I recently had the chance to interview Real Housewives of New Jersey star Amber Marchese. Amber and I discuss how she was approached to join the show, her relationships with her cast mates and the controversy surrounding her husband Jim being linked to the Giudice fraud case. Amber and I also talked about surviving cancer and what she believes is the best thing to come from joining the cast of RHONJ.
How were you approached to join the cast of RHONJ?
Amber Marchese: “I was approached because they knew I knew Melissa [Gorga] and had a friendship with her.”
Did you have any hesitation about joining reality TV?
AM: “I didn’t. I was so excited and was like, ‘Oh my gosh my dreams are coming true.’ This is amazing and an opportunity of a lifetime. It was like tunnel vision, I didn’t think of anything else.”
Were you a Housewives fan before joining the cast? If so, who is one of your favorite Housewives from any city?
AM: “I did watch a little bit. I watched more once Melissa came on. I did not see seasons one and two. When Danielle Staub was on, I never watched. Now my favorite? I love NeNe Leakes. I think she is just no holds bar and she will just say whatever she needs to say and I love that about a person. And you know who else I like and I feel like she’s getting a bad rep this year? Tamra [Judge].”
We know that you and Melissa Gorga were friends in your 20s. How much has Melissa changed?
AM: “I feel that she has become hardened. She was never so manipulative, she never went behind my back and stirred up trouble. She was my true friend. Even if I said something she didn’t like she would just tell me. But there was definitely no going behind my back and stirring up trouble. Melissa and I never fought once. We never even had an argument before.”
Do you believe the rumors that she cheated on Joe Gorga?
AM: “I don’t believe she cheated. No.”
How did you meet the twins?
AM: “Well one of them lives in the same town. So I knew of them and would see them out and about but we never became close until I became friends with Bobby through Jim. That’s when Nicole and I became friends.”
Were you surprised to see how Nicole Napolitano reacted to the rumors that she split up a marriage?
AM: “Not just surprised, but appalled. Who does that? It’s not like a said she f*cked a goat. I said, ‘I heard through the grapevine these are the reasons for the divorce.’ I explained to Melissa that I didn’t know if it was true or not and that people can come out of the wood work for camera time, but viewers didn’t see that.”
How is your relationship with Nicole now?
AM: “We don’t talk. She’s a 45 year-old mother and it’s like what kind of example is that? Ok great, so someone accused you of adultery so you want to compound the reputation with physical violence? It just doesn’t make sense. [laughs]”
Which of the women did you get along with most while filming?
AM: “I got to know and got along with Dina and Teresa G.”
Were you surprised the twins turned on you?
AM: “Very much so. It was extremely upsetting. In that week that Melissa and the twins were in the clothing store to the First Responders party… I knew the owners of that store. They let me know what was going down. I didn’t know exactly what, but I knew they were talking about me and it was heated. I kept trying to call Nicole and talk about this and she wouldn’t get on the phone with me.
I text Nicole and said, ‘We need to talk about this, people are saying this and I don’t know what their intentions are. So let’s talk about this and try to nip it in the bud and she actually text me back and said, ‘LOL. Oh my gosh that’s really funny, but thank you for being there as a friend.'”
Can you comment about the controversy surrounding your husband being associated with the prosectors in the Giudice’s fraud case?
AM: “Jim has no direct association with the case. What he meant is that he is the President and CEO of a mortgage company and he’s a witness to mortgage fraud cases on both the prosecution and defense side. He meant that it’s not that he didn’t want to speak to the Giudices indefinitely, just at the time it was an open case and it hadn’t been settled at the point. He said he wanted to stay back to protect them and to protect us.”
What was your reaction to your husband calling Joe Gorga a dumb f*ck?
AM: “You have to understand that he had just watched his wife get attacked. He just broke the fight up and he’s going upstairs and Bobby is sitting there with a smirk. Jim said to Bobby, ‘Your girlfriend just attacked my wife,’ and Bobby said, ‘Already?’ So to me and to Jim it sounded like he knew that fight was going to happen. He brought the Joes up there for a reason, and then Rino approaches Jim talking junk. So to Jim you have Rino talking sh*t, Bobby with a smirk on his face, Joe being a jerk-off and it takes a lot for my husband to snap but he was just like, ‘Now I’m pissed. I just want to leave.’
There’s a lot you didn’t see. Joe [Gorga] antagonized him for like a good minute while we were waiting for our keys. We couldn’t get our keys to leave. We kept asking Bobby for our keys and he wouldn’t give them to us. We were trying to leave and they just sat there watching both Rino and Joe verbally attack him. He [Bobby] just sat there and watch them with a smirk on his face.”
What has been the best thing about being on the show?
AM: “Being able to use this as a platform for breast cancer. So many people will email me on Twitter and Facebook to talk about their story. If they’re going through cancer, I actually get on the phone with them and chat with them. They will tell me about their story, I will tell them mine and to me that’s important. Someone was there for me during that time, and you know this… when you are young and going through cancer you kind of feel like your the only person on the planet that’s facing it. Unless you’ve gone through it you don’t understand how badly you need that camaraderie from someone.”
Photo Credit: Bravo