Real Housewives of Orange County stars Shannon Beador and Tamra Judge are in the middle of a lawsuit with Jim Bellino, the ex-husband of former cast member Alexis Bellino, and they just scored a big win in the case. According to a new report, a judge has shot down Bellino’s motion for discovery.
Last week, during a hearing in Orange County Superior Court, Judge Layne H. Melzer ruled against Bellino, who had requested discovery of evidence from the defendants, including texts between Judge and her friend, comedian Heather McDonald.
Judge Melzer said that California law requires all requests for discovery to be placed on hold after a party files an anti-SLAPP motion — a motion to strike a complaint due to freedom of speech.
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) October 18, 2018
“As a result, a plaintiff who brings a defamation action subject to the malice standard cannot show good cause for discovery on the question of actual malice without making a prima facie showing first that the defendant’s published statements contain provably false factual assertions,” Melzer wrote.
Bellino wanted Judge to hand over her text messages and emails with McDonald before a June podcast taping where he says Judge made defamatory statements about his marriage and business. He believed the texts would be “substantial direct or circumstantial evidence” that Judge was trying to defame his character.
In July, Bellino sued Judge and Beador for $1 million, saying he wasn’t amused by Beador and Judge’s appearance on the podcast. He said that he wanted full compensation for the damage to his reputation, as well as his business’ reputation, plus all of the pain and suffering Judge and Beador put his family through.
During an appearance on Watch What Happens Live, Judge and Beador claimed that they were “just poking fun” at both Bellino and his ex-wife. And, after Bellino filed his lawsuit, Beador and Judge both filed responses and asked for the judge to dismiss the case.
#EXCLUSIVE: Jim Bellino said he did not take Tamra Judge’s allegations that he is “going to jail” as a joke in his ongoing lawsuit against the Real Housewives of Orange County star. https://t.co/rMZ0OFrRQW
— Marjorie Hernandez (@MJae13) October 18, 2018
In the paperwork he filed in September, Bellino said that Judge’s former co-star Gretchen Rossi and her boyfriend, Slade Smiley, would be willing to provide testimony against Judge and Beador, verifying the anger, hostility, and ill-will that the defendants harbor against Bellino.
Smiley also allegedly told Bellino that he and Rossi could provide evidence that Tamra Judge and Shannon Beador have a pattern of making up stories to create headlines in the media.
Judge Melzer continued the case to December 6th.
New episodes of Real Housewives of Orange County air Monday nights on Bravo.