‘RHOM’ Alexia Echevarria and Husband Todd Talk Strange Encounter With Joe Gorga at BravoCon, Plus How Dr. Nicole Martin is Different Off-Camera

by Adam Ragsdale
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Alexia Echevarria and Husband Todd Address RHOM Cast Drama, Lisa Hochstein’s Divorce and Lea Black's Return, Plus Todd’s Strange Encounter with Joe Gorga at BravoCon

Credit: INSTARimages, Bravo

Alexia Echevarria and her husband Todd Nepola are opening up about the current cast, Lenny and Lisa Hochstein’s controversial divorce, the appearance of Lea Black, and Todd’s strange encounter with Joe Gorga.

The couple became engaged before COVID, not realizing their wedding would be postponed for almost two years. In the last season of Real Housewives of Miami, Todd’s relationship with Alexia’s son Peter was one of her central storylines.

In an interview for Behind The Velvet Rope With David Yontef podcast, Alexia and Todd shared what it was like meeting each other before the show got renewed.

Todd shared that, even then, it was “hard” to date Alexia because fans would continually approach her in public, asking about her personal life. “I’m like, ‘how does everybody know your whole entire life?'” he said.

Though the show was off the air for many years, Alexia “always believed” it would come back. “I just didn’t want to take eight years. You know, I didn’t wanna be like in my fifties. I still wanted it, you know, I [just] wanted to be younger,” she explained.

Though much of season four was focused on Alexia’s drama, season five has been called ‘the season of Lisa.’ Addressing this new dynamic, Alexia expressed, “Thank God. I mean, I don’t wish that on [Lisa] and any of the other girls, but you know, I’m entitled to some happiness and, and some peace.”

Discussing her season five drama with Guerdy Abraira (who was originally set to plan her wedding), Alexia shared, “We do have our moments [this season] … Like real people and real friends, that’s what we do. She felt a certain kind of way and I was feeling a certain kind of way and we had to talk about it, and at the end, we both like each other. Right. Or, or we don’t … Time takes you to where you have to be.”

Alexia also revealed that she and Todd were with Lisa and Lenny in Aspen just weeks before the split.

“They were like lovey-dovey feeding each other, loving each other. [I] didn’t see it coming,” said Alexia. “You know, I don’t like to use the word blindsided, but you know, people like to judge just by one thing. They see, you know, even like [Todd] and I, like, they can see us one night at a place in an argument or in a group situation where we disagree and he might be disrespectful, but that doesn’t mean your marriage is over.”

Todd shared that Lenny and Lisa “were both fantastic together” in person. Regarding the split, Alexia admitted that Lenny could have “handle it a little bit better,” and she said Lisa was “very much in love with him … [they have] children, and it’s hard. I think she was really trying in her own way to keep her family together. And unfortunately, it was a little bit too late.”

Alexia shared that, if she saw Lenny in person, she doesn’t “even know if I would say hello to him or not. I mean, it’s not like he was not so friendly anyways. He’s not like a very friendly guy.”

The star added, “I would like to see him alone versus with the new girlfriend. That I don’t care for. That would piss me off. I’m not gonna lie … if I were to see him alone, I would probably say hello to him and maybe even say I was, I was disappointed in him … hopefully they will figure it out. Hopefully, you know.”

Alexia laughed at the recent allegation that Lisa can’t afford to buy diapers for her children. “Obviously, like, nobody’s gonna believe that because she does make her own money and she’s a good mom, so she’s never gonna not buy diapers,” she said. “I just thought it was a little bit ridiculous.”

She also shared her surprise that Lisa took advice from Lea, an original castmate, amid the divorce. “Apparently Lisa and Lea have a friendship and I wasn’t aware of that because I never saw that side to Lea. But I do understand that [Lea] would love to be a part of our show,” said Alexia, and she then alluded to Lea’s previous comments about the show. “I think [Lea] secretly [wants to be a part of the show] … That’s another problem that I have with the Housewives that are no longer on the show and then they want to like badmouth the show, they want to badmouth the Real Housewives, they wanna badmouth all the women that have been part of it and think [they’re] superior.”

Alexia also described the kind of man she thinks Lisa should date. “A hot one. I think he should be very nice. I think that now she’s probably gonna look for a man that you know is more about Lisa, and is not so like ego-centric or narcissist as Lenny,” she said. “I feel like when she met Lenny he was like the superstar being like the plastic surgeon and she was just like his wife … I just want him to be nice and I want him to take care of her and be good to her emotionally, psychologically.”

Concerning her own relationship, Alexia explained that her “personal life” has always been “more important” than her professional life, and she said she’d “step down” from the show if anything affected her marriage or family life. “My family and Todd [and] my kids are more important to me than the show,” she said.

Alexia then addressed her past marriage to Herman Echevarria: “I hate to talk about this, but in my [previous] relationship … Herman didn’t want me to do the show and he was always like, ‘I’m gonna divorce, I’m gonna divorce you.’ We ended up getting divorced or separated not because of the show ironically. So you know, sometimes like in that case, you know you have to do what’s good for you, not what the man tells you to do. But in my case with Todd, like if I saw that the show was a big pressure and we were not enjoying it and … it was causing problems between him and I, I would definitely step down.”

Alexia also unleashed her thoughts about castmate Dr. Nicole Martin, who feuded with her bestie Marysol Patton.

“I think actually [Nicole] really is a lot different on camera. That’s a, I think that that’s the problem … What I kind of like dislike about her is the fact that off camera, she’s like one person and on camera she’s a different person,” said Alexia. “I think sometimes when these girls sign up to do the show, they do like a different kind of casting, oh I’m this, this and that. They say all this kind of stuff. But then when they get into the group and we start filming, they wanna be like, oh, I’m so nice, I’m so sweet, you know, I wanna be good with everyone. And it’s really not like that cuz I know how you really are behind the scene.”

She went on, “[Nicole] wants to be good … like, ‘I’m the doctor and I’m like smarter than all of you and you know, I just wanna keep it all together and … I’m about empowering women,’ … [But in these shows] you can’t fake it or lie about it for a long time cause you’re gonna get called out and you know, you can’t lie to the camera.”

She then shared her belief that some cast members are “afraid” to be friends with Alexia “independently” from Marysol.

“They feel like they’re competing with my friendship with Marysol. And I disagree with that. And I’ve had this conversation with some of the girls because I can be friends with Marysol even if Marysol doesn’t like you. Like I have that capacity,” said Alexia. “But I feel like the new girls came into the season thinking, ‘Well those are the OGs. They have these strong ties and they have these strong friendships and it’s them against us.’ Right? Or it’s us against them. And I don’t like that … But sometimes I like [the new girls] more off camera than on camera cause I’m like, I know how you really are. But then if you call them out and then you’re like … a bully.”

Addressing her and Todd’s close friendship with Teresa Giudice and husband Luis Ruelas, Alexia first addressed Luis’ reputation as a ‘bad guy.’ She explained, “You know, I always say there’s a bad guy until he meets the right woman. And I think he met his match with Teresa and I told her that. You know, some guys, sometimes guys are the way that are…”

Todd added, “I always say, he wasn’t a bad guy. No, he was a rich single good-looking guy running around New York and New Jersey. So Right. He has a lot of bad reputation.”

Alexia then seemed to allude to Luis’ exes: “Yeah. Breaking up with women. And you know what, women are b**ches … they get angry.”

Surprisingly, Todd shared that he avoided Teresa’s brother Joe at BravoCon 2022.

“Marysol’s husband and I were at the bar, and Joe Gorga was there literally 10 feet away, five feet away. And I was like, oh god, I can’t introduce myself to this guy. He knows I’m friends with his sister. I was like, can’t even say hi to him,” said Todd. “What do I do? And I was like, I never even met him before.”

“But I felt awkward that if I walk up to this guy, he’s gonna say something [like] ‘I know who you are, you’re friends with my sister.’ I was like, I just avoid this situation because I know he could have a temper like me,” he explained.

Teasing the current season, Alexia shared that “a lot of the friendships between the OGs, it takes maybe a different course … [There are] different friendships and relationships and it gets really real. You’re gonna get to see a lot of different dynamics in the group.”

New episodes of The Real Housewives of Miami season five are streaming every Thursday on Peacock.