Teresa Giudice was put on blast by irate fans after making controversial remarks about sexual harassment during Part 2 of the Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion series.
Fans know that Margaret Josephs opened up about a sexual experience involving a past boss many years her senior, while in her early twenties. She explained that she felt pressured to sleep with her superior in order to not jeopardize her career.
Bravo host, Andy Cohen, asked attorney/journalist, Jackie Goldschneider, if she had ever experienced sexual harassment over the course of her career. Jackie spoke about past “bosses who would massage [her] shoulders,” and Teresa chimed in asking, “You let them?!”
“Yeah, because I didn’t want to get fired,” Jackie confessed.
Teresa rolled her eyes and chuckled, commenting, “Oh my God.” Cohen noticed her reaction and asked the mom of three if she had ever experienced similar treatment.
“No,” Teresa declared, shaking her head. “Nobody would put their hands on me, unless I would want them to.”
Cohen, who was clearly uncomfortable with Teresa’s remarks, reminded the RHONJ veteran that it’s “not a sign of weakness to experience sexual harassment.” Teresa didn’t back down restating, “I’m just saying, nobody would touch me unless I want them to.”
Margaret and Cohen agreed that Teresa’s comments had crossed a line into victim shaming.
“When you have a job that you’ve worked really hard to get and you don’t want to get fired from it, it’s not ‘letting’ them do it,” Jackie explained.
Margaret challenged Teresa, asking if she believed that all sexual harassment targets “let it happen” to them.
“I’m talking about me,” Teresa reiterated. “There are are women that are intimidated by their bosses. I’m just saying, with me, it would not happen.”
Margaret pointed out that Teresa’s attitude reflected why many sexually harassed people don’t come forward and share their stories.
Viewers flooded Twitter with opinions, and even Teresa’s die-hard fans took her to task for her reunion remarks.
“No one should be surprised by this. Hope her daughters never experience harassment, only to be told by their mother that they ‘let him’ do it,” one fan wrote.
“Does Teresa know how sexual harassment works? Better that she speaks to how she believes she would *respond* to harassment vs never ‘letting’ it happen to her,” another asked.
Some fans slammed Teresa for acting judgmental after accepting verbal venom from her ex-husband, Joe Giudice.
“But it’s ok to ‘let’ your husband get away with calling you a c*nt on tv and not address but excuse it. I’m sure her 4 girls loved hearing and seeing that,” a viewer pointed out.
“Oh but you ‘let’ your husband call you a B and C and threaten abuse on national TV, and send you to jail, but that’s okay. Noted,” another fan quipped.
“Teresa Giudice if it didn’t happen to me it’s not a problem, meanwhile, her ex-husband verbally abused her for years and put her in jail.” a Twitter user wrote.
“Sad thing is Teresa seemed to think she was saying something that made her come off as powerful and strong but it highlighted her weaknesses and her ignorance,” one viewer opined.
“Disgusted. So easy to say when you’ve never been in that position. And Margaret is right – this is exactly why women don’t come forward about it,” another fan added.
Teresa has not yet addressed the controversy.