Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Teresa Giudice and Joe Gorga Attacked Each Other at BravoCon

The biggest drama at BravoCon Day 2 wasn’t the mile-long bathroom lines or more stampedes of general admission ticket holders, but the families of The Real Housewives of New Jersey engaging in an all-out feud—from two separate panels. (One of which was moderated by The Daily Beast’s Obsessed’s own editor, Kevin Fallon.)

At opposite sides of New York City’s Javits Center, the “Jersey Ladies & Their Men” panels drew thousands of viewers eager to hear about the status of the strained familial relationship between RHONJ OG Teresa Giudice and her brother, Joe Gorga. When Gorga and his wife Melissa joined the show in Season 3, the siblings’ bad blood was put on display (pun very much intended) for the world to see.

For years, Teresa and Melissa publicly feuded with Joe in the middle. But that longtime fight tempered in recent seasons of the show, with the sisters-in-law putting their differences aside to bring their families closer together.

But all of that changed recently, when unfounded rumors of Melissa’s infidelity to Joe spread during the filming of RHONJ‘s upcoming 13th season. The gossip ramped up an already contentious relationship over the show’s last couple of seasons, and Melissa and Joe ultimately decided not to attend Teresa’s lavish wedding—meaning they missed the hairdo that touched heaven. Perish the thought.

At the first “Jersey Ladies & Their Men” panel, Melissa and Joe were joined by fellow castmates and their husbands Margaret Josephs and Joe Benigno, and Jackie Goldschneider along with her husband Evan. When the BravoCon panels were first announced last month, the RHONJ cast was scheduled to all be together as one panel. A few weeks later, news came that the cast had split into two separate groups, fueling speculation from fans that the change was due to Teresa, Melissa, and Joe’s ongoing feud.

“We also learned it as a surprise,” Melissa Gorga told the audience about the panels splitting during a Q&A. “We were like, ‘Wait what happened?’ And we called the heads of Bravo, if we’re being honest, and said, ‘Why are we being split?’ So I can tell you right now it wasn’t by Gorgas’ request. We’re not cowards and I could’ve sat right up here with everybody. I don’t know if there were phone calls with anybody on the other side, but this side was ready to get up here all together.”

To a resounding echo of cheers throughout the panel’s duration, Joe Gorga hyped the audience even further when he jumped from his seat to passionately defend himself and his wife. Albeit with a sort of strange analogy about nepotism. “If I go [a] construction job, and I have a cousin who does electricity, I’m giving [them] the job!” Gorga said. “Not that we’ve got to be in competition, fuck that! We’re family… I am tired of hearing that bullshit. Because if you love each other, and we’re family, you help each other rise.”

Leave it to Bravo fans to propel the drama.

An hour and a half later, at the second panel (the one masterfully presided over by Fallon), some unruly audience participation emboldened fellow cast member Jennifer Aydin to weigh in on Melissa and Joe skipping out on the wedding. “I think that they had to do what was best for them at that moment in time,” Aydin said. “However, there will be a day—trust and believe—if not soon, one day he’s going to regret not being there for his sister’s wedding.”

“You don’t not show up for family,” Aydin continued. “That’s just a testament to the type of family you are.”

With an overeager audience encouraging her, Aydin also detailed their perspective of the panel split. “They’re holding on for dear life,” Aydin said of Melissa and Joe’s status as cast members RHONJ. “They’re going to say whatever they need to say to keep them on. We would’ve welcomed a panel all together, because at the end of the day, we’re all professional and we’re able to be cordial with one another.”

Earlier in the day, at the first New Jersey panel, Joe Gorga put the potential resolution of the feud on his sister. “She is the older one in our family… and whatever she says, goes. I’ve done everything right, I really have. I love her and respect her, and my wife has respect for her.”

But Teresa Giudice had a different perspective. “Families shouldn’t be acting this way,” Giudice said. “They’re my only family that I have here…he’s my only sibling. If you saw the way me and my brother grew up, we were inseparable.”

“When people get married, different blood comes into the family, things change,” Giudice continued. “… That’s what happened in our family, unfortunately. Fame and money ruined our family.

But Giudice did end on a (slightly) happier note. “My brother and Melissa are the ones who said that they wanted the toxic to be taken away. So they got what they wanted, and I wish them well.”

Whether or not the Giudices and Gorgas can bury the hatchet for the thousandth time—and make up over some sprinkle cookies—is a question that only they can answer when Season 13 of The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs in early 2023.

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