Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 4:20 p.m.
The central plot point of The Real Housewives of New Jersey has recently revolved around a mysterious book that revealed scandalous details about cast outsider Danielle Staub's sordid past in Miami. The book, written by her ex-husband, claimed she was a stripper and coke fiend involved in a Colombian cartel-related kidnapping that led to her arrest. Staub only copped to being a stripper and changing her name, and chalking up her arrest to being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Staub's previous explanation of her arrest goes something like this: She was just an innocent young model returning from a photo shoot and wanted to visit her boyfriend. She hasn't clarified whether she knew the boyfriend was a Colombian drug dealer who was holding a man captive in his house, but it just so happens that when she went to visit him, a SWAT team busted into his house and arrested her just because she happened to be there.
Here's the story the court documents spell out. It's possible prosecutors got the story wrong, but y'know:
- Staub, at the time in her early 20s and known legally as Beverely Merril, was working as a high-class escort under the name Angella Minelli.
- The drug dealer, Daniel Claudio Aguilar, age 23 at the time, originally met Staub through an escort service. Whether their relationship was strictly "professional" or developed into a romance isn't specified.
- Aguilar was selling two kilos of cocaine in a deal brokered by Staub's neighbor, Centolella. The deal went bad when Staub transported one of the kilos to Centolella's apartment for testing, where she was ambushed and robbed of the coke. In retaliation, Aguilar took Centolella captive and demanded $25,000 from his father.
- The documents claim Staub made the first threatening phone call to the father.
- The FBI busted Aguilar at 8625 SW 45th St., where they also found Staub, $16,000 in cash, and six kilos of cocaine.
- After talking to Kevin Maher, the man she eventually married, she decided to turn on Aguilar and cut a deal with the district attorney, which would keep her out of jail.
- During the trial, Aguilar's clients called Staub's credibility into question by repeatedly asking witnesses if they knew she was a prostitute.
- During the trial, Staub repeatedly got threatening phone calls, including "I saw you walking your dog -- I wouldn't take that kind of risk."
- Staub got off with only five years of probation and was ordered to undergo weekly drug testing.
Since then, Staub's rap sheet seems to be clean. Conveniently, Part 1 of the New Jersey reunion special airs tonight on Bravo.