The Real Housewives franchise is like the show that just keeps giving. Legally speaking, that is. The New Jersey cast has been especially generous in their legal lessons, teaching the audience about everything from restraining orders to assault to drunk driving to bankruptcy. Let's now add defamation and settlement to the list.
New Jersey Housewife Danielle Staub settled with her ex-husband Kevin Maher over a defamation lawsuit he brought against her when she called Maher a wife-beating rapist, among other things in various press interviews. Oh yes, and she also called him a dog killer. Although the terms of the Danielle Staub defamation settlement are private, Maher originally sought $5 million dollars from the reality television star.
The Examiner quotes a statement Maher made to TMZ, "The matter was resolved to the satisfaction of both parties. It's interesting that the case gets settled the day before Danielle was supposed to be deposed, it was going to be the worst day of her life." In settling the case (and avoiding the worst day of her life), Staub ended any chance Maher could ever bring a suit relating to those claims again. But Staub is one chatty lady and may have yet another defamation suit on her hands.
With Staub's new book, The Naked Truth, Maher once again plans on suing Staub (as well as her publishers, Simon and Schuster) for millions based on "patently untrue" allegations made in the book. Staub claims that Maher was in jail for eighteen months for "criminal activity relative to Danielle Staub." Since these allegations concern a matter of public record, the potential defamation suit may be a little more transparent than the current settlement. Currently airing in the Real Housewives world are the women of D.C. and Atlanta -- both hotbeds for legal issues. Stay tuned for which housewife we'll be blogging about next week.