Melissa Gorga, Real Housewives of New Jersey
Credit: Charles Sykes/Bravo via Getty Im

If you’ve been following the drama of this season, you may have questions about who Melissa Gorga allegedly cheated on Joe Gorga with on The Real Housewives of New Jersey and what she’s said about the shocking rumor.

Melissa is one of nine main cast members on Season 13 of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, along with Housewives Teresa Giudice, Dolores Catania, Margaret Josephs, Jennifer Aydin, Danielle Cabral and Rachel Fuda, and Friends Jackie Goldschneider and Jennifer Fessler. Melissa joined The Real Housewives of New Jersey — a spin-off of Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise — in Season 3.

Since joining The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Melissa has faced several rumors about herself and her marriage to her husband, Joe Gorga. Those rumors seemed to have come to head in Season 13 when she was accused of cheating on Joe — whom she married in 2004 and shares three children with: Antonia, Joey and Gino — with another man. So who did Melissa Gorga allegedly cheat on Joe Gorga with on The Real Housewives of New Jersey? Read on for what to know about the rumor.

Did Melissa Gorga cheat on Joe Gorga?

Melissa Gorga, Joe Gorga, Real Housewives of New Jersey

Did Melissa Gorga cheat on Joe Gorga? Melissa was accused of cheating Joe on The Real Housewives of New Jersey Season 13, when Jennifer Aydin claimed she heard a rumor Melissa was caught kissing a man who wasn’t her husband. During a conversation with Danielle Cabral on a cast trip in Dublin, Ireland, Jennifer alleged that she heard from Margaret Josephs’ ex-friend, Laura Lee Jensen, that Margaret told her a rumor that Melissa cheated on Joe with another man. “Laura was telling me Margaret told her some rumor that somebody that works with both of them, he opened the back seat of a car and he saw Melissa in the back seat with a guy. The person who claims he witnessed it told Margaret that they were making out. She was making out with another guy,” Jennifer said. “Maybe they just made out for one night, and it was over. But he told Margaret.”

Jennifer also claimed that the rumor was why Melissa’s sister-in-law and Joe’s sister Teresa Giudice didn’t include her as a bridesmaid in her wedding to Luis Ruelas. “She was really pissed off at Melissa. She’s like, ‘That makes me sick.'”

Melissa denied the rumor in an interview on Watch What Happens Live in April 2023. “It’s untrue,” Melissa before slamming Laura. “This is a woman who wants to be on The Housewives, who auditioned three times and didn’t make it.” She continued, “First of all, it’s a game of telephone on a baseless rumor that they said they heard five years ago that they’re bringing to light now. Are you kidding me?”

Who did Melissa Gorga allegedly cheat on Joe Gorga with?

Nick Barotta

Who did Melissa Gorga allegedly cheat on Joe Gorga with? The Daily Mail reported in August 2022 that Melissa was accused of cheating on Joe with actor Nick Barrotta, who has starred on shows like The Oval and Divorce Court, and is friends with both Melissa and Joe. Barrotta — who is married to Elizabeth Demarco — was also photographed at a fashion show for Melissa’s clothing store, Envy, in 2019.

“This is just completely ridiculous,’ said the source close to Barrotta in the wake of the cheating rumors. Nick and his wife Liz have been close friends with the Gorgas for years,” the insider said. “There is absolutely zero truth to this nasty rumor and it’s comical that it even needs to be addressed.” The source continued, “He is shocked that someone would make up something so nasty in an attempt to destroy two families.”

A source also confirmed to All About the Real Housewives that the rumor was why Melissa and Joe didn’t attend Teresa and Louis’ wedding in August 2022. “It all started when Margaret and her former BFF Laura Lee Jansen had a fall out. Laura was upset with Margaret so she asked to meet up with Jennifer Aydin and Teresa Giudice,” the insider said. “She let both of them know that Margaret isn’t so innocent off camera. Laura revealed that Margaret told her that Melissa Gorga allegedly cheated on Joe Gorga by making out with a man named Nick Barotta and that she saw it. Again — Margaret had no intention of it being out there.”

The source continued, “She had told her BFF Laura in confidence before they fell out. Both Jennifer and Teresa didn’t believe the rumor but couldn’t believe Margaret was saying this. Teresa and Louie then confronted Joe Gorga OFF CAMERA before the season began filming because they wanted to make him aware of it and nothing came out of it. Teresa never was going to bring it up on camera but she wanted Joe to know this is what Margaret had said.”

The insider also claimed that that The Real Housewives of New Jersey cast was mostly friends until the rumor came out. “Fast forward to filming – every one makes peace and this rumor doesn’t come out. Margaret is aware this information is out there and she goes after Jennifer Aydin yet again,” the source said. “This time calling her a drug addict. That’s when Jennifer tells newest housewife Danielle Cabral what Margaret has said about Melissa. Danielle then confronts Melissa and lets her know this rumor is out there and that Jennifer and no one else believes it but it came from Margaret’s former BFF.”

The insider continued, “A few days before the wedding — they filmed the season finale of New Jersey and Melissa blamed Teresa for the entire thing. Louie was upset that Teresa was the one being blamed and Joe Gorga ends up charging at Louie to the point that he had to be restrained. The next day they make the announcement that they are not coming to the wedding.”

Laura told Page Six in August 2022 that, while she didn’t know if the rumor was true, she doubled down that she heard it from Margaret. “I was told about this [by Margaret], who was not even there, herself,” she said. “She told me that someone told her who was there that night.” Laura, who was friends with Margaret for decades, also told Page Six that she heard the rumor “a while ago” when she and Margaret were still friends and kept it a secret for years. “I do not think that Margaret was telling me that to ruin Melissa’s marriage,” she said. “She was gossiping — it’s what she does.”

Laura also denied that she wanted to hurt Melissa and Joe by spreading the rumor to Jennifer and Teresa. “My intention was never for anyone or their families to be hurt,” she said. “The intention was for me to talk to Melissa alone and let her know what was being said about her because I felt I was probably not the only one that knew. I didn’t think Margaret only told me [the cheating rumor]. It had nothing to do with being on-camera at all.”

A source also told Page Six at the time that, after Margaret learned of the rumor, she confronted Laura in a series of texts, in which she called her former friend a “snake” and a “beast.” “She went to two people who didn’t like [Margaret] crying to them and telling them all these stories,” a source said. “Things with an ounce of truth, she twisted it. So were Margaret and Melissa ever out with these guys? Yes. Was there ever any kissing? No. No one made out with anybody.”

Sources also called Laura’s decision to spread the rumor a “thirsty and desperate” attempt to be on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. “As Margaret became more popular on the show, this girl turned into this ‘glamazon’ with full make-up, hair and extensions, and she was dying to get on the show,” the insider said.

Laura confirmed that she spoke to the production on The Real Housewives of New Jersey three times because she thought the filming process would be “fun,” but denied that she spread the rumor to get on the show. “Obviously, they’re putting up a united front and if they don’t give it life and they just keep blaming it on me, then no one has to fess up to anything,” she said. “Margaret will just keep saying I made it up, nobody has to come clean about anything, and then I become the villain when I’m not.”

She also denied that Teresa wanted the rumor on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. “Of course not. She didn’t want her brother to be hurt,” she said. “I don’t believe for one second that [Giudice] wanted that on camera. This had nothing to do with loyalty to Teresa. It was truly said to try and meet with Melissa to let her know what was being said.”

She continued, “I stand by my truth. I never said [the rumor] was true. I said I was told by Margaret that someone saw that. I never said that Melissa did that. I would never, ever try to hurt someone and their family. I’m sorry that this happened like this because of Margaret and the way she wants to spin things and try to make it look like I’m a bad person.”

The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on Bravo.

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