My favorite housewives have always been those of Orange County, California. There have been a few to come and go, and this past season it was nice to see them make an appearance and get caught up on what they are doing in their lives. However, one of the new housewives for this past new season, Gretchen Rossi, had a not so easy entrance into the "wives club". Gretchen was not welcomed with many open arms. Jeanna (Keough) seemed to be her closest allies at times. While facing the impending demise of her fiancee, who was stricken with terminal leukemia, Gretchen was at times the brunt of hurtful jokes by another housewife, Tamara Barney. All I can say for for Tamara, as the saying goes, "you can take the girl out of the trailer park, but you can't take the trailer park out of the girl". That's Tamara.
"You can take the girl out of the trailer park, but.."
It is apparent it was a jealousy issue between the two blonds. Gretchen had a difficult time fitting in with the other housewives because of her looks, as you can see, she is gorgeous. The other women are already having injections and lifts, and Gretchen is a natural beauty. The end result cat fights that always happen when you have a room full of women, some who are naturally beautiful and those that are artificially beautiful. Tamara hosted a cocktail party in one episode where she tried her damn-est to embarrass and humiliate Gretchen, but the laugh was on Tamra. While Gretchen did become highly intoxicated, she held her own while Tamra accuses Gretchen of being nothing but a gold digger, and a "paid nurse" for Gretchen's ailing fiancee, Jeff.
We know these type shows are edited to how the producers want them to appear. I feel Gretchen is genuine. You could see the love she shared with her fiancee, Jeff, and his older children. Her fiancee loved her unconditionally, and knew she was beautiful. Yes, it may have been a relationship of convenience so to speak, Gretchen has a nursing background. Either way, you can see that the two loved each other. When I learned of his passing in September, before the series new season aired, it was very sad. Gretchen had to been devastated. She is also a beautiful, younger woman, and they did not have the opportunity to be officially married before Jeff's death.
Tamra Barney is married to Simon Barney, from what I can gather, a tequila importer, or more like "drinker". Whatever his unimpressive "title", seems "Miss Tamra" is quite herself the gold digger. As they say, takes one to know one. Simon had Tamra take an etiquette course, in which it seems she only learned some ancient story about a fork, and nothing about "etiquette". Last season, Tamra had a blow out 40th birthday party, but according to public records, she actually turned "44"... okay. Guess Tamra needed a "reason" for her to throw a highball party as the other housewives have been known to do, and to show off her diamond encrusted pink Rolex. She also wanted a "pink Harley" which during this season she did not receive. However, Gretchen's fiancee, Jeff, had one delivered to her at the "End of Summer Party" hosted by Jeanna every year. Talk about daggers shooting from eyes.
It is great entertainment just to watch the trailer park girl try to keep up with the women, who are very apparently out of her league, but Tamra just continues to make a fool of herself at every turn.
Gretchen, however, has shown style and grace while dealing with Jeff's illness. Yes, she did take time off to visit her parent's cabin, to which Tamra belittled her for it. Yet, this is the same Tamra who got Gretchen "naked drunk" at her social party, by giving Gretchen shots of tequila, which resulted in Tamra's 20 something son, from her first "marriage"?, hitting on Gretchen, who handled herself appropriately and told Tamra's son "She is engaged, and she could not cheat on Jeff." Well done, Gretchen. Watch your back, even though you can hold your own, it is apparent, it is also visible the green eyed monster is living along side Tamra's alter trailer park ego. Gretchen saw that spending that time with her family was important and Jeff did tell her to visit them. He understood. When asked for advice from Gretchen, Vickie and Tamra could only offer up to Gretchen to make sure that Jeff's will had been changed from his previous marriage. "They were just looking out for Gretchen".
I would have to say, along with Gretchen, my favorite housewife is Jeanna Keough. She is a multi-million dollar seller on the real estate scene, is a mom to three children and has recently become divorced and back on the dating scene, in her late 40's. She was also a Playboy Playmate in her heyday. Jeanna, like other mom's struggles with weight issues and "normal" life issues, despite all the money we viewers assume she brings in and/or has. I think she is smoking hot and would love to share a glass of wine or a latte with her any day.
This show has taught me that what I knew for sure is true. Money does not equal happiness. The family and the people who make up the family who make the happiness. Money may provide a security blanket, I know that. But I had rather my blanket be on the floor in front of the fireplace, or on the ground, outside watching fireworks, the stars, or just having a picnic, as long as my family was on the blanket.
Here is another one of Tamra's attempts at defaming Gretchen:
From People Magazine:
Gretchen Rossi, one of the stars of The Real Housewives of Orange County’s season 4, says she was loyal to her late fiancé Jeff Beitzel, who lost his battle with cancer following the show’s taping.
On Bravo’s recent reunion show, her Housewives costar Tamra Barney accused Gretchen of cheating on Beitzel with a man named Jay, who once threatened to “out” Gretchen.
Web reports have identified that man as Jay Photoglou.
Gretchen, 31, tells PEOPLE she did go on “a couple of dates” with Photoglou before she started seeing her late fiancé, “but it really wasn’t a romantic, serious relationship,” she says.While Rossi was engaged to Beitzel, [Photoglou] became a close friend and “confidante.” But when he wanted to take things further, she says, “I was not even going to consider that with him.”
After Beitzel died in September, Rossi and Photoglou continued hanging out, she says, often running into each other at parties because they share many of the same friends.
It was during that time, she believes he took her memory card out of her camera, which, she says, accounts for the photos of them that have popped up on the Web.
“I have not taken my ring off one day since Jeff passed away,” Rossi says. “[But Photoglou] claims the proof [that we were dating while I was engaged] is the fact that I’m wearing my engagement ring.”
Photoglou could not be reached for comment.
“Every single time he wanted to have something more and I would deny him, he would say, ‘I’m just going to call the press and tell them we have a relationship,’” Rossi says. “He has never been my boyfriend.”
Then why did Rossi call him her boyfriend during a 911 call published by Radaronline.com? “Because he was standing right in front of me,” she tells PEOPLE. “I was afraid that he was going to be upset that I was giving dispatch any information about him — whether it was his real name, whether or not he was my boyfriend.”
During the call, Photoglou claims Rossi had attempted suicide with sleeping pills. But Rossi is heard in the background saying, “I did not try to commit suicide at all.”
In fact, Rossi then got on the phone and told the dispatcher, “He tried to break into my house and I finally opened the door. He decided to call 911 … He’s been ringing the door bell for the last 25 minutes.”
Rossi has now taken action so that she won’t hear from Photoglou again, filing a temporary restraining order against him on Friday at the Newport Beach Court House.
“I look forward to the truth being played out in court,” Photoglou told RadarOnline.com. “It’s an obvious attempt by Gretchen to silence me, as I’ve only spoken the truth about our relationship.” – People Article: Elaine Aradillas for People Magazine
Photo of Gretchen Rossi (upper right): Vivian Zink/Bravo TV