LOS ANGELES (LALATE EXCLUSIVE) – A lawsuit against Joe Gorga, Christopher Laurita and Jacqueline Laurita (RHONJ) could parallel a possible lawsuit stemming from Real Housewives of Atlanta’s upcoming season, LALATE can exclusively reveal. With just months of each other, fights have been erupting on Bravo’s Housewives shows RHONJ and RHOA. Cast members are vowing to pursue, or actually pursuing, lawsuits against co-stars. But LALATE can exclusively report that all these lawsuits may have a fundamental legal problem: a possible confidential Bravo non-suit provision that prohibits cast member lawsuits.
Days ago, John and Penny Karagiorgis filed suit against Gorga, the Lauritas, and others. The suit claims that Gorga and Christopher Laurita “unlawfully attacked John Karagiorgis by punching [him] on the head and/or face with a closed fist.” It also claims that Jacqueline allegedly hit Karagiorgis “in the head and/or face with a stiletto-type shoe.” Weeks earlier, Brandon DeShazer (RHOA) told news that he may file suit for a fight that erupts between male cast members of the Atlanta Housewives show.
But can Bravo personalities sue one another for conduct that occurs during filming of the show?
Kim Zolciak apparently has the answer: no.
In documents obtained exclusively by LALATE from the Kandi Burruss suit against Zolciak, Kim claims Bravo Housewives contracts do not allow cast members to sue one another for conduct during filming.
Kim tells the court that “In order to appear as a character on Real Housewives of Atlanta, each participant must enter into a Talent Agreement. The Talent Agreement sets forth compensation, exclusivity, term and certain other restrictions including and agreement not to sue fellow cast participants regarding matters that occurred on the show.”
In fact the provision and the contract is so confidential, Zolciak filed it under court seal in her case with Burruss. But her attorney mistakenly cites entire passages of the confidential contract in their moving briefs and puts them into public view.
RHONJ and RHOA, however, have different production companies and hence different employers. So while RHOA’s True Entertainment contract certainly has the provision, RHONJ’s Sirens Entertaiment contract may not.
But would Bravo have one housewife show use a non-suit provision, but not include the same provision in another show’s contact like Jersey where fights have been seen season to season? It seems highly unlikely. Bravo, in the face of growing fights in the reality television industry would want certain provision in all employment contracts, despite whatever production company films the show, whether it’s Sirens for RHONJ or True for RHOA. But for now, the answer still remains unknown.
The RHOA fight heats up the new season debuting this fall on Bravo.