The 12th season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey premiered on Feb. 1 and Teresa Giudice‘s relationship with fiancé Luis Ruelas was definitely the main focus of the show. During a confessional, Margaret Josephs brought up a resurfaced video of Luis and noted it as a big “red flag” for Teresa to watch out for in her relationship with the business man.
So what was the “unsettling” — as Jackie Goldschneider called it — video all about? Below we break down the details of the clip that appeared online and how it may affect Teresa this season.
‘Videogate’ and how it all began
The whole drama with Luis began when a past video of the businessman resurfaced on Reddit during summer 2021. In the video, Luis was surrounded by a slew of shirtless men he referred to as “brothers” and addressed a “coach Kevin” at what seemed to be a retreat of some sort. “I’m coming home to see you, to get engaged and bring our family together and finally get married and have a life together,” Luis says in the video addressing an unnamed ex.
“I’ve been here for a week, these are my brothers. These are my bond. He’s my brother, this is my coach Kevin. These are guys that are very familiar of my life. I love you. And I love our family together. I love our children. And I hope you receive this message well. Thank you. I love you.”
Luis, who has faced allegations of mistreating his exes in the past, added, “I hope that this hits your heart well and you understand where I’m coming from and I hope to come home to you and be able to have a chance, an opportunity, to talk to you and share with you my experience in my life.”
After being encouraged by his “brothers” around him to speak from his “heart,” Luis then yelled, “I love you. I’m sorry I made mistakes and held myself back and held my truth inside and worried about other people around me. … I’m sorry I put you through pain. Thank you for being patient with me and seeing the man that you saw in me.”
Fans urged Teresa to reconsider her relationship with Luis
After the video began making the rounds, fans became concerned for their RHONJ queen’s well-being. What was it that Luis had to apologize for so fervently and could that be — as Margaret suggests this season — too much of a “red flag” for Teresa to move forward in the relationship? “I feel like this is what they show at the beginning of an episode of Dateline,” a fan commented. “What the F did I just watch????” another person wrote. “Run Teresa RUN!!”
“This will absolutely be re-enacted in Dirty John season 3,” another fan joked, referring to the Bravo show featuring true-life crime stories. “What in the Dirty John is this?! I’m uncomfortable,” another fan stated.
Although Bravo fans such as these have suggested Luis has false pretenses for wanting to be in a relationship with Teresa, the mother-of-four has continued to reject that notion. “I know people make all these judgments and say all these things on social media regarding him. Like he wants to be on TV. He so does not want to be on TV. It’s so not his thing,” Teresa told Entertainment Tonight in November 2021
“[T]he craziest things that they say, like, he planned to meet me that day [we met at the Jersey Shore]. No, he didn’t even know who I was, and he’s never been at the Jersey Shore, that was his first time. And it’s crazy,” she continued. “I wish people would just leave us alone. Anybody that’s negative, just please leave us alone. Because first of all, they’re never going to destroy our happiness, just leave it at that. It’s never going to happen. And I’m a very strong, strong individual. If everyone doesn’t know that, I am. And if they knock me down, I’ll get right back up.”
Teresa’s ‘RHONJ’ cast mates weigh in
In addition to the explosive first episode of the season, Teresa’s cast mates have weighed in on the issue via the press on various occasions. Speaking with HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY for the Jan. 28 episode of our Pay Attention Puh-Lease! podcast, Jackie noted that Marge’s bringing up her concerns with Luis leads to an ongoing feud with Teresa and a subsequent “wild” fight during the girls trip in Nashville.
“Margaret does go places where the rest of the cast is scared to go. Everyone had questions about [Luis] — [and] rightfully so because there was a lot in the press. And there was a lot on social media. There were a lot of rumors,” Jackie stated. “I don’t partake in rumors because I know how badly it hurt me, but there was a lot out there and I think that Teresa didn’t want any questions being asked. And I think that type of hypocrisy didn’t sit well with many of us, including Margaret, who’s the least scared of anybody.”
Although Margaret seems to be raising concerns, Teresa’s other co-star and long time friend, Dolores Catania, noted that she hasn’t changed her “stance” on Luis. “They’re happy together. Isn’t that enough?” the mom-of-two told HL during an EXCLUSIVE interview ahead of the season. “Like I’ve said, meeting somebody at this stage of our lives — everybody has a past. Everybody’s been through a relationship where, you know, we weren’t all proud of them. Some were good, some weren’t, but you learn from each one. So, I take them as like, an experience that you come out of learning from or you don’t, but I see that their relationship is really good. They communicate well. She’s very happy.”
Likewise, Teresa’s sister-in-law, Melissa Gorga, has her back when it comes to Luis, noting how she wants to judge Luis for how he’s acting now in his relationship with Teresa vs. his transgressions of the past. “If you judge me off some of the relationships I’ve had before I met Joe [Gorga], you’d be like, ‘Wow, she’s crazy.’ We all act to fool sometimes with our exes. So I chose not to, you know, judge him off that,” she told Us Weekly. “I can’t say that all my castmates agree with me on that — some of them wanna like, you know, [go] balls to the wall, like keep questioning, which causes chaos, of course.”