RHONJ’s Melissa Gorga Denies Joe Gorga’s Joe Giudice Meeting Was Staged: ‘We Had No Idea’

RHONJ Melissa Gorga Denies Joe Gorga Joe Giudice Meeting Was Staged
Melissa Gorga Charles Sykes/Invision/AP/Shutterstock
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The full rundown. Melissa Gorga detailed what really happened when her husband, Joe Gorga, ran into Joe Giudice in the Bahamas — and she denied that the reunion was staged.

"We truly wanted to shed light on a positive moment, and that's why Joe decided to post this video," the Real Housewives of New Jersey star, 43, explained during the Thursday, February 23, episode of her "On Display" podcast. "As everyone knows, this show runs on negative most of the time, and it's negative this, negative that. Right now the feud that is going on — which, it's very hard to deny — between the families is extremely sad. It's just a Debbie Downer 24 hours a day. So, I think Joe was happy to post this video and show a little bit of positivity, and just show a 'bygones be bygones' type moment."

Earlier this week, the Gorga Guide to Success author, 43, made headlines when he shared a video of himself hugging Joe Giudice, 50, who was previously married to Joe Gorga's sister, Teresa Giudice. "Both walked into the same bar at the same time," Joe Gorga wrote via Instagram on Sunday, February 19. "A lot of history there. We have memories since we were kids. I’m happy he’s doing well and looks good. We were both happy to see each other and catch up. Glad someone caught it."

RHONJ Melissa Gorga Denies Joe Gorga Joe Giudice Meeting Was Staged 3
Joe Gorga Joe Giudice Courtesy of Joe Gorga/Instagram

After the video appeared online, however, Teresa's eldest daughter, Gia, slammed her uncle for the "honestly comical" upload. "All you have done is talked so poorly about my father," the 22-year-old wrote in the comments section. "You are such [an] opportunist to take advantage of the once in a lifetime opportunity to see my father and use it for a post."

Fans, meanwhile, accused Joe Gorga of staging the interaction, but Melissa denied that any such planning occurred. The "I Just Wanna" singer said they realized they might run into Joe Giudice after remembering that he lives in the Bahamas, but they didn't seek him out. (The entrepreneur was deported from the United States in 2018 after serving three years in prison for fraud.)

"It 100 percent was not planned," Melissa explained, adding that fans told them they'd seen Joe Giudice in the same casino the night before the reunion happened. "We had no idea that we were gonna run into Joe Giudice."

The Love Italian Style author added that she felt "a little awkward" upon seeing her former brother-in-law, but her husband didn't hesitate to greet the other man. "For my Joe, he doesn't really have a lot of family. Basically he has none at this point," she explained. "I feel like Joe [Gorga] always gets to see me in my family with my people, with people who knew me as a child. ... He never gets to run into anyone from his childhood that he grew up with. Believe it or not, that's Joe Giudice for him."

Joe Gorga and Teresa, 50, have been feuding for years, most recently because the Gorgas didn't attend her August 2022 wedding to Luis "Louie" Ruelas. Us Weekly confirmed at the time that the tension arose because of cheating allegations leveled at Melissa during taping for RHONJ's season 13 finale.

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Melissa Gorga and Joe Gorga Gregory Pace/Shutterstock

Melissa confirmed that she was not the person behind the camera, adding that it shouldn't be surprising someone filmed the interaction. "When Joe and Joe run into each other after all these years, you can bet your ass the cameras are gonna go up," the Bravo personality said. "It's like hell froze over for a minute, honestly."

As for why Joe Giudice looked somewhat dazed to see the Gorgas, Melissa noted that he was probably just as shocked to see them. "I think Joe Giudice might have felt a little awkward for a minute because we were with so many people," the New Jersey native told her listeners. "He might have had a little anxiety about it. That's why I think his face looked a little different than Joe Gorga's face. Because Joe [Giudice] was genuinely caught off guard."

Despite the awkwardness, however, Melissa said that the emotion of the reunion was genuine. "All of the drama that you guys have always seen happen on camera literally was set to the side," she recalled. "And it really brought them both back to a time when they were truly good friends and family. They say time heals all wounds. I think that this moment was huge proof of that."

The reality star went on to double down on her claim that her reply to Gia's comment was an accident. Melissa previously said that her since-deleted Instagram comment in response to her niece was actually written by Joe Gorga on her phone.

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"I grab the phone from him, I delete the comment, and he writes the exact same comment on his phone," the "Rockstar" artist explained. "I'm telling you the truth here, that is what happened. ... At the end of the day, this was an unexpected opportunity for both of these guys to heal after so many years of drama and conflict. By posting it we simply wanted to shed light on a positive moment between the families that was not produced and was off camera."