An Orange County Superior Court jury has awarded Gretchen Rossi of The Real Housewives of Orange County $523,250 in damages from a suit she filed against her ex-boyfriend in 2010.
This has been a back-and-forth case that included Rossi target Jay Photoglou counter-suing her in January 2011 for libel and slander.
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The legal quagmire began after Rossi accused Photoglou of trashing her in the media and revealed she had filed suit alleging defamation, assault, battery and much, much more to make her former beau stop.
A judge later threw out the defamation charges but claims of assault, battery, stalking, breach of contract, conversion,
intentional emotional distress, intentional interference with
contractual relations and intentional interference with prospective
economic relations were allowed to move forward.
Photoglou later filed his suit against Rossi, adding she lied about their
secret relationship on Bravo's hit reality TV show and in many media interviews while she was
engaged to Jeff Beitzel. He died of leukemia in September 2008, and Rossi has since moved on to deadbeat dad Slade Smiley.
The back-and-forth case included Rossi at one point having to pick up more than $40,000 of Photoglou's legal fees. But she more than made up for that this week thanks to the Superior Court jury, which first awarded her $500,000 in general damages, followed up with $23,250 in punitive damages.
And she's not done. Rossi is asking the court for a restraining order against Photoglou, and the judge set a hearing for 10 a.m. Monday to consider the request.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.