RHOC's Tamra Judge Says Jim Bellino's Defamation Lawsuit Defense Has Cost Her 'Over $300,000'
"I could have put all my kids through college with the amount of money I paid for that lawsuit," Tamra Judge said on Sunday's Real Housewives of Orange County
Season 14 of the Real Housewives of Orange County ended on an emotional note for Tamra Judge on Tuesday, as she broke down in tears over the financial strains she’d been experiencing while defending herself in an ongoing defamation lawsuit from Jim Bellino.
Taking her frustrations out on her castmate Gina Kirschenheiter, Judge asked, “Do you know what I’m going through? Do you know?”
“Is somebody taking over $300,000 from your f—ing bank account? Is somebody taking that from you?” she said.
Adding to Judge’s anger was the fact that costar Kelly Dodd had been contacting Jim, offering to be subpoenaed as a character witness in his case. She later apologized to Judge, explaining that she was just trying to hurt Judge. And while Judge accepted the apology, she was still at her wits end.
“Kelly can f— off. I could have put all my kids through college with the amount of money I paid for that lawsuit,” Judge, 52, said. “She knew that it was so devastating, but she still reached out and said, ‘Hey, let me help you.’ F— her!”
“I thought I moved on but I can’t get over it,” Judge added. “Today I had to write another big check to my attorney just to defend myself and it’s just made me think about Kelly and her involvement. … I’m trying to be the bigger person here, I really am. But I’m looking at Kelly like, ‘You f—ing bitch.’ Acting like we’re all really good friends. Like, who do you think you are? After a few tequilas and thinking about writing that check and seeing Kelly’s little smug face over there, it makes me want to knock her lights out.”
Judge was sued earlier last year by Jim — the ex-husband of her former RHOC costar, Alexis Bellino — for supposed negative comments she made about him during a taping of Heather MacDonald’s Juicy Scoop podcast that he says lost him over $1 million in potential business.
At the podcast taping, Judge questioned why Jim, 57, was asking for spousal support from his ex-wife, saying, “I have a theory maybe he’s going to go to jail.”
The claim was made “in front of 300 people” in the crowd, Jim wrote on his website. After publishing it, MacDonald eventually cut the audio out of her podcast for listeners.
MacDonald was also slapped with a lawsuit, as was Shannon Beador, who was on the podcast with Judge and reportedly made comments about his former trampoline park business. All three have denied defaming Jim.
Only Beador, 55, is in the clear now, a judge dismissing Jim’s entire suit against her back in January. In June, Jim was ordered to pay her $137,340.25 of the $220,000 she sought for her legal fees.
Though Beador’s legal battle with Jim is over, she said on Tuesday’s RHOC that she still was writing big checks to her lawyers and “had over two years left in litigation.”
That’s why the mother of three was also angry with Dodd.
“Kelly keeps saying that she intended to hurt Tamra. But what Kelly needs to continually understand is that hurting Tamra also hurt Shannon,” Beador told audiences. “We both are in a lawsuit. We both have suffered so much financially. So immerse yourself in it. Does it make you feel good? You’re a f—ing asshole for doing it.”
“She crossed a line that I don’t think that I get past because she knows and is aware of the hours that we cried,” Beador added. “Tamra’s anger is completely justified. There is one person out of line here and that is Kelly Dodd. The nuke that she threw went too far.”
Eventually, all three women came head-to-head on Tuesday’s episode — although Judge didn’t stay long, instead storming away angry because Kirschenheiter hadn’t defended her.
Beador stayed, confronting Dodd for immersing herself “in a place you didn’t belong” and telling her she was “disappointed” that Dodd would “do this to our friendship.”
“Everything’s everyone else’s fault but their own. Take responsibility for you own s— and take care of your crap,” Dodd, 44, said.
“You guys open up your mouths where it didn’t belong and when lies ensue, you get sued,” she shouted. “I’m sorry you feel this way about me. I got put back against the wall. [But] I’m not the one who opened up my mouth. I’m not the one getting sued for opening up their big mouths.”
“I didn’t go after them in a lawsuit. … I didn’t get subpoenaed. I didn’t went [sic] on a stand,” Dodd added. “They’re writing the check because they opened their goddamn mouth.”
In the end, none of the women came to any resolution.
They’ll have another chance when the three-part RHOC reunion kicks off on Wednesday.
As for Jim, he wrote on his website in March that he decided to sue Judge to protect “my family and my reputation.”
“I chose to react and defend myself. If I were to have retreated, the abuse would have continued on and on as it has for years,” Jim said.