RHONJ Melissa Gorga’s Father Anthony John Marco’s Death Explained

Melissa Gorga

Getty Melissa Gorga attends OK! Magazine 12th Annual New York Fashion Week Celebration.

Melissa Gorga, from The Real Housewives of New Jersey, lost her father when she was 17 years old after he was in a car accident. Gorga has talked in the past about her parents’ rocky marriage, and in tonight’s new episode, she will continue exploring their history.

When Melissa Gorga was writing her book, Love Italian Style, Radar Online reports that in a 2013 episode of the show, Gorga opened up about her father’s sudden passing. She said ““I was at a friend’s house and I got a phone call from my mother. And she was screaming and she told me that daddy hit a tree while he was driving on a rainy night and he died.” He gave her a sentimental handwritten note on her birthday, just days before he died, and she said “I feel like the way he wrote it is, he almost knew he was going to hit that tree.” She also opened up about how difficult it was as a young woman to come home and see her mom grieving and to wish for “a normal family.”

After that episode, she opened up further in a blog post about her decision to write about him and of her parents’ marriage in her book, which she says she did because their marriage is a part of the story of her marriage to husband Joe Gorga; the first chapter of her book is about her dad, entitled “The First Man in My Life.” In her book and on the show, Gorga has talked about how her dad cheated on her mom, and she added in the blog post that “he didn’t come home every night.”

The description for tonight’s new episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, entitled “Mudslinging in Mexico,” reads “Teresa’s fitness competition is finally here; Melissa makes a surprising discovery about her parents’ marriage; as the ladies take off for Cabo, Mexico, tensions between Margaret and Danielle threaten to ruin the entire trip.” In a preview clip from the episode, which teases that “Melissa Gorga Has a Big Secret to Share With Her Mother,” Melissa is waiting at dinner for her sisters and mother to arrive so they can talk, but the women show up drunk. Melissa comments in a private interview “I get what they were going for. It was like ‘let’s loosen Mommy up a little bit.’ But now I’m like getting stressed out.”

In spite of the challenges and secrets her parents’ relationship faced, Gorga maintains love and a father-daughter closeness to Anthony John Marco, who she has said on the show “was such a great father in so many ways.” To honor of what would have been her late father’s 70th birthday on July 26, 2016, Gorga shared throwback photos of Marco on Instagram, writing in the caption “Today my father would have been 70 years old. There’s so much I wish he could have been here for. There’s so much I want to tell him. I have so many questions for him. I wish he could meet my children. I know I’ll see him again someday. Happy Birthday Daddy. I love you Miss you so much.”

Tune in to The Real Housewives of New Jersey on Bravo, Wednesday nights at 9/8c.

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