The Untold Truth Of Joe Gorga

You'd have to be quite the character to compete for attention with the ladies of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey." Joe Gorga, husband of Melissa Gorga and brother of OG Teresa Giudice, somehow manages to steal many of the scenes he's in on the show, whether brawling at his child's christening, bragging about his sexual prowess, or cracking up everyone in the room, including the hard-to-crack Caroline Manzo. The proud father of Gino, Antonia, and Joey has a softer side too, and isn't afraid to get emotional on camera.

When asked to name his favorite "Housewives" hubby, Andy Cohen bestowed the honor upon Joe Gorga, saying, "I don't have a FAVORITE but I think we can all agree this man is a Hall of Famer," which is a huge compliment coming from the creator of the franchise. The Paterson, New Jersey native may not be the Joe with the moniker "Juicy," but his life story has some juicy tidbits indeed. This is the untold truth of Joe Gorga.

The reality star makes money in real estate

While his sister, Teresa Giudice, has a penchant for flipping tables, Joe Gorga (born Giuseppe Gorga) has made a small fortune flipping houses. Or so he claims. There was some controversy regarding the before-and-after photos of a home he was renovating, but he laughed it off in pure Joe fashion.

His wife, Melissa Gorga, is reportedly worth $3 million, and she has been a cast member since Season 3. But Joe is adamant about bringing home the bacon, and his many business ventures prove it. In 2020, he reportedly made $2 million from flipping houses alone. Add that to the buildings he owns, and his other side hustles, and now we're talking big money, just like his wife, to the tune of $3 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

In 2019, Joe held an event called Grow With Gorga, a seminar during which he shared with ticket holders his methods for success. Tickets ranged between $97 and $297 a pop, and one eager fan spent $10,000 for the special "Joe Gorga Experience" package, which included a day of spending time with Joe, an upscale lunch, and front row seating at workshops. Joe told the New York Post, "Anyone who's going to spend $10,000 is a player and that's who I want to be involved with — someone who wants to play, invest and find some deals." A kindred spirit, in other words.

Joe Gorga makes fitness a priority

As seen in this adorable throwback pic, Joe Gorga played basketball in high school. Perhaps due to his reported 5-foot-6-inch stature, a career in the pros was not in the cards for the height-challenged king. Still, Joe is very proud of his physique, flashing his impressive bod on camera any chance he gets. His Instagram profile boasts a whole series of stories dedicated to fitness, mostly showing Joe working out at his favorite gym.

In an interview with Andy Cohen on "Andy Cohen Live," Joe claimed that to maintain his sculpted muscles, he works out three or four times a week. Andy seemed incredulous about this fact, so Joe clarified it isn't only traditional workouts that keep him fit. He credited his wild sex life with wife Melissa for staying in shape, claiming, "I have so much testosterone in my body, I produce it, I could sell it." He also mentioned another body part of his — one that he nicknamed Tarzan — has grown, according to his wife. We will just have to take his word for it.

The stripper revelation

During Season 4 of "RHONJ," one big storyline revolved around rumors about Melissa Gorga's supposed past as an exotic dancer. The drama unfolded throughout the entire season, with Melissa denying the claim, and Teresa Giudice denying her part in spreading the rumor. During that season's reunion, amid the women hurling accusations and insults at one another, Joe Gorga casually mentioned that he, in fact, was a stripper in his younger days.

Apparently, Joe had a lucrative stint as a Chippendales dancer for a year. "I made some money," he said of the experience, further adding some details on his dance attire. "I had a G-string that looked like an elephant." Teresa co-signed this story, adding that she found the G-string in Joe's room and it made her laugh. Suddenly, stripping didn't seem so scandalous after all, and once again Joe had diffused the tension in the room. No wonder he's Andy Cohen's fave.

Joe and Melissa Gorga's first date was a dud

With a solid 16-year marriage, three kids, and a healthy sex life, who would have guessed that Joe and Melissa Gorga's love story had a rocky start? When asked by Us Weekly to describe her worst date ever, Melissa said, "[Maybe it was] my first date ever with Joe Gorga? No, I'm sorry. It was my second date with Joe Gorga. 'Cause [on] the first date he had me at his home and he made me a fake dinner — we can include that too." She went on to recount, "He put all the food in the pots and pans that he ordered from the Italian restaurant down the street and swore he cooked it all."

Their second date sounds even worse, as Melissa revealed that Joe dozed off while out to dinner. He defended himself by saying he was exhausted and had been up since 5:30 that morning. Luckily, she gave him the benefit of the doubt. But since Joe was engaged twice before meeting Melissa (Teresa actually called him a "runaway groom"), one would think he'd have more game.

His legal troubles

Joe Gorga has been vocal about blaming his sister's ex-husband for landing her in jail. Back in 2013, Teresa and Joe Giudice faced some serious federal charges, and both ended up serving time after being indicted for fraud.

While he's not wrong, Joe Gorga has had some brushes with the law himself. In 2015, one of his tenants had a slip and fall accident on one of his properties and ended up with a broken arm. According to court documents obtained by Page Six, the tenant sued Joe in 2017 after not receiving a satisfactory response from his landlord regarding the incident. In 2018, Joe's legal woes continued when he was sued by Starlite Window for nonpayment. New Jersey court records show an unpaid balance of over $17,000 (via Page Six).

In 2019, Joe was reportedly caught shoplifting from Home Depot, a claim he denies. He joked in an interview with Radar, "Yeah I got locked up, I'm going to do 30 years. I mean, come on. It's ridiculous!" He went on to say, "I'm in Home Depot ten times a day. I develop buildings. The managers, owners, everybody knows me. It's bulls***."

Joe Gorga once owned a pizzeria

In May of 2017, Joe Gorga opened Gorga's Homemade Pasta & Pizza in East Hanover, New Jersey with wife Melissa Gorga and sister Teresa Giudice. The venture was meant to be a tribute to Joe and Teresa's late mother, Antonia, with her Italian recipes serving as inspiration for the restaurant's menu. Joe revealed to People, "I always told her I was gonna open up a restaurant for her. Then I got busy. While I signed a contract on this place we lost her. So this is for her." He added, "My mother loved to cook; it was like her drug."

The pizzeria also seemed to be a chance for a new start, with Joe and Teresa having reunited after Teresa served 11 months in jail for mail, wire, and bankruptcy fraud. Teresa and Melissa were even getting along! Alas, it was not meant to be, and the restaurant closed after less than a year. "We're not restaurant people. It's a whole different world," Joe told Us Weekly. It seems that was the truth, as the restaurant had a mere 2.5 score on Yelp.

The fight with the tenant

In June of 2022, video surfaced of Joe Gorga and a tenant shouting obscenities at each other in an argument over unpaid rent. Joe claims he had been more than charitable to the tenant, telling Fox News Digital, "I gave him an opportunity, I gave him a roof over his head, and he doesn't even answer my call. So I'm frustrated, aggravated." Apparently, the tenant was a former employee of Joe's and Joe was kind enough to waive both the credit check and the security deposit. But no good deed goes unpunished, because Joe claimed the tenant racked up $50,000 in unpaid rent.

The feud came to a head with Joe and the tenant filming each other as they had a shouting match in broad daylight. Joe can be heard yelling, "Pay your f***ing rent. Stop selling drugs in my f***ing building!" Joe told Fox, "I was really angry. I saw him and I went up to him. I just started acting the way I act, you know, you didn't pay rent, and I was square, and I was being vulgar because I wanted him to feel terrible. I really did." Ultimately Joe filed for a scheduled lockout with local sheriff officials.

His Instagram is very Joe-centric (and a little shady)

His nearly 1 million followers on Instagram are treated to post after post of Joe Gorga's selfies superimposed with some words of wisdom, such as "The fakest are those ones who brag about being real" and "Don't let idiots ruin your day." These posts appear to be somewhat random, but let's not forget that the Jersey boys like to stir up drama too.

After skipping Teresa Giudice's wedding to Luis Ruelas in August 2022 and the ensuing media frenzy, Joe posted a selfie with the message, "People always say 'I know how you feel' Nah, you really don't." Fans were quick to read into the post, offering comments such as, "Team melissa and Joe u know the truth ... it will come out." Sources claimed that something had gone down between Joe, his wife, and his sister, leading to the Gorgas skipping the nuptials.

On Joe's social media feed, there are also plenty of wife appreciation posts featuring Melissa Gorga, sometimes scantily clad, as well as the occasional adorable throwback pic of he and Tre when they were kids. It's worth noting, one of those hasn't shown up in quite a while.

Joe Gorga wrote a book

In 2019, Joe Gorga released a book, "The Gorga Guide to Success: Business, Marriage, and Life Lessons from a Real Estate Mogul." The book, which includes a foreword by Joe's fellow "RHONJ" husband and ex-star running back for the New York Giants, Tiki Barber, has a 4.5 rating on Amazon and a 3.5 rating on Goodreads.

According to Joe's Instagram post promoting the book, "If you want to flip houses, know how to keep the sparks alive in your marriage or just hear what it means to 'keep two feet in one boot,' you should get this." Joe's book was temporarily in the No. 1 spot on Amazon's Kindle ebooks bestseller list in the television genre. And while that is pretty cool, it kind of pales in comparison to Teresa Giudice's six books, three of which became New York Times bestsellers. As if the siblings needed anything else to fuel their constant feuding!

Is he also a stand-up comedian?

Joe Gorga has always been the class clown of "RHONJ," with his often-raunchy jokes cracking up fellow castmates as well as boss Andy Cohen. Now Joe is taking his act on the road, so to speak, with mixed results. According to Joe's website, "Joe doesn't know how to fail and the world of comedy needs to get ready for this force of nature."

A clip on the website features Joe performing at the famed comedy club Caroline's on Broadway in New York City. Joe pokes fun at all the cosmetic procedures the ladies of "RHONJ" have had, and the crowd eats it up. The clip featured on Joe's website is of a show where many "RHONJ" cast members are present, and the audience seems pretty amped to see them.

At a different gig in December of 2021 at Governor's Comedy Club, Joe did not fare so well. He floundered up on stage, eventually getting frustrated and swearing at the audience. Melissa Gorga came up and escorted him off, actually getting a few laughs of her own in the process.

The tumultuous relationship with his nieces

Now that they're older, Teresa Giudice's daughters Milania and Gia have become part of the seemingly endless family feuding. Both girls have been vocal about stretches of time where they didn't see their uncle at all, as well as public comments Joe made about the girls' father, Joe Giudice.

During a pool party featured on Season 12, Episode 3 of "RHONJ," 21-year-old Gia confronted Joe Gorga about badmouthing her father on social media. An argument ensued, and Teresa and Melissa united to get Gia and Joe to talk and hug it out. And they did, but it took a little longer for Gia's sister Milania to come around and warm back up to their uncle. On the show, in a confessional, Joe said, "I know I have been hanging on to this anger with my niece's father ... I know Milania doesn't want this family to fight ... I'm probably one of the reasons that she lives in that fear and I don't want to be that person anymore."

While fences appeared to have been mended, one wonders what the girls are thinking now that Joe and Melissa skipped out on their mother's wedding to Luis Ruelas. Gia could very well be "waking up in the morning, thinkin' about so many things."

The Gorgas didn't attend Teresa's wedding

As previously mentioned, Joe and Melissa Gorga were notably absent at Teresa's recent wedding to Luis Ruelas. There has been speculation that the Gorgas chose not to attend in light of rumors surrounding Melissa's alleged infidelity, rumors which may have been perpetuated by Teresa.

On Melissa's podcast, "On Display," she and Joe discussed their absence at the nuptials. Melissa said, "There was plenty of reason for Joe and I to say it would be very strange — including everyone in that room, by the way — to look at Joe and I to say, like, 'Yes, it would be very strange for you guys to just be sitting in the pews tomorrow, wishing them well on their wedding day.' It would be strange." Joe added that missing the wedding was, "one of the hardest days of (his) life." Joe has also said of Teresa's wedding, "She looked beautiful. The place was gorgeous. ... And it sucked that we weren't there for many reasons."

Though we will likely have to wait until Season 13 of "RHONJ" airs to learn the full story, skipping something as momentous as a wedding seems like the type of thing Tre would deem unforgiveable. However, she told her "Namaste B$tches" podcast cohost, Melissa Pfeister, "The way that everything played out with my wedding, everything that happened is the way it was supposed to be. I'm all about that. ... I'm all about good energy, and whoever wanted to be at my wedding was there" (via Us Weekly).

Joe and Melissa Gorga have each other's backs

Although Joe and Melissa Gorga's marriage has hit a few bumps in the road, as seen on "RHONJ," the two have come out stronger. In May of 2019, Joe told Us Weekly, "We still are obsessed with each other. I mean, we still have sex more than the average [couple]." In February of 2021, Melissa shared, "Whoever said marriage is easy is a liar. Joe and I have a beautiful thing because we both always wanted the same things in life: a successful, healthy family and [we make] sure everyone around us is happy."

Their bond does seem unbreakable, as they champion each other's various business endeavors and defend the other. During the filming of Season 13 of "RHONJ," it was alleged that Melissa had an affair with actor Nick Barrotta. However, a source told Page Six, "[The Gorgas] are laughing about it" and that Joe and Nick are actually friends. It seems no matter what goes on behind closed doors, these two are determined to present a united front, and are dedicated to making their marriage work.

In a 2020 interview with Bravo's The Daily Dish, Joe spoke about a piece of advice he once received from his father. Joe explained, "He said you can be super successful and have all the money in the world but the greatest gift in life is being a husband and a father. Family must always come first." Wise words that Joe has clearly taken to heart.