Teresa Giudice’s cousin Rosie Pierri proudly introduced her girlfriend to her family on a recent episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey — and sealed their budding romance with a kiss. But Pierri’s supposed new partner reveals exclusively to RadarOnline.com that their lesbian affair was more of a storyline than a natural love story — and claims that Bravo had a big hand in their on-air relationship.
Although Pierri is only a cameo character on the show, "When I met her she was getting more involved and I think she needed a storyline and Bravo pushed it,” Pierri’s on-air girlfriend, Ellen Minkin, told Radar. And though she admits the two did date for a brief period, it wasn’t anywhere near as serious as it seemed on the show.
"I would hear it from Rosie that she needed a story, that she needed more exposure -- like a girlfriend -- so she would look like she’s successful,” Minkin, who met Kathy Wakile’s sister in New York City last year, added.
“Bravo even said, ‘If Ellen can’t do it, can you get another girl to do it?' Like I was a piece of meat,” she claimed. "They don’t really care. Whatever sells and if ratings go up. It was really upsetting to me. It was staged. "
But when Minkin voiced her doubts, she said, Pierri pressured her into it.
"Rosie told me if I don’t do it, then I don’t really care about her,” Minkin claimed.
Ultimately, Minkin said she and Pierri had known each other for just a few months before she went in front of the cameras for the hit show.
"I invited her over to my house for a lunch and introduced her to other gay women in the city so she would feel comfortable,” explained Minkin of the nature of their relationship.
"I feel like Bravo targeted me,” she alleged. "Like, ‘Let’s get Rosie someone who she can hang out with.’ In a way, I felt like everything she did and said was coming from someone else -- Bravo, her sister, her brother-in-law. Like ‘Rosie, you got to get her to get on the show to have a storyline. It was a manipulation."
Minkin said her budding dating relationship with Pierri started to feel more disingenuous as they began to spend time together in front of the cameras.
"She was told what to say to me either by Bravo or someone else. I could feel it,” Minkin claimed. “It was all about how they were going to do this. It was all to make her look good."
Even more disturbing, the mother-of-two said she was under the influence when she signed a release form to be on camera, specifically for the recent episode when Pierri kissed her in public.
“I remember maybe signing something, but it was so fast. You don’t really know what they’re going to say or do on the show,” said Minkin.
And though she insisted, "I wasn't drunk,” she admitted, "We kind of had drinks before we even got there to meet Rosie’s family."
"They all drink. They push it on you,” she claimed. “Rosie definitely likes to drink. They want whoever is around them to drink. I was drinking during filming and I think that affected me."
"Then they were talking about getting married?! I was like, ‘What are you talking about?!’ I think Rosie took it too far,” she said.
Minkin claims their romance was embellished for the sole purpose of giving Pierri a storyline, despite the fact that the show generally focuses on the Housewives themselves.
"We did go out with each other,” she confessed. “We became friends and after a while I feel like she liked me more than I liked her. I really just wanted to be her friend. I just feel like they made me look like I broke her heart and I’m like are you kidding me?!”
In an effort to save herself from any embarrassment she might face due to her cameo on the hit show, Minkin claims she even pleaded with producers to edit out her appearances.
"I contacted Bravo and told them take me off anything to do with that show,” she claimed. "But they said, ‘It’s already done and we’re in a meeting about it right now, we’ll see.’”
Then, along with the rest of America, she watched it all unfold on air. But she didn’t recognize her own life.
Despite the show’s unexpected twists and turns, "It’s all planned reality,” Minkin said. "They have a plan in their minds -- that’s why it’s not reality. It was an awful experience. When there’s no drama they create it and they prey on people who don’t know what’s going on.”
But the producers’ response wasn’t the only reaction Minkin wasn’t expecting. The 53-year-old was also shunned by Pierri, who recently tweeted there are “no hard feelings.”
"Afterward, she said I couldn’t be her friend anymore because I didn’t want to do the show or have any part in it,” said Minkin. “She did everything in her power to use me to get on the show.
"I was trying to be a good friend to her. She’s not a bad person, but she’s starving for attention,” Minkin continued.
"They’re all starving for attention,” she added of the Bravo-lebrities. “I think her head got bigger and bigger and she thought could say what she wants -- and she can’t.
"I think people get weird when you’re exposed to all that,” Minkin continued. "They’re really not in reality. They’re up in the clouds.”
A rep for Bravo declined to comment. A rep for Pierri did not immediately respond to Radar’s request for comment.
Did you think Rosie and Ellen’s relationship was the real thing? Let us know in the comments!