Truth may not always be more interesting than fiction, but, when the top TV producers carefully select volatile personalities and add alcohol and TV cameras, it gets a lot feistier. Resident “Real Housewives of New Jersey” victim Danielle Staub is trying to file assault and battery charges, defamation of character and punitive damages against Ashley Holmes, according to New York Magazine. After months of badgering each other via Facebook and text messages, their dispute came to a head at a country club fashion show, when Ashley Holmes pulled out part of Staub’s weave. Nobody was arrested on the night of the incident, which was caught on camera by Bravo.
Reality TV Cameras: The Catalyst for Real Fights
The Danielle and Ashely drama is not the first one to be savored by reality TV producers and fans. While this was the first time actual physical contact was involved between “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” cast members, it’s not the first reality show meltdown to make the news.
Teresa and the Table Flipping
In a previous episode of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” Staub pushed Teresa’s buttons so hard that Teresa flipped over a table at a restaurant. By mixing together this volatile mix of women, Bravo seems to be egging these women on to heighten the drama on the show.
The Jersey Shore: Snookie Gets Punched
Also in New Jersey, MTV seems more tolerant of the constant drunken fights between the “Jersey Shore” cast members and each other, and Snookie’s public arguments with everyone else, than they were on “The Real World.” Snookie, the tiniest cast member of “The Jersey Shore,” with the biggest and loudest mouth, was actually punched in the face by a guy at a bar. Showing a rare instance of good taste (although there was probably a legal reason), MTV blacked out the moment where Snookie became a very public victim of male-on-female violence.
Flashback: Stephen and Irena
Back in 1998, in one of the few instances in “The Real World” history, we see Stephen slap Irena in the face, just as her friend is about to drive her away and off the show. Irena outed Stephen, who, at the time, was uncomfortable with his sexuality. It was called “the slap that was heard around the world.”
Kelly Bensimon: Mental Meltdown
Kelly can spin it however she wants, but she was on vacation with other cast members of “The Real Housewives of New York” when she had a serious meltdown. Similar to Danielle, she claims the other women (for Kelly, it’s Bethenny) are out to get her and want to do her physical harm. Both of these Bravo housewives seem to suffer from some form of paranoia.
Is Bravo: The New VH1 for Trash TV?
Pumpkin and New York
A few years ago, if you wanted to witness reality TV show meltdowns, you watched VH1. The scene where Pumpkin spits at New York on “The Flavor of Love” is one of the most memorable reality TV fights.
Lacey and Heather on “Rock of Love”
Lacey tried to use the power of words to make Heather look bad. She went as far as talking trash to Heather’s father during a meet-the-parents weekend.
Vanilla Ice, The Surreal Life
“Former rap star destroys set when former porn star stabs him in the back.” Writers can’t make that stuff up. Only the antics of angry Vanilla Ice, after discovering Ron Jeremy voted him off the show, could have made that scene happen.
“Country Clubbed,” July 12, 2010, “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” Bravo TV, http://www.bravotv.com/the-real-housewives-of-new-jersey/season-2/country-clubbed
The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” Bravo TV, http://www.bravotv.com/the-real-housewives-of-new-jersey
Flavor of Love, Season 1, VH1, http://www.vh1.com/shows/flavor_of_love/season_1/series.jhtml
The Real World Seattle, MTV, http://www.mtv.com/shows/realworld-season7/episodes.jhtml
“Sun, Sand and Psychosis,” Season 3, Episode 12, May 20, /2010, BravoVH1, “The Surreal Life”