Real Housewives' Gretchen Rossi: Wanted Woman

Failure to appear in court may end up landing this Bravo reality star in the slammer

By Josh Grossberg, Marcus Mulick Apr 22, 2010 7:42 PMTags
Gretchen RossiDavid Goldman/Bravo

Gretchen Rossi has a date with a deputy—unless she can help it.

A California judge issued a warrant this morning for the arrest of the Real Housewives of Orange County star after she failed to turn up in court today for a hearing in a lawsuit by a man claiming to be her ex-lover.

But all you Housewives haters can cork your celebrations—at least temporarily.

Shortly after taking the action, the Orange County Superior Court judge overseeing the case reversed himself and said he would hold onto the warrant for one week to give her one last chance to show up.

Per the Orange County Register, 40-year-old Jay Photoglou sued the 32-year-old Rossi in January for libel and slander claiming she lied about their secret relationship on TV and in various media interviews when she was engaged to Jeff Beitzel, who died of leukemia in September 2008.

He launched the legal salvo after Gretchen unsuccessfully tried to take out a restraining order against him alleging he harassed and threatened to kill her, her current beau, Slade Smiley, and her dog.

As part of the suit, Rossi had to submit to what's called a "judgment debtor examination" so the other side could determine how much money she makes, a standard procedure on Photoglou's part after a judge ordered her to fork over $20,000 in legal fees to him when her injunction was rejected last May.

"She is just making Jay jump through hoops to get his money he deserves," the plaintiff's attorney, Orlando Castaño, tells E! News. "We know she has the money. She's just drawing this out."

While Rossi was MIA, a legal eagle showed up on her behalf and asked for a continuance which the judge denied. Instead, His Honor demanded that the blond-haired, blue-eyed beauty appear in person next Thursday to either pony up the dough she owes Photoglou or to sit through the debtor exam, which would allow Photoglou's lawyer to comb through her finances and ask questions about her earnings.

"She can do two things. She can come with a cashiers check and pay it. And if she doesn't pay, then we get to see everything," added Castaño.

The Huntington Beach native has accused Rossi of stalling the suit, such as calling the cops on a process server his attorney hired to hand her a subpoena.

Rossi's camp was unavailable for comment. Should the Bravo fixture fail to show up again, the APB will go out for her arrest.


While you're at it, E! Online's got the scoop on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.