The Lauritas and Manzos Are Hoping Viewers Will Buy Blk ‘Out of Pity’ (They Say They’ve ‘Invested Everything’ in Blk); Melissa Gorga Accuses Teresa Giudice and Bravo Producers of Sabotage (Updated 7/17/2012)
The Manzos and Lauritas made it perfectly clear during season 4 episode 12 (a giant infomercial) that they have everything riding on the success of BLK water (it is not a coincidence that this season Chris Laurita had more screen time than Jacqueline in episode 12 and that he is doing talking head interviews looking rather depressed and saying things like “this has to work” as if this is their last hope). The episode was filmed in August 2011, and BLK is not the success they hoped it would be. This must be adding to the resentment and jealously the cast has toward Teresa Giudice.
Chris Laurita said during episode 12 that he “invested everything” in BLK (Albie Manzo said essentially the same thing). And both Chris and Jacqueline even mentioned that their apparel company went bankrupt, or as Jacqueline claims, was forced into bankruptcy. They are hoping viewers will buy their product out of pity, which is what Jacqueline ‘Loose Lips’ Laurita claims Teresa is doing (see quotes below). The Lauritas filed for corporate bankruptcy in 2009, but they are just now, two and a half years later, mentioning it on the show.
To make the case that they (along with Bravo, which has a vested interest in BLK’s success — they get a percentage of profit, which could be why Andy doesn’t question their alleged misdeeds) are playing the viewers for fools, an astute viewer questioned why the Lauritas were acting like owners of BLK rather than just promoters of the product:
“OK…so, when we first were introduced to BLK it seemed that Chris was partnering with (or backing) Christopher and Albie in a new promotion company. My impression was that they were starting a business to promote other people’s products (and I assume make some sort of percentage off of sales they made). It seemed to me BLK was their first client. NOW it seems as if they are doing more than just promoting BLK…it seems like it’s THEIR product/company. The way they’re talking about all the money they’re spending, the traveling, the booth, the van, etc…that’s legwork people do to promote their own company, not someone elses. A promotional company throws some parties, gives the stuff out at a bar or a food store. Am I missing something? Did they purchase all the ownership rights to BLK? They all can’t get rich on this stuff if they’re just promoting it for someone else…and I don’t see them even remotely promoting anything else. They are all acting like this is their meal ticket and I don’t think there’s a chance it would be unless they OWN it. What’s the deal???” – ivygirl22, July 17 2012, IMDb.com
“People were buying Teresa’s products out of pity, thinking they were poor and needed help. People around town were starting to notice that her big lifestyle hadn’t changed and started saying that the Giudices were con artists, and were part of a big scam to get people to buy her products. People felt like they were getting played.” – Jacqueline Laurita, June 27, 2012, Don’t Get It Twisted
“I was wondering if Teresa was just profiting from people’s pity by benefiting from a big media scam while she was really living the high life or was my friend really in trouble, denying it to herself, suffering in silence and getting deeper in debt.” – Jacqueline Laurita, June 27, 2012, The Rules According to Teresa
Albie said during episode 12 that he invested his savings in BLK, and then backed up this statement while the show was airing by tweeting: “True story; no one gets paid from blk. All the money goes to making the company grow. We have all sacrificed a lot, hopefully it pays off!” – Albie Manzo, August 15, 2011, Twitter
“What Albie said is true; they have been traveling non-stop and busting their butts to get BLK out there. As a matter of fact, I’m sure we’ve even met quite a few of you who are reading right now at a BLK tasting somewhere along the way. If you have been to one, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support. It’s also true when Albie said they haven’t made a dime. All the money has been going right back into the company, and they’ve been working for pretty much nothing. Times have been rough, but the reward has been worth it.” – Caroline Manzo, July 15, 2012, Getting Saucy
“It was an involuntary bankruptcy. Signature Apparel stopped paying its vendors. And when the company’s books were reviewed by the trustee, a related adversary proceeding was filed against the Laurita Defendants. The Laurita Defendants are Joseph Laurita, director, Christopher Laurita, director, Adeline Laurita (wife of Joseph), Jacqueline Laurita (wife of Christopher), Anthony Laurita (brother of Joseph and Christopher), and Frankie Laurita (son of Joseph and now deceased). The adversary proceeding states the Laurita Defendants used over $7 million of the company’s funds for their own personal use – vacations, cars (Ashlee’s SUVs), credit cards, etc. It’s called a ‘bleed out.’ The bankruptcy trustee’s responsibility is to protect the bankruptcy estate and to get the legitimate creditors of the company paid (even though it may not be 100% but something). The personal assets of the Laurita Defendants will have to be sold and the proceeds paid to the bankruptcy estate to enable the legitimate creditors to be paid something. The Lauritas committed bankruptcy fraud – a federal crime. If prosecuted, prison time and fines.” – Love NJ, July 16, 2012, StoopidHousewives
“Well, I think some things became very clear in last night’s episode. It is all about their business ventures (which we knew), and their success in promoting their products. Kathy with desserts (Rich thought he was funny–not!), BLK and Chris L. admitting his other business failed and he sunk so much money in BLK and it just has to work or he is in deep sh*t (financially ruined), and now there is a trio of new pasta sauces from Caroline and hubby. This spoke volumes of the need to “take Teresa down”, make her look bad so that viewers will turn on her and not buy her products, and love the Manzo/Laurita gang for exposing Teresa, and then everyone will buy their products, and they will be rich. The want the viewers to spend our money on their crap and not Teresa’s. The almighty dollar and its pursuit has the devil working overtime in NJ. Just what the world needs, more water and pasta sauce. I would never spend one cent to buy any of their products or anything they are affiliated with. It is time for them to go away. Chris Laurita should have thought of his financial future before they embezzled/blew through all their company’s funds.” – julia109, July 16, 2012, Reality Tea
“Pretty sure Teresa’s product sales are out stripping the Sauce and BLK. I’m also pretty sure this is the crux of the issues between the Manzo/Lauritas and Giudices. They were never meant to be the successful ones. The Manzos tried to tarnish her image because they believed the public were supporting her product out of sympathy.” - Sackem, August 5, 2012, Reality Tea
“Now I get why you and Jacqueline wanted to get rid of Teresa. It seems like both of you were trying to alienate her so she could get kicked off the show, so that you girls would have the floor to promote your own products. I get it now; just getting rid of the competition.” – Mimilicious, July 17, 2012, Caroline’s Bravo Blog
“Glad to see Caroline has stopped bashing and blaming Teresa in her blogs, but it is too little too late. We all know the outcome, as all of this came out one year ago, and Caroline continues to go on television interviews and speak negatively about Teresa. So she is fooling no one. I think they really think if they ‘exposed’ Teresa, and viewers saw how terrible she was, that they would no longer buy her products, and be so grateful for the others showing how bad Teresa is, that we would all run out and spend our money on their products instead of Teresa’s. In my opinion, it backfired and more people will say just as I do, that they will never spend one cent to buy any of the products from the other housewives on the show because of how nasty and mean they have been. They should have lived and let live, but I think they may have slit their own financial throats. Chris Laurita finally stated that he had financial problems with his other business (yeah they embezzled or drained all of the funds out of it), and now they really need this BLK to work or else he is in huge financial trouble. Well, they should have found a better strategy than trying to hurt Teresa, in order to help themselves. It is clear that the Manzo/Laurita gang had a meeting, and everyone decided on the agenda, and that would be to trash the whole Guidice family every chance that they got, and that each and every member would do it.” – MelindaK, July 17, 2012, Caroline’s Bravo Blog
“I think the other housewives are jealous of Teresa’s resilience and the business success she’s experiencing despite all her troubles. Caroline and Jacqueline, especially, seem to hate other females (look how badly they treat their daughters compared to their sons), so I’m not that surprised that they’re all trying to pull bullshit excuses out of their asses to justify their raging hatred of Teresa.” – Natasha333, July 15, 2012, Television Without Pity
“It’s so funny watching the beginning of BLK. They have come SOOO far since then. SOOO proud of our hard working boys!! :0) BLK is now in all the major grocery store chains across the country !!! BLK lawsuit settled. It’s over. All is good!! :0) Vanessa’s right! I shed a LOT of tears this season. Besides everything that went on, I found out I had extremely low testosterone. Now good!” – Jacqueline Laurita, July 15, 2012, Twitter [BLK is not in all the major grocery chains across the country if you check their website, http://www.blkbeverages.com