"Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Melissa Gorga is the latest cast member to be mired in controversy following rumors that she used to work as a stripper.
On Sunday night's episode 20, Gorga's sister-in-law and co-star, Teresa Giudice, was the first to hear of allegations that the 33-year-old once worked as a professional dancer at Lookers nightclub in Elizabeth, N.J. Angelo Vrohidis, the former manager of Lookers, told Giudice, 39, that Gorga worked there for almost a year.
"[Melissa] danced for me for eight or nine months, give or take. My customers were very sad to see her go," Vrohidis told a stunned Giudice.
Although Giudice urged him and her friend Kim DePaola not to discuss her family, the pair proceeded with their explosive conversation, forcing Giudice to nervously exit the room.
"I've heard a lot of rumors about Melissa dancing, and this person kind of confirmed it," Giudice told the cameras.
Later in the show, all Bravo TV cast mates attended a fashion show, which wass hosted by DePaola, and Vrohidis confronted Gorga, asking whether she remembered him. The mother of three appeared to be dumbfounded.
"I don't remember where I know him from, but I know him," Gorga whispered to her co-star Kathy Wakile. "You know when you know somebody?"
Gorga immediately flocked to social networking site Twitter after the stripper rumors first surfaced in 2011 and denied working as a stripper, insisting that she only worked as a bartender. Her attorney, James Leonard Jr., also threatened legal action over the reports.
"At this time we are aggressively pursuing the commencement of litigation against any and all individuals, in any jurisdiction, who have or continue to disseminate false statements against Melissa Gorga," Leonard Jr. said in a statement in 2011.
Vrohidis stood by his claims that Gorga formerly worked as a stripper, and suggested that the reality TV star even went as far as to contact her former co-workers at Lookers to ask them to lie for her.
"There also have been people that I have spoken to who claim Melissa tried contacting people from 'Lookers' to tell them to say she was only a bartender, not a dancer," Vrohidis reportedly told AllAboutTRH.com.
Gorga is not the first housewife to be faced with rumors regarding exotic dancing. In 2011, her Bravo TV co-star star Jacqueline Laurita was accused of working as an exotic dancer in Las Vegas before she met her husband Chris Laurita.
"[Jacqueline] has confirmed her stripper past to multiple friends who are covering up for her. She is telling everyone to deny it!" a source told In Touch magazine.
"At the time, she was a single mom who needed to dance at a club in order to pay her bills," the source went on.
The stripping allegations are reportedly the main reason that Laurita skipped the season three reunion show.
"She feared that Danielle Staub would make a surprise appearance and tell all about Jacqueline's stripping past. She didn't want to face the truth!" the insider said.