Beverly Merrill/Danielle Staub's mugshot

Let’s dispense with the boring, non-Danielle parts of this episode of Real Housewives of New Jersey quickly. First, Dina is sad because she has to send her daughter/best buddy to Cyprus. It’s actually kind of sweet, although Dina appears to be a huge xenophobe, because she actually seems like she’ll worry for her daughter and miss spending time with her. Aww, that’s cute. Jacqueline still can’t get pregnant (although she did about 9 months ago and is due any day now). Teresa and Goomba Johnny or whoever her husband is decide that it’d be fun for everyone to take dance classes, since the teevee told her that dancing was fun, and they all go and do it (except for Dina, who was probably at home continually rolling her eyes). And Danielle is totally creepy about both the dance instructor and Caroline’s son Albie.

This teaches us an important lesson for the rest of the show: Danielle will hit on anything with external genitalia. She also pisses off Goomba Johnny, who was acting exactly as you’d expect him to act by calling the dance instructor gay,* and then insults Teresa for being married to him. Which brings us to the best part of the entire episode, and the drama that we’ve all been waiting for: everyone freakin’ hates Danielle.

Oops, did I call her Danielle? Because her name is Beverly Merrill. Well, it WAS, anyway. Back in the day, Bev was a north Jersey stripper (and apparently a big fan of cocaine, but that’s not an enormous surprise if you know or remember anything about the 80s) who danced under the name Danielle. She was arrested in 1986 by federal agents and accused of helping her boyfriend kidnap, torture, and hold for ransom the son of some guy that owed her boyfriend a considerable sum of money. By the time her charges came up, she had shacked up with her new boyfriend (Kevin Maher, a con-man-turned-police-informant and the subject of Cop Without a Badge, the book from whence all this information came) and he used his connections to get her off relatively easily. Although he was shacked up with and eventually married Danielle, Maher was still married to his previous wife, with whom he had a child, which just proves what classy people we’re dealing with here.

Maher eventually divorced his first wife, at which point his marriage to Danielle became legal, and don’t think for a second that that makes the whole con-man/stripper marriage any less slimy. At some point, Maher decided he needed to father another child (because that’s exactly what the world needs) and divorced our girl Bev because she wasn’t “mother material.” And when a coke-fiend turncoat con-man thinks that you’re not mature or stable enough to have his children, well, I think you have to reevaluate your lifetime decision-making up until that point.

Never one for introspection, though, Danielle legally changed her name, kept strippin’, and eventually found a rich (and probably dumb) guy to knock her up a few times before he realized what a horrific decision he had made. Her kids, at least the older one (the little one doesn’t say much), apparently got some intelligent DNA from somewhere, though – they appear to realize that their mother is an infantile idiot that isn’t going to be much of a help in the rest of their lives.

One of the reasons that I think Danielle is probably brain dead is that she seems surprised that A) the book (with her picture printed in it) surfaced among her group of friends at all and B) that they all discussed it a bit among themselves before asking her about it. Let’s think about this logically: when you find out that a woman you don’t even like has a past that involves violent crime, drug trafficking, and the involvement of the federal authorities, you don’t run immediately towards her, waving a copy of her mug shot and asking questions. You regroup with the people that you actually like and trust and see if anyone else has heard the same thing or knows any additional information before you go to the personal with the criminal past. In some lame attempt to settle things once and for all, she forces Jacqueline in to some sort of awkward champagne toast over loyalties, like a toast is akin to a signed contract or Jackie is going to sell out their rich family for a dim ex-stripper.

All of this just goes to show you, folks: in the age of reality TV and Google, there’s no use in trying to hide your past, particularly if it involves legal documents that are public record. At a certain point, you have to own it, even if it’s unpleasant. If you don’t want your kids to know that you were a coked-up loser in the past, don’t volunteer yourself for massive public scrutiny. It seems fairly obvious and simple to me. Of course, it also seems like some of the obvious and simple things in life have completely escaped Danielle.

The whole thing ends with Danielle and her gay bestie calling Dina fat (Dina is not fat) and otherwise acting like children, but what do you expect? According to Caroline, it wasn’t Dina that even found the book, so I’m not exactly sure why Danielle is trying to pin it on her. And ultimately, it’s all Danielle’s problem anyway – lay down with dogs, you’re going to get fleas. If it’s the truth, it’s not anyone else’s fault for pointing it out.

*Danielle was totally right about the fact that Teresa’s husband was offensive and bigoted in his comments. So, you know, +1 for her. She actually got SOMETHING right, although I’m not sure why anyone would expect him to be anything less than offensive and ignorant.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Carly

    Cypress = tree

    Cyprus = island

  • Fail. In my defense, I wrote this at like 1 in the morning.

  • Sue

    I look forward to your write-ups as much as the show!

  • Marti

    Ha Ha..I love reading your recap.

    What did you think of Teresa’s new house? Those floors are a serious accident waiting to happen when they get a spill of liquid on them. I see a lot of injuries in their future. I know, I have mexican tile floors and you put a little water down..and you are an elephant on rollar skates. Sadly, I think the house was very tacky. What a waste of money from her money tree.

    Check out Teresa’s side business. Asking 25 bucks for kiddie hair ties. Lip gloss coming soon..oh my my..

  • Laura

    What a bunch of junk she is selling on her website. It is amazing how these woman will believe people will spend money on this tacky items because she is on TV.

    Danielle needs help. She puts herself on TV and is surprised when dirt from her past resurfaces. She complains about not having any money, but has Botox parties and serves champagne. Does not seem to me like she is having any money issues. Maybe her “26” year old boyfriend is providing a little cash on the side.

    Overall I do think this group is more interesting to watch and more of a “hot mess” in a good way than the NYC ladies.

  • Otter

    Hahahaha. Just finished with Terri’s website. If I wanted to style a broken-down pre-op, this is where I would shop to supplement any dollar store and Rite Aide glamour purchases. What a mess.

    As for last night’s show, yes Danielle is one rough woman, but I have a tinge of sympathy for her. She’s the sad outsider tying so hard to fit into a big bucket of glitzy Jersey trash. I was actually quite touched to see her stand up to that fool making anti-gay slurs. Good for her. Also, I liked watching her interact with her daughters while making dinner. Those girls seem more down-to-earth (granted we have not seen much yet) as compared to Trashy Terri’s posing, spoiled brats, the Brownstone thugs or the completely shallow child of Dina. I say go team Danielle. Shake your money maker.

  • JenG

    I must agree with Otter. I feel sad for Danielle as well, because she is trying to fit in. I really don’t understand why she would want to fit in with the other NJ housewives. They are no better than she is, yes we all have a past and it maynot be as bad as Danielle, but who are we to judge? We all have faults! And I also feel Teresa’s husband had no right to tell Danielle to be quiet. She is not his wife and if he wants to tell someone to shut up it should be his wife!

  • beacuz

    i’m with jeng and otter. I feel bad for Danielle, what she was associated with is real bad but i think the Brownstone and Caroline father-in-law probably are worse. Danielle just did not have a bunch of mob money covering her mess up. And the Manzo women’s holier than thou attitude can back fire…they all have children and children have many ways of behaving or NOT! I suggest they turn it down a notch, because if their kids (remember one of them wants to own a strip bar) find themselves in a bad situtation, they will want everyone to have compassion. That is not saying what Danielle did wasn’t wrong, but kicking someone when they are down, not cool………..if the Manzos do not want anything to do with her, dont go to her house. Danielle was seriously trying to be their friend and they were looking for amusement at her expense. I think they are just as “tacky”.

    Is it me, or does Theresa have a hearing problem? At no time did I hear or interpret the agency as “loving Gia’s look”. It could also be bad editing by Bravo.

    Watch Dina’s part of the show coming on, she describes herself as the one everyone hated, she came to town as a divorcee’, and people were leery of her……thought she was after their husband, etc. I think this is just they way these crazy women think….not Jacqueline.

  • Tsmara

    Youre brilliant,funny and my new favorite blog and website!

  • Tamara

    I on the other hand can’t type. Please ignore typos.


    Ok, I admit it, I LOVE THIS TRAIN WRECK OF A SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I am sooo glad you brought me up to speed on the Danielle story. Still, She has never hidden what she is looking for and all of these other biaches just got lucky enough to find it. I am reminded of a saying, “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”! Do we really think that none of the other gals have nothing to hide???(History has proven that it will all come out!)
    BTW, Jacquline is giving birth as we blog! YEAH! I actually think she is the only one that should not be on the show. Too genuine. LOVE HER!!! XOXO

  • caribbeangator

    …look forward to your reviews every week…EXCELLENT JOB!!!!

  • Denise

    I look forward to reading your episode reviews every week and this one really took the cake! “Lay down with dogs, you’re going to get fleas.”….so true! Did she honestly really think that she could hide information like that, especially since, like you said, she’s put herself on national television and in the public eye….come’on! The woman is a disgrace and I feel so bad for her children….I would be mortified to have a mother like her!

  • Sher

    Wow, you nailed the show. Brilliant!!Does anyone know anything about Danielle husband, who fathered her two girls?? Enquiring minds want to know!!

  • Rashida

    I feel bad for Danielle too but I don’t think that she did all of those things I think the book was malicious and mean spirited. I don’t think she is that woman today. People need to stop jusging the poor woman based on her past trangressions and on her current ones. We all have done things we are not so proud of,