jen gripped the Bravo fanbase after she and her assistant, Stuart Smith, were arrested in March 2021 in connection to a telemarketing scheme, which turned out to be good old-fashioned money laundering. Her legal bother sent the rest of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City into overdrive. The frenzy wasn’t helped by Jen getting arrested during filming. In July 2022, she changed her plea to guilty, which cut 20 years off her looming sentence.

According to The Cut, Jen is now prison pals with Elizabeth Holmes, the scammer of instant blood test start-up Theranos fame, and will get out in six and half years.

Erika Girardi

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (and the rest of pop culture) was rocked by the allegation that Erika Girardi’s husband, Tom, was not actually the great lawyer that the film Erin Brockovich painted him out to be. Instead of a warrior for the little guy, a class action from Edelson PC alleged that he had embezzled their settlement money, which was intended for the surviving families of Lion Air Flight 610. The crash left 198 dead in 2018. A month before this scandal broke, Erika had filed for divorce. The suit claimed this was “a sham attempt to fraudulently protect Tom and Erika’s money”, and they were “on the verge of financial collapse and locked in a downward spiral of mounting debts and dwindling funds.”

Along with this, Tom faced legal action from his business partners from his firm Girardi Keese after it came to light that they owed $882 million.

Erika, who once toured gay bars with her hit XXPENSIVE,  denies any and all knowledge and spoke of feeling “betrayed” when her name was included in the lawsuit.

Lisa Vanderpump

Lisa and her husband, Ken Todd, were at the centre of two suits, accusing them of labour law violations. First up, we had Adam Pierce Antoine say they were “not paying wages”, “failing to pay minimum wages”, or “providing meal breaks” at their very funnily named eatery Sexy Unique Restaurant. This place became the setting of her new reality show Vanderpump Rules, which became her main home on telly after her departure from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

A few months later, another case came from Olivia Beverly Hanson with further allegations about not paying wages. The papers also named their business partners Guillermo Zapata and Nathalie Pouille-Zapata. US Weekly reached out to the couple for comment.

Teresa Giudice

In 2014, Teresa pleaded guilty to 41 counts of fraud and served 11 months in prison for her crimes. They were in connection to her now ex-husband Joe Giudice’s business dealings before and during her time on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. At the time, Teresa claimed that the papers she signed, the one that implicated her in the scheme, were just put in front of her and that she had no clue what they were actually about.  After he did his own 41-month sentence, Joe was detained by ICE and deported back to Italy as his parents never got him American citizenship in 2019.

Kim Richards

Kim was arrested for public intoxication in April 2015. Her struggle with substance abuse was a large part of her storyline on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alongside her sister, Kyle Richards. Months later, she was arrested again after being accused of robbing more than $600 worth of stuff from Target. Afterwards, she was given three years on probation and ordered to do 450 hours of community service and attend AA meetings.

In 2018, Kim was involved in another legal drama when she was forced to pay $266,000 to her neighbour after her pitbull Kingsley attacked him.

Shannon Beador

Shannon was arrested and charged for both a hit-and-run and driving under the influence last September. After having her car taken away for further investigation, her lawyer said that she was “extremely apologetic and remorseful”.  In January, she returned to filming The Real Housewives of Orange County, according to Page Six.

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