Christine Staub Opens Up About Being the Child of A Reality Star


Danielle Staub was one of the original cast members of the Real Housewives of New Jersey and was known to most as being called a “prostitution whore” by Teresa Giudice. She is a single mom of two girls and was always open with her sexuality. While she was on the show for just two seasons, the world will continue to remember who Teresa flipped the table on. As Danielle has announced a tell-all book in the works, her oldest daughter who we saw start off in the modeling industry Christine wrote a personal essay on Broadly about her outcome of the show, and how her mother’s voice is deserved to be heard.

“When I think of my mother, Danielle Staub, I picture someone beautiful and strong. A single parent, sexual abuse survivor, gay rights advocate, and a fearless defender of those she loves. My mother has a big heart, and I am grateful for the sacrifices she made to provide for my sister and me. I admire her for overcoming great odds. If you believe what you’ve read about my mother in the press, you probably just rolled your eyes. That’s OK—I’m used to that.

It has been us against the world since the first day my mother appeared on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. In her two seasons on the show—and the half dozen years following—my mother has been described in many ways. She’s been called trash, garbage, a pig, an extortionist, a felon, a husband stealer. She was even branded as a “prostitution whore.” Imagine an irate woman flipping over a table as she screamed that name at my mother. Actually, you don’t have to imagine at all, because the scene lives on as one of the most iconic moments in reality television history. As for me, I don’t need to be reminded. My little sister and I were there. We saw the table fly on our mother, we heard the expletives, we ran as fast as we could to try to catch up catch up as she was chased around the restaurant, and we heard her cries for help. We felt helpless and unable to defend her.

My name is Christie Staub, and for more than half of my life, my identity can be summed up in one sentence: daughter of one of the most notorious figures in unscripted television history.

In May I will graduate from Seton Hall with a 4.0 and double major in psychology and sociology. I’ve already been accepted to an Ivy League graduate school on full scholarship. While higher education might not be a prized commodity in the reality show universe—at least, it wasn’t on my mother’s show, with characters being blatantly dismissive of the need for college—it is something my family values. One day, I hope to be a medical professional. I already know what the job entails, because I was born with a rare heart condition. I had my first heart attack at age nine and since then have spent the years in and out of doctor’s offices.You didn’t see this on television, but everyone knew about my condition behind the scenes—which of course didn’t stop producers and housewives from terrorizing my mother in front of my face. There were lots of things you never saw, both onscreen and off.

Freshman year of high school, for example, I was cornered by a group of football players. “C’mon, Christine,” one of them said, as he motioned towards his crotch. “I’m ready for my daily blow job.” I was mortified. Not to mention confused. Behind him, the other guys snickered. “Don’t be shy, Christine,” he said, moving closer. “I mean, isn’t this what you and your mom do for fun?”

I had no idea what they were talking about. My sister and I didn’t watch the Real Housewives. We had seen enough crazy when we filmed, and I was more focused on grades and athletics than TV or boys. I called my mother and told her what the boys said. Moments later, she arrived at the school to discover me in full panic attack mode. After she read the riot act to a nonchalant school administrator and threatened to file a police report, I asked her, “What was the boy talking about, mom?”

My mother told me the truth. During an on-camera interview, one of the housewives proclaimed that my mother had predilection for giving daily blow-jobs to random men. She had a good source—or so she claimed—and found the information highly disturbing. If the mother was that much of a ho-bag slut, she insinuated, just imagine what she was teaching her daughters? Enter football players in search of their daily blowjobs and my mom racing to the high school to rescue me.

Even if this housewife had known truth, it wouldn’t have made a difference. Even if she’d known how the soundbite affected me, she still would have said it. This wasn’t about a 14-year-old freshman. This was about fame, and insinuating someone’s daughter was a “slut-in-the-making” made for great TV. A teenage girl hyperventilating in the Principal’s Office? Nobody wanted to see that.

With each episode, the bullying and harassment grew worse. After another housewife said my sister and I appeared “dead in the eyes,” strangers felt the need to repeat the line to us. When the show labeled my mother a criminal, people called us the children of a felon.

My mother’s storyline was edited and produced, placing her in scenarios to achieve a desired outcome. She wouldn’t normally be involved in these scenarios; they were dictated by the producers, and they just told my mom where to show up for filming. In season one, my mother didn’t expect this to happen. These were the early days of reality shows. In 2006, The Hills was in its first season, and the Real Housewives franchise had yet to become a household name. Today, reality stars are savvy, but a decade ago, talent lacked a frame of reference. Other than Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, my mother had never seen a reality show. Just be myself, she thought. Little did she know that myself is how the producers choose to present you. Every story arc needs an antagonist and a protagonist—that is what creates the conflict and resolution, i.e. the drama.

Imagine if all of the arguments you’ve had in your life were filmed by a stranger, and they took out the worst things you said, edited it together, and then presented the footage on TV to define your character. Would you say that characterization was accurate? Anything that is produced, and edited in this manner, is fictitious by default, but unlike an actor, my mother didn’t have the advantage of hiding behind a character, not to mention that the term reality forms a perception that is impossible to overcome when the viewers aren’t aware of what goes down behind the scenes.

The producers had the power to manipulate my mother in anyway they pleased to increase ratings. When the second season ended, my mother decided to leave the show. The network portrayed her decision as her getting fired, but she left to save her life and her kids.

Leaving the Real Housewives, though, isn’t easy. The show continues to air all over the world, and the character that was produced for my mother has been impossible to overcome. My mother can’t find work because of the preconceived notion America has about her. Since she left the show, my family has fallen on hard times.

In the end, we had no choice but to run. We packed a few suitcases and left my hometown in New Jersey. Overnight, I left the only home I’d ever known for a nondescript apartment in an anonymous town. We didn’t have furniture, so we slept on blow-up mattresses. I worried about my grades. I missed three weeks of school as my mom desperately searched for an educational institution where I would receive more respect and protection—a place where fellow students would not demand blowjobs.

I missed my bedroom. I missed furniture. But in the end, I found something much better. I felt safe. Unfortunately, there are some things you cannot ever escape. Even now, all these years later, people see me as a character created by a producer. They see me as the daughter of an infamous reality show prostitution whore. They may not have called me garbage like they called my mother, but that’s how they made me feel. They took away my name and my voice.

My name is Christine Staub, and I will no longer be the excess debris created by a produced, manipulated, pseudo-reality universe. I will never again be a character defined by unethical producers, and exploited by networks all over the world. I am no longer a child, powerless without a voice.

As for my mother, she has been silenced for far too long, and now it is time for her to open up about every dirty detail once and for all. I don’t care what any TV viewer believes her to be, or how any media outlet defines her. I know who she is, and I admire her. Now I have a voice, and the time has come for my mother to reclaim her own—to reclaim the respect she deserves.”

What do you think of Christine’s article? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below!

Photo Credit: Twitter

  • Sherry

    I feel bad I even watched the show and how anyone can think treating those children like that in anyway was acceptable is deplorable to me. There is no reality in these shows it’s all scripted and it is done so in the most deplorable and demeaning way. I think my days of watching RHONJ is over.

  • My heart goes out to all the children of the reality “stars”. They are innocent victims of their parents need for fame, attention and money!

    • Aunt Bee

      Very well said Daisy. I feel very sorry for Christine as I remember how Danielle pushed her daughters on the show especially to involve Christine’s modeling career. Christine is very beautiful and I wish her continued success in the profession she chooses.

    • starr

      daisy I fully agree with both you & Aunt Bee. So true.

    • Jenny

      Much Agreed. I always credited Adrienne Maloof and Camille Grammer for not including their kids on the show. Of course, they were both smart of enough to leave the show while it was still entertaining!

  • Gaild

    Good for you, Christine. It’s too bad that a lot of people have forgotten that there are 2 sides to every story. Clearly, Danielle is a wonderful mother. How else would Christine have turned out to be the intelligent, sensitive, and successful person that she is today?

    • Sherry

      I just don’t believe Danielle was as bad as she was portrayed and I feel for all children drug into a Reality Show.

  • Jane Bond

    So insightful bright and compassionate this young lady is. I wish her and her little sister all the best life has to offer. They deserve it.

  • Stacy O’Connor

    Her mother must be pretty great to have created this spectacular person. Breaks my heart. I do read so many hateful and hurtful comments about reality “stars”, but anyone with a brain knows that for thousands of hours of footage and 60 mins of show time, there HAS to be editing. Who knows what these people are even truly about. Reality tv gives Viewers something to bitch about and feel better about their on lives. It’s sad. You need drama to have ratings and no one has THAT much drama in their lives, so they make sure to get what they need. At the expense of the innocent. Sad deal.

  • Coochie-Coochie

    I feel sorry for her…..but the ” one of the most notorious figures in unscripted television history” part is a bit too much…in a few years nobody will remember who her mother was, as it has happened with so many others reality TV has-been people

  • Marcy

    One day Gia is going to have a voice also. The public loved Danielle girls. quite the opposite with Gia. I do feel bad for the girls for hearing the adult conversations about the book and her Mom being called a prostitution whore but her Mom chose to have them stay in the room, when all the others had theirs leave the room and some where older than Danielles girls. I always thought Danielle was a good mother,

    • Sherry

      The point was the other housewives made claims about Danielles sexual promiscuity that then carried over to a fourteen year old child being confronted by jocks at school demanding blowjobs. Sick sick sick.

  • Real Sandy

    I have always said that the children are the innocent ones in all of this, and it cannot be easy for them. They are not as equipped to handle all the backlash. Christine and her sister are beautiful. As it turns out, Christine is brilliant too. Whether her mother was liked or not, she has weathered the storm and shone in the sun. I wish her well. Her mom must have done something right to raise such a child. I wish her well.

  • apple

    I feel dirty, now, for even watching this stuff.
    I was always impressed with Danielle’s daughters and hoped their father would step in and refuse permission for them to be filmed, but even that would not have prevented all the ramifications of their mother’s participation on reality TV. Certainly Bravo is not blameless…they manipulate behavior and situations to illustrate the story lines they want to portray…but like my girl Bethenny says…they can’t film what you don’t say or do…and if you say it or do it, you are going to have to own it. Danielle brought most of this on herself…and she is the one most responsible for the aftermath her daughters have and still are experiencing. I get the girls love their mother and I am sure she is not all bad…but this blog should be printed out by Bravo and presented to every prospective cast member. They should all think long and hard before they sign up for this kind of fame.

    • Sally☕️

      Apple, I knew we would agree on something about NJ! Lol! But I agree as much as I love seeing the kids they really shouldn’t be shown! I don’t think Danielle was innocent but I think Andy admitted some part of the whole mess! Just she didn’t do herself any favours especially with that minder she went around with and all her tough talk!

      • apple

        There we go…
        See…this is how reasonable and rational adults behave, Bravo.

        • Sally☕️

          This just popped up as I was reading another comment! I knew we would at some point! Xo

    • Just Saying

      We all watched but now all I can say is any blog on social media or phot of kids or families I’m not commenting on at all good bad or indifferent, that’s at least something we can do. If they don’t get attention using their families maybe they will stop

  • Sherry

    I agree with you and apple, Sally it is sad the children suffer for the the parents decision I realize Danielle needed the money but it wasn’t worth with especially with Christine having a heart condition and let’s face it Teresa Guidice was scary when she lost it. Seriously now I think about it how dare she act so high and mighty at the time considering what she was doing illegally herself at the time.

    • I agree. Teresa treated Danielle horribly and the other ladies sat by & did nothing. And yet now Teresa just was released from prison, Joe is going to prison & likely will be deported, and there has been some indication that Joe has cheated on Teresa. Oh how the mighty have fallen!

      I find it gross that Bravo continues to financially support Teresa & Joe despite all their felonious activities. I find it grosser that Bravo continues to exploit their children for profit.

      • Sally☕️

        Just remember it was Jacqueline, although Caroline took the blame, who got hold of the copy of the book, only then did everyone know about her past! I’m not saying Tre is innocent but it didn’t come from her originally! There is also no evidence Jo cheated. Deported, yes he may well be.

        • Sally.. Thought it was Dina that played ” Inspector Gadget? . Tre. & Jac. Dropped Danielle because of Dina & Caroline.

          • Sally☕️

            Well I was told it was Jac then because she was or is a little ‘sensitive’ Caro took responsibility!

  • Bravo Christine! I am glad you are speaking your ” Truth,” & defending your Mother.

  • One Rotten Egg

    Christine shows her intelligence with her posting. She is of course, protective of her felon mom. Let’s face it, Danielle gave herself this reputation of being a prostitution whore–her job was a paid escort and used men for dough. She DOES have a criminal record, even though it was so long ago, it was something dispicable she did,showing her character at that time.

  • OMFG. I had to stop reading at two paragraphs. There is a definite benefit to waiting several years to make an argument, as it can be SPUN into pink cotton candy. Danielle’s reputation comes from her uncanny, creepy ability to be two entirely different people. Her attitude at the first reunion was introspective and almost sincere. She LIED when she said she had asked Jaquelline if the girls could get together to discuss “the book.” She brought that book to the dinner with the intention of stirring up trouble. It always kills me when they poke a hornets nest and are then stunned when they get stung. She kept her children in the room and she is at fault for that entire evening.
    Whatever else Christine had to say I feel for that girl and her sister. All I can say is I am proud that my Daughters are not relegated to the position of finding it necessary to defend their Mom’s indefensible behavior to the public. Her whorish ways were evident having exactly nothing to do with a book.

    • Maggie5

      I agree with you. I read this and it’s certainly a poignant “point of view” essay. However, she glosses over the fact that her MOTHER put her on that show. Her Sainted MOTHER kept them in the room at the time of the infamous “table flip.” Her MOTHER kept those children on the show after the first season . . . it’s not the fault of Bravo or Andy Cohen or anyone but Danielle (with a generous side-eye toward her Dad, who could have stepped in! Because if Simon Barney can . . . ) Danielle just doesn’t play a convincing victim and this rings hollow too.

      • Sally☕️

        You are so spot on with this Maggie! I don’t see blaming anyone else before her mother!

  • Real Sandy

    We are born in love with our parents from the start. Of course that can change later, but with just a mom in your life for most of your upbringing and hearing her side of everything, most children would not fault their own mother for doing what she could to raise them and love them, giving all that she could give them. Now, I was never a fan of Danielle and saw what I did not agree with so so many times, however, she made choices to make money too. Even if she was a prostitute (not saying she was) to help support her children, I would feel sorry for her choice to help provide for her children, however, by what Christine wrote, her education was important and she thrived enough to do well in school and even modeled, and is a girl who seems to love her mother and have morals and values. I cannot fault that. I do feel sorry for the children forced to appear on reality TV who have to suffer the wrath of ignorant people in their lives. It takes a toll, and many may turn to drugs or worse, like the child stars have been known to do. Christine is a lovely girl, and her mom must be proud. I will say it again, I wish her well in her life. She is stunning and used to always remind me of a young Christie Brinkley only much brighter! I wonder what her father looked like…had to be handsome too, I would imagine. I value education and see Christine as doing what she can and her mother had to support this, so in the end, Danielle is a good mom in that respect. She is not following in her mother’s footsteps, but rather making a name for herself and loving her mom along the way, and I commend her for it. Supporting your mom is a good attribute. No parent wants a child to look askance at them for making mistakes in life. No one is perfect. A mother’s love is what matters.
    It won’t be easy, but someday this will all be in the past.The sins of the parents should not taint the children IMO. Oh, and btw Seton Hall U. Is not in a nice area which is one reason why many choose not to go to school there, and she survived it. Thank goodness.

  • It was Carolyn who was told about the book by some of Danielle’s friends from Wayne, NJ. According to the show. Now there very well might have been new information out there, but at reunion Carolyn said she was told about the book and went to the library and checked it out. Somehow they ended up in that salon they all go to and Dina was in there getting her hair done while Caro and Danielle’s “friends” were talking about it. They then went to the Brownstone with Jaqo, Caro and Dina and read the book. I would have wanted to know also since she was a part of the lives of the women and children, and had inserted herself into Jaqo’s life big time. Jaqo later misinterpreted what was said about who had it and who all read it and started screaming at Dina and calling her a liar. It was a very interesting episode. They all decided Theresa should be told, and they called her over and they all read it with her then.
    The dinner that Joe and Theresa had was done as a finale and last episode for season one. It had nothing to do with the book and Theresa was gracious toward Danielle and her daughters. Danielle lied when she said at reunion that she had previously asked Jaqo to get the girls together to talk about the book. Jaqo would have done that because even at the dinner she still had faith that the book was a lie. Later, though, Danielle’s court records were dug up and in fact she was involved in kidnapping a kid and holding him for ransom. I haven’t read the book, but apparently from excerpts there were many pounds of cocaine involved. It is always easy to spin a story 20 years later. Now in this case I would be a little more worried about a woman who held a gun to a child’s head, ever in their life, than one who wrote a book after the murder of a friend or one who fraudulently signed a bunch of documents. But hey, that’s just me.

    • Oh, and just for the record, Danielle didn’t go to prison because she made a deal with the prosecution and testified against her cohorts.

    • Real Sandy

      It is sad to believe that Danielle did such things. Now that she is a mother, it must haunt her, and if not, it should. My empathy is for the children and not the criminals. Christine has a lot going for her. I wish her well in spite of all of this.

  • Dezz

    I always wondered what would become of these two girls and it’s nice to get a small glimpse into what Christine has been doing throughout the years. I have mixed feelings because even the award-winning reality shows employ STORY PRODUCERS which means they pay people to shape the content before, during and after filming. Think about that for a minute. Even still, Danielle was in it for the fame and attention but it backfired, which is a good lesson for those looking to get into reality tv to fill up their love tank. They can easily get hate instead. To me, it’s sad to watch when that happens.