Former Real Housewives of Orange County star Alexis Bellino‘s ex-husband Jim Bellino has settled his defamation lawsuit against actress and comedian Heather McDonald, according to TMZ. The two have “reached a settlement of the dispute on mutually satisfactory terms.” A joint statement released by Bellino and McDonald also says that McDonald “never intended to cause any of the damage” to Bellino’s “reputation or that of his business,” TMZ reported.
According to TMZ, Bellino sued McDonald in June 2019 after she spoke about him on her podcast, The Juicy Scoop. Bellino claimed that McDonald “shamelessly dished and peddled unsubstantiated gossip” about his divorce from Alexis Bellino on one of her episodes, along with RHOC stars Tamra Judge and Shannon Beador, who appeared as guests on that episode. On McDonald’s podcast, she speaks about “Real Housewives” gossip and other pop culture news. A judge had granted McDonald’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit in March 2020, but Bellino appealed the motion, according to TMZ.
In his filing, Bellino also described the conversation from the podcast, according to Page Six. “Judge then offered and answered the question: ‘Why is he wanting spousal support? I have a theory. Everything’s in her name. He’s going to go to jail. Yeah, he’s a shady motherf****!’”
Bellino Also Filed Lawsuits Against Judge & Beador
Following the podcast episode, Bellino also filed lawsuits against Judge and Beador, who were guests on the episode, according to Us Weekly. In addition to the comments that were made about the divorce during the episode, Beador also claimed “people get paralyzed” at Bellino’s trampoline park.
According to Us Weekly, after the podcast was released, Bellino sent Judge and Beador cease and desist letters. Following the letters, Judge and Beador appeared on Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live and said they were just “poking fun” at the former Real Housewives of Orange County star. This upset Bellino, who then filed a lawsuit against the two women for more than $1 million in July 2018, according to Us Weekly. However, since then, according to Page Six, Beador was dismissed from her suit and was awarded $137,340.25 for her legal fees in regard to the matter.
McDonald Said the Lawsuit Ruined Her Friendships With Judge & Beador
McDonald said the lawsuit ruined her friendships with Judge and Beador, according to TooFab. According to the publication, McDonald was not allowed talk to the two ladies because of legal ramifications. “Once they got sued and hired attorneys, we weren’t allowed to speak to each other,” McDonald said to TooFab in March 2020. “That was the other heartbreaking part – I’ve been friends with Tamra for over 10 years, I went to her wedding, ya know. Shannon too, I adore Shannon, we were real friends.”
Of the incident, McDonald also told TooFab, “Obviously, this made me feel horrible even though I know I did nothing wrong. I felt terrible about the whole thing. Nor did they do anything wrong, but I felt terrible because I was providing the entertainment platform.”