We need to get to the bottom of this! Real Housewives of New Jersey star Melissa Gorga may be a killer business woman now with her own clothing store and HSN jewelry line, but she had a few failed careers before finding her niche. Some, like singing, she's very open about. Others… not so much. So, was Melissa a stripper before marrying hubby Joe Gorga and joining the Bravo family? Here's what we know.
Melissa has a college degree.
Melissa went to New Jersey City University and got a degree in teaching. NJ.com reports that while going to school, she also worked at Tropical Tanning as a tanning consultant beginning in 2001, when she was about 21 years old. She never got to use her teaching degree because she married Joe just three years later and he wanted her to be a stay-at-home mom. Somehow we doubt Melissa would be getting naked on stage if she was hoping to start a career in education.
Rumors that Melissa was a stripper began on RHONJ in 2012.
Melissa joined the Real Housewives cast in 2011, and in the season finale of her first season she was accused of having been a stripper when she was younger. At an event, a man by the name of Angelo Vrohidis was chatting with Joe's sister Teresa Giudice, and said, "I must say Teresa, it’s actually a small world we live in. I know your sister-in-law Melissa. We go way back… She actually worked for me. At a little gentlemen’s club in Elizabeth." When Teresa pressed for details, he said, "Well, she danced for me." When he tried to talk to Melissa, she ran away and refused to be on camera with him.
Melissa denied stripping… but admitted she worked at Looker's strip club.
Melissa said that while she did work at the club, she always wore a tank top and shorts. “Melissa worked at the club behind the bar, not as a dancer,” her rep told HuffPo. “[She] worked one day a week for almost a year. She has nothing to hide." As a matter of fact, the rep claimed Joe visited his future wife there and had no problem with it. "Joe Gorga went to the bar a few times to see Melissa. She even has an affidavit from the club's owner, Chris Kontos, saying she was never a dancer. The reason she didn’t recognize Angelo [the man claiming she was a dancer] was because he worked the day shift and Melissa worked the evening.”
However, Angelo still insisted she stripped.
"She was a dancer. Dancing is not a bad thing so I don’t know why she is denying it," he told AllAboutTrh.com. "A lot of girls I know that danced have made such a name for themselves. I know dancers who have become nurses and someone who is a lawyer right now. I’m glad to see Melissa do something good for herself. She’s going to keep denying it because she’s already denied it so many times. But do a lot of people know? Absolutely. Of course they know."
Melissa, on the other hand, called it "100% NOT TRUE" and said, "Btw, I feel for him, I hear he has a major drug problem… Don’t wish it on anyone…" Shady shady!
A bar owner defended Melissa.
The owner of Breathless gentleman's club in New Jersey told Radar Online that "Melissa worked for me. She worked as a bartender at one of my other venues. She never danced, she was just a bartender." As a matter of fact, New Jersey prohibits topless or nude girls at places that serve alcohol, so if Melissa was a bartender, she couldn't have been a dancer.
At the end of the day, the 38-year-old is an entrepreneur, a loving wife, and an amazing mother-of-three. You do you, girl!