An officer with the University of Illinois at Chicago and his family are suing several members of the cast of Bravo’s Real Housewives of New Jersey following that vicious bar brawl that went down earlier this year in the Dominican Republic.
The campus cop, Adolfo Arreola, and his cousin, Jason A. Gomez, filed two lawsuits in Miami and New York, The Chicago Tribune reports. The cousins claim they were at a Punta Cana resort nightclub on Feb. 23 when brassy castmember Teresa Giudice sprayed Arreola’s mother-in-law — Yolanda Martinez, 53 — with champagne. According to the suit, which also list Martinez as a Plaintiff, when he stepped in to confront Teresa, he was attacked by a several RHOJ castmembers, including Giudice’s husband, Joe, and Albert and Christopher Manzo, who are also featured on the hit reality docu-drama. Arreola claims he suffered a broken arm, eye injuries and assorted cuts and bruises. Gomez’s says his leg was broken and his MCL torn after he tried to help Arreola.
Though both Adolfo and Jason Gomez quickly signed $25,000 settlements with Housewives’ producers that also covered up to $12,000 in medical expenses, they now say they agreed to the settlement because they were told they would not be permitted to leave the Caribbean unless they accepted the money. Arreola accuses security at the Hard Rock Hotel, where the incident occured, and local police of being reluctant to help him. He says he was strong-armed into signing a release saying he would not sue. He also claims that his family was threatened.
“They just started punching me and beating me up. They threw me on the floor and stepped on my face a couple of times and when I tried to cover my face they broke my wrist…They told me that if I didn’t sign the releases that me and my family weren’t going to leave the country,” Arreola argues.
The checks remain uncashed.
Attorneys for Arreola believe there may be video footage of the attack and they are working to obtain it. The Hard Rock Hotel and Bravo are also named in the lawsuit.
The network has declined to comment.
The family is seeking an unspecified sum in damages.