The infamous 'Below Deck' paternity scandal is finally resolved, plus more of Bravo TV's biggest scandals

The infamous 'Below Deck' paternity scandal is finally resolved, plus more of Bravo TV's biggest scandals
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Join Wonderwall.com as we take a look at some of the biggest Bravo TV scandals… starting with this baby drama. On the second season of “Below Deck Sailing Yacht” — which was comprised of a fairly amorous group of adults — love (and lust!) was taken one step further when one of the crew members, Dani Soares, announced her pregnancy as the show started airing. Rumors speculating that the baby’s father might be deckhand Jean-Luc Cerza-Lanaux made the rounds on several Bravo blogs as pregnancy buzz grew. On the first part of the “Below Deck Sailing Yacht” reunion that aired in June 2021, Dani said Jean-Luc — who claimed he wasn’t able to take part in the taping with his crewmates and instead opted to call in separately to speak to host Andy Cohen — was the only guy with whom she’d been physically involved during the time her daughter, Lilly (who was born in May) was conceived. On the second part of the reunion, Jean-Luc told Andy, “I asked for a paternity test and essentially that turned into a lot of backlash and her not wanting to hear from me and essentially not [wanting to have] anything [to do] with me … I told her that if this is my child I want to be a part of that child’s life every single day as much as I can.” Dani, who never waivered about her baby’s paternity, said she’d agreed to a DNA test but wanted Jean-Luc to pay for and organize it. Fast forward to January 2022, when Jean-Luc took to Instagram to reveal that he was, indeed, the father, writing, “I’m happy and proud to say Sweet and beautiful Lilly rose is my daughter.”

RELATED: The biggest reality TV moments of 2021

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Erika Jayne became known for her luxury-filled life on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” but in 2020, shocking news was revealed to Bravo fans — Erika’s wealth may have been a total front. In November 2020, following the announcement that Erika was divorcing her lawyer husband, Tom Girardi, after 21 years of marriage, the pair were hit with a lawsuit that accused them of embezzling settlement money meant for plane crash victims in one of Tom’s cases. Then things got even worse…

RELATED: Major “Real Housewives” scandals

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Unfortunately for Erika Jayne, the scandals didn’t stop there. In addition to allegations of embezzlement, her marital issues with Tom Girardi took center stage — including her demand for spousal support as well as Tom’s court filing to block her request. Erika also accused Tom of having an affair (she even posted screenshots on Instagram of text messages insinuating he was unfaithful with a judge). Things took another sad turn in early 2021 when it was revealed that Tom had been diagnosed with late-onset Alzheimer’s disease and dementia and was put under a conservatorship led by his brother.

RELATED: “Real Housewives” kids: Where are they (and what do they look like) now?

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Who would’ve thought that a Bravo star would find themselves embroiled in a cheating scandal with one of Hollywood’s most powerful couples? In early 2021, “Southern Charm” star Madison LeCroy (right) sent the rumor mill into a frenzy during the show’s reunion when one of her co-stars claimed she was romantically involved with a “married ex-MLB player.” The player would later be identified as none other than Alex Rodriguez, who was engaged to Jennifer Lopez at the time. Madison denied ever getting physical with A-Rod, but admitted he’d contacted her, they’d DM’d and they’d talked on the phone. A-Rod and J.Lo called it quits less than two months later.

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In March 2021, “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star Jen Shah was arrested alongside her assistant, Stuart Smith, on federal charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering for allegedly carrying out a telemarketing scam from 2012 to 2021. “Shah and Smith flaunted their lavish lifestyle to the public as a symbol of their ‘success,'” Special Agent-in-Charge Peter Fitzhugh of Homeland Security Investigations said in a press release. “In reality, they allegedly built their opulent lifestyle at the expense of vulnerable, often elderly, working-class people.” During Jen’s first court appearance, a judge outlined a series of rules regarding what she was and wasn’t allowed to do as she was released on bond.

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Don’t mess with Lisa! In an incredibly dramatic finger-pointing argument about a dog, “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” OG cast member Lisa Vanderpump announced that she would not be returning to the show after a falling out that happened during the show’s ninth season. The drama began when Dorit Kemsley adopted pooch Lucy Lucy Apple Juice from Lisa’s rescue organization, Vanderpump Dogs. She then, however, gave the dog to someone else after it bit one of her children. The new owner later gave Lucy to a kill shelter in the Los Angeles area, which is when Lisa got involved to save the pup once more and “puppy-gate” was born.

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It’s a known fact that since joining the cast of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” in its fifth season, Kenya Moore and Porsha Williams were not fond of each other. Their underlying feud surfaced when Kenya badmouthed Porsha’s struggling marriage to former NFL player Kordell Stewart, accusing her of being his beard to garner positive publicity. During the reunion, their feud escalated — Kenya wielded a megaphone along with a bedazzled scepter in an effort to make sure Porsha couldn’t talk over her while she accused her of cheating and looking for pity amidst her divorce. Porsha did not handle that well — she ended up lashing out and getting into an altercation with Kenya, which led to her being arrested for assault.

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In 2018 in the wake of the #MeToo movement, “Southern Charm” star Thomas Ravenel was accused of sexual assaulting two women: one he met on Tinder in 2015 and Nanny Dawn, his kids’ caretaker (Dawn’s claims led to Thomas being investigated for “first-degree forcible rape”). In 2019, he pleaded guilty to third-degree assault and battery in that assault case and received a 30-day sentence that was suspended to a $500 fine and probation in lieu of jail time, People magazine reported. He and Dawn also reached a civil settlement in which he agreed to pay $45,000 for her personal legal fees plus $80,000 to a nonprofit that helps adult survivors of sexual assault.

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Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, season 15 of “The Real Housewives of Orange County” was riddled with scandals. Kelly Dodd publicly doubted the severity of the coronavirus and made several headline-making remarks that upset a lot of people. Braunwyn Windham-Burke started 2020 by revealing her battle with alcoholism and renewed her vows with husband Sean Burke before coming out as a lesbian at the end of the year. She’d later insist she and Sean wanted to stay married even as they dated other people, but in the summer of 2021 they began a trial separation.

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During the 2020 season of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” a major scandal took the series by storm amid claims star Denise Richards had an affair with former cast member Brandi Glanville. Denise denied both the affair (despite a series of incriminating text messages with Brandi having come to light) and ever being in an open marriage with husband Aaron Phypers (something Brandi kept stating was true). Unfortunately, it seems like we’ll never know the real reason Denise left the show.

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After joining “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” for its third season, Phaedra Parks was hit with scandal after scandal. From making her fellow cast members suspicious over her baby’s due date (they believe she got pregnant during a conjugal visit with former husband Apollo Nida while he was in prison) to co-star Kenya Moore’s claim that Apollo had secretly contacted her to hang out, Phaedra was no stranger to drama! In 2014, she filed to divorce Apollo (who was put behind bars for eight more years for identity theft with wire and mail fraud). Phaedra’s time on “RHOA” eventually came to an end as well — she was fired following its eighth season after confessing to spreading lies claiming co-star Kandi Burruss and her husband, Todd Tucker, tried to date rape cast member Porsha Williams.

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The cast of “Vanderpump Rules” got a whole lot smaller following a racism scandal. In June 2020, Bravo announced that Stassi Schroeder, Kristen Doute, Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni got the boot. Faith Stowers, who appeared on the show’s fourth and sixth seasons and was the only Black cast member, brought to light the women’s past racist behavior, while the men were fired after past racist tweets resurfaced. “There was this article in the Daily Mail where there was an African American lady,” Faith said during an Instagram Live. “It was a weird photo, so she looked very light-skinned and had these different, weird tattoos. I guess this woman was robbing people. And they called the cops and said it was me. This is like, a true story. I heard this from, actually, Stassi during an interview.” Kristen apparently boasted on Twitter about calling the police while Stassi bragged about it on a podcast, stating that she and Kristen had solved a crime. Despite later issuing public apologies, both women suffered damage to their careers — Stassi was consequently dropped by her publicist, agent and other brand partnerships.

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In September 2018, Michael Darby — the husband of “The Real Housewives of Potomac” star Ashley Darby — was charged with sexual assault for allegedly groping a crew member. In addition to giving him a “flirtatious look,” Michael allegedly grabbed the behind of cameraman Orville Palmer while filming the show. Orville reportedly told Michael to stop and notified his supervisor before taking the situation to the authorities. As a result, Michael was charged with felony assault and a misdemeanor for improper sexual contact. Michael was free to resume filming the Bravo series after the Montgomery County State Attorney’s Office decided not to prosecute him in October 2018.

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When “The Real Housewives of New York City” star Luann de Lesseps debuted Tom D’Agostino as her new beau on the show’s eighth season, cast members Ramona Singer and Sonja Morgan revealed that they had previously dated the businessman and were upset by Luann’s failure to follow girl code. Despite the women’s dismay, Luann got engaged to Tom in February 2016 after just nine months of dating. The drama didn’t stop there: Co-star Bethenny Frankel ended up showing Luann photographic proof of Tom cheating, but she still went ahead with their wedding. Luann and Tom, however, called it quits just eight months later, and a few months after that, Luann was arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct on Christmas Eve in Florida.

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During the sixth season of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” Teresa Giudice and then-husband Joe Giudice faced some serious legal issues when they were accused of committing mail, wire, bank, bankruptcy and tax fraud. She and Joe were indicted in 2014 and later struck a plea deal that saw them both do time. She served a year while Joe did about three in federal prison before being deported back to his native Italy. Their 20-year marriage ended just a few months later in late 2019.

Daniele Soares














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