Real Housewives of New Jersey star Kim DePaola has found herself in the spotlight after two unidentified victims — shot execution-style in the head — were found in a car owned by her that was set on fire Friday in Paterson, New Jersey, according to multiple reports.
According to TMZ, the torched vehicle belonged to DePaola and was mostly used by her adult son Chris. TMZ reports that Chris was out of town after a friend dropped him off at the airport using the car, though the friend was not supposed to be driving the vehicle around.
On Sunday, DePaola addressed the news on Instagram, assuring everyone that she and her son were safe: “I am humbled by the outpour of love and support during this very difficult time,” she wrote. “My son and I are both safe. Our deepest condolences go out to the victims’ families of this truly horrific tragedy.”
While the investigation is still ongoing, here are a few things to know about the boutique owner and reality guest star, who is now caught up in the alleged double homicide.
She’s been appearing on RHONJ for years.
Though she’s never been a full-time cast member, DePaola is a familiar face for seasoned RHONJ fans. She first appeared on the hit Bravo reality series’ second season in 2010, and has made appearances on every season since, except for season 6.
She’s known for stirring the pot.
DePaola has been known for creating drama amongst the cast members, and in 2014 she won “Best Supporting Agitator” during Bravo’s Real Housewives Awards.
The RHONJ ladies love to shop at her store.
DePaola owns Posche, a popular boutique in Allendale, New Jersey. The store sells clothing, handbags, shoes and jewelry, and the Real Housewives stars have regularly been filmed shopping there. DePaola has also had Posche fashion shows featured on RHONJ.
She has a small, tight-knit family.
DePaola’s only child, son Chris, regularly pops up on her Instagram and shows up to support his mother at her events.
DePaola is also close with her mother, Dotty.
She has brushed up against crime before.
According to a 2015 interview she gave to the Asbury Park Press, DePaola has dated Tom Giacomaro — nicknamed New Jersey’s “King of Con” — who reportedly spent 13 years in jail for defrauding investors out of $73 million. DePaola told the outlet at the time that the two were working on his autobiography, The King of Con.
“Kim is wonderful,” Giacomaro told the Asbury Park Press. “I’ve known her many, many years, and she’s the love of my life.”
“I’m divorced, he’s divorced. I’m single, he’s single — and here we are,” added DePaola.