The two men, who were once costars on the Real Housewives of New Jersey, feuded for years before recently running into each other in the Bahamas. After the encounter – which was filmed and posted on Joe Gorga’s Instagram – Giudice’s daughter Gia accused her uncle Joe of being an opportunist.
In an interview with E! News, Melissa addressed the men’s sudden reunion.
“He showed up to the hotel we were at, we didn’t go look for Joe Giudice,” said Melissa, who called it “sad” that anyone would suspect Joe Gorga of a hidden agenda. “[Joe Giudice] obviously knew what hotel we were at.”
She also claimed, “Joe Giudice showed up to where we were gambling,” and their reunion was completely “unexpected.”
“We were walking into a bar at the same time, and they saw each other,” the star added. “Thank god the two of them opened arms and hugged it out. No mention of the past, no mention of Teresa [Giudice], not even one word. No mention of her new man, zero. The two of them talked about what Joe’s doing for work now that their fathers had both passed away. They haven’t seen each other in eight years.”
Though she mentioned former “ups and downs” – before Giudice was deported from the United States – Melissa claimed, “my husband let it all go, he saw him, and he felt like he saw family.”
Regarding the heat Joe Gorga received after posting the encounter on social media, Melissa expressed, “Joe’s damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t.”
Does Melissa believe the dynamics of her family would be altered had she not joined the show?
“No, I don’t,” she answered. “I don’t think it would be much different … There was stuff that happened way before the Housewives of New Jersey even existed. My first couple years of my marriage she was not on the show. It was always a little bit of a bumpy ride. I always saw the tension between brother and sister and even her ex-husband way before The Real Housewives. I kind of entered the family, and it was this way.”
Melissa wishes the family’s feuding would end. “It’s to the point now where it just feels toxic,” she explained. “I wish [Teresa] luck, I wish her happiness. I don’t think we’re going to go to lunch together, but I do want her to be happy.”
The Real Housewives of New Jersey season 13 airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Bravo.