A judge in Newport Beach, California dropped a temporary restraining order Friday against an Orange County man who says he was the secret boyfriend of Gretchen Rossi, one of the stars of “The Real Housewives of Orange County.
“Gretchen and her attorney were a no show in court today, they informed the court about 30 minutes prior to the scheduled hearing time that they weren’t going to attend,” said Jay Photoglou.
Rossi had obtained the TRO against Photoglou this past March. At that time, Rossi, 31, had claimed that Photoglou had threatened to burn down her Costa Mesa home and kill her dogs, grabbed her hair and yanked her head back, made harassing phone calls, and vandalized her home and car. She said he also threatened to “dispose of” Slade Smiley, a former cast member of the Bravo reality TV series.
“He was someone I trusted and believed had my best interest at heart until he started blackmailing me and became volatile,” Rossi wrote about Photoglou in her 9-page written request for orders to stop harassment. “He has since been nothing but verbally and pyshically (sic) abusive to me.”
Photoglou, formerly of Huntington Beach (he lost his home to foreclosure in December), had been friends with Rossi since January 2008. He claims he was her boyfriend during the taping of “Housewives” last year, when Rossi was engaged to another man, Jeff Beitzel.
Rossi denies she ever had a romantic relationship with Photoglou, although she has said in other interviews that the two briefly dated before her engagement to Beitzel, who died from leukemia in September of 2008.
Photoglou — who had a previous restraining order filed against him by an ex-girlfriend in 2002 (which was later dismissed)– has denied ever harassing Rossi.