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N.J. Housewives' Danielle: A Criminal Past?!

Danielle Staub Mugshot

Will the real Danielle Staub please stand up?

The Real Housewives of New Jersey star is facing accusations today that her past life included stripping, drug use, extortion, kidnapping and at least one arrest.

Where on earth did these allegations come from? Read on to find out.

Cop Without a Badge, an out-of-print book about felon-turned-informant Kevin Maher, includes some rather dirty stories about a stripper named Beverly Merrill.

Turns out, Staub used to go by various names, including—you guessed it—Beverly Merrill, according to a report on Defamer. And the woman in Merrill's mugshot sure does look a lot like Staub.

One of the most startling accusations made about Merrill in the book include being busted for extortion, kidnapping and drug possession relating to a case involving a drug dealer who held a man for ransom because he owed him $25,000.

Got that?

But are these claims that shocking after all? Commercials and promos for the N.J. Housewives have continually hinted that Staub has a criminal past.

What does Staub have to say for herself today? Nothing. She's declining to comment.

However, when I spoke to her a couple weeks ago about the allegations, she didn't deny anything. Instead, she simply said, "I'm baffled."

A rep for Bravo also declined to comment today, saying, "Tune in next week and watch what happens."

—Reporting by Dahvi Shira

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Get more Marc on Twitter @marcmalkin

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