REAL Housewives of New Jersey” aired Part I of the reunion show last night, but I have a feeling we’ll still be hearing about Danielle Staub long after the show has come and gone as new information is revealed about her past and her involvement with “the book.”
Through public records, it’s been revealed that Danielle Staub has a much more questionable past than she’s admitted to on Bravo’s hit reality show. Staub, 46, has admitted to an arrest and to changing her name after she was exposed in “Cop Without a Badge,” a 1995 book about her ex-husband. But according to federal court records posted yesterday on The Smoking Gun, she was involved in a kidnapping plot, a $24,000 drug deal gone bad and an “escort service.”
Danielle has always said her criminal record, which is over 20 years old and dates back to 1986, were the mistakes of youth and I can understand that since3 we’ve all done things that we wish we could put past us. However, going on a reality show is not exactly a way to fly under the radar hoping to keep the past in the past. The details of the charges against her outlined on official papers are substantial. Staub, then known as Beverly Ann Merrill used the alias Angela Minelli when she was arrested along with Daniel Aguilar, a local cocaine kingpin whom she became involved with while working for an escort service, according to the reports. In June 1986, Daniel had Beverly take a kilo of cocaine, worth $24,000, to the nearby apartment of customer Carmen Centolella, who was supposed to sell the drugs to four men. When Beverly arrived, the documents state, she was accosted by the men who held her at gunpoint before fleeing with the cocaine. When Aguilar, who later told investigators that Beverly used cocaine, learned what had happened, he orchestrated Carmen Centolella’s kidnapping. Centolella was beaten while he was held at Aguilar’s house for three days, during which phone calls were placed to his father demanding $25,000 ransom. According to the documents, Beverly Merrill placed the first call to the father, during which she “threatened injury or death” to his son.
When they were arrested, “agents discovered six kilos of cocaine and about $16,000 in cash,” according to the papers. Staub “was charged with eight felonies, including extortion, cocaine possession and narcotics conspiracy.” She later became an informant and pleaded guilty to “a single felony count,” sentenced to five years’ probation (Aguilar got 15 years in the slammer) and was ordered into a drug treatment program, according to papers filed in US District Court in Miami.
Still, Staub is sticking with what she originally said was true in the out-of-print book Cop Without a Badge: she was arrested and changed her name. “Yup, I had a name change. Yup, I was a different person,” she told Us Weekly. “Don’t judge me. There’s only one person that can judge anybody,” she went on. “In spirit and in life, we are all equal. There is only one higher power.”
Meanwhile, the bad blood between Danielle and the four other “Housewives” — Dina Manzo, Caroline Manzo, Teresa Giudice and Jacqueline Laurita — has gotten worse since the show ended last week. According to US Weekly, Jacqueline Laurita, who was Danielle’s only friend and ally on the show, is no longer talking to Staub. “I’ve learned my family was right about her after all,” she said although she failed to elaborate on what she learned. In the show’s finale, Laurita took Staub’s side when she confronted Dina and Caroline Manzo about the two making an out-of-print book that detailed Staub’s crime ridden past public. Now that the program is over, Laurita’s tone has changed about her fellow housewife. “I am not friends with Danielle,” the new mom told the publication. “She has never seen the baby, nor will I ever show her.” Jacqueline and hubby Chris welcomed a baby boy named Nicholas Francis on June 11.
In other news, Danielle Staub has stopped ex-boyfriend Stephen Zalewski from releasing a sex tape, at least temporarily. A judge on Wednesday ordered an injunction banning the release of any sexually explicit video or pictures of Danielle Staub and her former boyfriend Stephen Zalewski pending a hearing next month. Staub, of Wayne, says Zalewski is trying to get back at her because she broke up with him last year. She says she was videotaped without her knowledge. Staub filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Paterson that alleges invasion of privacy, defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.