People Staff
May 28, 2009 12:00 AM

From phone sex to Botox, Danielle Staub has already injected drama into The Real Housewives of New Jersey but, as viewers of Bravo’s reality hit know, it’s about to get really ugly.

Tuesday’s episode showed skeptical costar Caroline Manzo promising to thoroughly investigate Staub after hearing rumors about her acquaintance. And in a preview of next week’s episode, it appears the Manzo family has done just that, discovering a book, Cop Without a Badge, that purports to expose secrets from Staub’s past.

New Jersey’s Star-Ledger obtained a copy of the out-of-print book, and revealed its contents, which expose Staub, 46, as a woman named Beverly Merrill, a one-time stripper with a criminal past.

According to the newspaper’s account of the book, Merrill met the subject of Cop Without a Badge, a felon-turned-FBI informant named Kevin Maher, at a drug party in Miami in the ’80s. Their meeting came after she was released on $10,000 bail following an arrest on charges she was involved in the alleged kidnapping of a man who owed her drug dealer friend money. As a result, Merrill and her dealer friend were caught by police and charged with extortion, kidnapping and possession after they failed to collect a ransom from their victim’s father.

But with his police connections, Maher allegedly helped Merrill get a deal, and she pleaded guilty only to the charge of extortion. She was sentenced to five years probation, according to the report.

The book then goes on to say that Merrill wed Maher (he was married when they met) and attempted to start a family. But Merrill, who was dancing at the strip club Satin Dolls in Lodi, N.J., under the name Danielle, was not a suitable partner for Maher, and he left her.

The book also includes more sensational reports about Merrill’s aversion to wearing underwear, her drug use and sleeping with more than 1,000 men, according to the newspaper.

When reached for a comment, a Bravo rep would only encourage viewers to tune in, saying, “Watch what happens.” According to Star-Ledger‘s report, the book Cop Without a Badge received some skeptical reviews on from apparently closely associated with Maher’s family.

But conducted a public records search, which revealed that Danielle Staub did indeed go by the names Beverly Merrill, Danielle Maher and Beverly Maher.

As for how the drama will play out on television with the Manzos’ own investigation, as it most undoubtedly will, well, stay tuned. — Brian Orloff


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