PATERSON, NJ – One of the Bravo network’s “Real Housewives of New Jersey” has succeeded, temporarily at least, in her bid to keep her real life from becoming part of other people’s fantasies.
On Wednesday, a judge granted Danielle Staub a restraining order to prevent an ex-lover from releasing a sex tape he made of the two of them, allegedly without Staub’s knowledge. Superior Court Judge Thomas F. Brogan also ordered Stephen Zalewski to surrender all copies of the tape and any compromising images of Staub in his possession.
Staub, 46 and the mother of two teenage daughters, filed a lawsuit alleging Zalewski’s behavior invaded her privacy, defamed her and caused her and her children emotional distress. In the lawsuit, she claims the tape was made without her knowledge as revenge for breaking up with Zalewski — whom she said she dated from May through December 2008 — in public on the TV reality series that promoted her as an outspoken woman who “enjoys pushing people’s buttons and doesn’t apologize for it.”
Staub claimed she found out about the sex tape when a friend drew her attention to an interview with Zalewski published in the tabloid Star.
The lawsuit “is about my kids,” Staub told the court. “I’m a big girl. Do what you want to me, but you broke the bread with my children. Don’t do this to me. No adult should ever do this to a child.”
Staub’s attorney told The Associated Press the Star interview indicated Zalewski was shopping the sex tape in order to recoup some of the money he spent on Staub during their relationship.
“She cost me so much money, why shouldn’t I make a few dollars?” attorney Darren Del Sardo quoted from the Star article.
Zalewski may face criminal charges if indeed he recorded his sexual adventures with Staub without her knowledge. The judge said he will refer the case to the county prosecutor’s office for investigation, according to Del Sardo. New Jersey law prohibits videotaping sexual activity without the consent of all parties involved.
Brogan set a July 21st hearing for the lawsuit.
(Image: Bravo TV)