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Details of Real Housewives's Danielle's Kidnapping Past Revealed

Last week it came to light that Real Housewives of New Jersey anti-hero Danielle Staub had a shadowy, cocaine and sex filled past in the '80s heyday of the magic city. Now, The Star-Leger has dug up details of her 1986 arrest. Apparently, she was suspected of holding another woman in her basement, skinning her, and then wearing her like last year's Versace. Aha! Dina was right!

Well, not actually. But the strangeness of the truth rivals fiction. The New Jersey paper dug up a Miami Herald article detailing Staub's arrest, back when she was known as Beverly Merrill. 

In June, 1986 a SWAT team was called out to rescue 26-year-old Carmen Christopher Centolella who was being held captive. He owed his captors money, and they made calls to his father asking for a $25,000 ransom. 

At the scene, the SWAT team found $16k in cash, 10 kilos of cocaine, and homemade explosives. Staub/Merrill was also at the house. Then 23, she lived in the same Coconut Grove apartment complex as Centolella. She was arrested with the others and charged with extortion, kidnapping and drug possession. It's just like Alpha Dog.

Staub/Merrill eventually met Kevin Maher, her future/now-ex husband, at a drug party in Miami, and he helped her reduce her charges to only extortion. She eventually got off with five years-probation, during which she presumably stripped, did cocaine, and hit a low point by moving to New Jersey.

Real Housewives airs tonight, and every Tuesday at 10 p.m. on Bravo.

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Kyle Munzenrieder