Catching Up With Danielle Staub
By Gregory Miller
Love her, hate her, or love to hate her, Danielle Staub has certainly made an impression on Bravo viewers over the last two seasons as the resident villain on The Real Housewives of New Jersey. When the mother of two isn't hatching a plot for her daughters' fame, she's mixed up in the other women's drama, whether there's a table -- or Andy Cohen -- in the way or not. We caught up with Staub to get all the dirt on her current controversies.
Outi: Tell me about this event you're doing at Boxers bar in New York City this week.
Danielle Staub: On September 14, we're doing -- it's Boxers NYC, and it's a gay night club. Of course! Where else would I be? And it's a charity for stopping domestic violence. I'm celebrity guest bartending, so how's that? I might make the drinks a little too strong, but I can guarantee you whatever you over tip me for, everything's going to go to charity and to stopping domestic violence. So hopefully I'll get people to be a little more generous than they'd normally be because this cause is extremely close to me. I'm a survivor -- I don't want to speak about what I've survived. I want to help other people survive just through looking into the windows of their soul and anything I can do with the platform I've been given. I think it just speaks volumes about what we are given in opportunity with our platforms and through television and through fan-bases to just really speak out for what we believe in, and that's just the beginning for me. You know my passions. You can list them better than I can probably, but I can tell you I've lived them and I hope to see an entire packed house -- like lining up to get drinks from me.
Do you have any experience bartending?
I actually do, but you know, it's been a lot of years. So I'm not going to be like Tom Cruise in that -- what was that movie?
Cocktail, yeah! It's not going to be anything like that, trust me. But I'm going to look really cute -- that I'm sure of. So it'll make up for my bartending skills. But I can make a couple of drinks, definitely. It'll show my age when people ask for the most common drinks and I don't drink, so I'll be going, 'You want a cosmo? You want a sex on the beach? That I know' [laughs]. But, I did have some experience in Miami, so hopefully I can remember some when it comes to September 14. I might have to read a manual. Or we could maybe get me there early and do a little preview bartending. I'm sure my boys and girls would help me tune up my skills a little bit.
You've mentioned on the show how you're an advocate for gay rights, but this season you took a lot of heat when your friend Danny Provenzano called Chris Manzo a "faggot."
You know, I have so much that I could say, but I'm just going to put it simply. To me, it was probably more heartbreaking for me than for anyone that saw or heard it. I was left in a state of shock. I had no idea that someone who had known me for a month -- which was about the amount of time he knew me -- would not realize that that would cut me deeper than if he had cut me with a knife. And it caused him and I -- I don't speak to him.
I just want to make that very, very clear. I didn't ask him to apologize publicly until about a month ago, and I still haven't seen anything of the nature. I will forgive. I'll never forget. An apology is in order, not just to me. He can contact you, he can contact any gay outlet, anybody, and he can make it known. If he has the wherewithal to say a word like that in my presence, when you're invited onto my show, and I'm the host basically, then you're going to find a way to make it right. And that's up to him to do. So I'm not going to take responsibility for what anybody says or does, but I will tell you this much: He's nobody that I will call a friend, until he has made it right with the community that I've called home for over 30 years. And I hope you quote me on that, and I hope you know that nobody, nobody was affected the way I was.
That night Danny seemed like he was there as a bodyguard, and multiple times this season we saw you with bodyguards. Was that really necessary?
It was necessary. Bravo themselves knew it was necessary because they had on guards at the reunion they hired and they paid to protect me. I didn't ask them to do that. They did that. You'll see their faces blurred out in the reunion as they're trying to restrain Teresa. These women meant nothing but bodily harm to me at all times. I'm not afraid of them, but there's no reason for me to not be able to do my job, which was to entertain people and to keep it real and to be able to say what the truth is without being physically attacked. You want to scream at me? That's fine. But when you get your ass off the chair, and you get in my face -- what she did in, let's see, four minutes of the reunion out of a 14 hour day. I had to sit there for the rest of that day wondering when I was going to get attacked next. That's what it was like all season long for me. You can only imagine. And I have to do the show. I'm contracted to do the show. I have to go to places. But if you see the reunion was the first time we were all together. To be honest with you, Danny came about through a friend of mine when I did a charity softball game with Queen Latifah. He was introduced to me by a friend of mine named Frank Vincent. Frank Vincent's from The Sopranos.
It was a conflict for Frank, and he and his daughter thought that Danny would be -- he was a friend of theirs -- that Danny would be a really good person to protect me. There was a lot of rumors about what the Manzos wanted to do to me, what Teresa wanted to do to me. I mean, it's no secret how they feel about me. So why would I, just me alone, walk into any place where I have to go to fulfill my contractual duties alone, when people that are my friends are hearing that these people really want harm done to me? Why would my friends allow me to go someplace alone? They wouldn't. So when the matriarch to matriarch came -- the finale with Caroline and I -- I was with a private detective at the time named O'Connor, Jimmy O'Connor. He and his brother had a lot of information that was scaring them because ne of them was a retired Newark detective and the other is still currently a dectective. And they were hearing things as well that really made them believe that I couldn't go alone. Even if she said she was going alone, they weren't buying it because the rumor on the street was -- and this is them, This isn't me saying, 'Will you go with me? Oh my God, I'm so scared.' It wasn't me. It was people that cared about me saying, 'You're not going alone. No way. You're going to be ambushed. You're not going in there alone.' After what happened at the country club, when no one stopped any of this from happening, can you honestly say that my friends could rely on Bravo to drop the cameras to protect me? When I was chased and physically attacked? And you know what, the audience only saw a part of it.