Some men in the lives of “Real Housewives” star in their own dramas

Tax evasion and loan defaults are among the legal and financial issues plaguing some men in the lives of some women starring in "Real Housewives" shows

Mauricio Umansky (Credit: Public Domain Pictures)
Mauricio Umansky (Credit: Public Domain Pictures)

Some women who star in the Real Housewives television shows on the Bravo channel have husbands and ex-husbands who make less money but stir up a comparable amount of mayhem – from identity theft and tax evasion to lawsuits and loan defaults.

Guiseppe “Joe” Giudice (married to Teresa Giudice, New Jersey) faces possible deportation for a felony conviction. He and his wife did not pay taxes from 2004 to 2008 yet got $4 million of mortgage loans using falsified tax returns, spent the money, then filed for bankruptcy. Joe pleaded guilty to fraud charges and got a 41-month prison sentence. Teresa served a sentence of about a year.

Frank Catania (ex-husband of Dolores Catania, New Jersey) was disbarred in 2017 for misappropriating $25,000 of client funds and escrow funds. A court rejected his claim that a client whom he nicknamed “Bones” had permitted him to borrow funds. His ex-wife, Dolores, learned about the $25,000 scam from the show’s executive producer Andy Cohen when he mentioned it during a reunion episode.

Apollo Nida (ex-husband of Phaedra Parks, Atlanta) was part of an identity theft ring accused of stealing $2.3 million. At his 2014 sentencing hearing, Nida said he stole to sustain “the lifestyle that TV creates.” He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud a bank, got an eight-year prison sentence, and is scheduled for release in October.

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Mauricio Umansky (married to Kyle Richards, Beverly Hills) is a broker facing a lawsuit filed against him by the owner of an ultra-upscale seaside mansion. Umansky allegedly arranged for an associate to buy the mansion at a price well below its market value, $33 million, then shared the profit after the associate flipped the residence a year later for $70 million. In court, Umansky denied the allegations in the suit and claimed the lower $33 million price reflected the run-down condition of the property.

Paul Kemsley (married to Dorit Kemsley, Beverly Hills) is an English real estate developer who has been sued at least three times since 2012. Long before appearing on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills to give his wife a Bentley for her 40th birthday, Kemsley filed bankruptcy in 2012. In a ruling against him, a New York judge called Kemsley “a bankrupt who does not live like one.” Kemsley told the New York Post in May that he won one suit over gambling debt and settled another. In court, he denied allegations that he failed to pay a business partner in Beverly Beach, his wife’s line of swimwear.

Tom Girardi (married to Erika Girardi, Beverly Hills) was slapped with a suit in May alleging he failed to repay a $5.1 million loan to his law firm. His case against Pacific Gas & Electric Co. made him famous and served as inspiration for the movie Erin Brockovich. The lender that filed the suit accused Girardi of misusing the loan to his firm to personally benefit him and his wife, to “sustain their lavish lifestyle and maintain their glamorous image.” Girardi denied the allegations in a statement to Blast, a celebrity news site. Another lender sued him in January, alleging that Girardi owed $15 million. Erika Girardi downplayed the litigation, telling Us Weekly, “Listen, we’re in the lawsuit business, baby. We sue and get sued.” [Bloomberg] – Mike Seemuth