She’s a rich, blonde bombshell on a reality show, but Gretchen Rossi is much more than just a housewife! This Real Housewives of Orange County star joined the Bravo franchise in Season 4, but even after three seasons on the air there’s still plenty to learn about her!
So who is Gretchen Rossi?
For starters, she’s a California native, who left her home state to earn her degree in Psychology (with a minor in Family Studies and Child Development) from Baylor University in Texas. She came back to the Golden State and built a successful career in OC real estate, but gave it up when her fiance, Jeff Beitzel, was diagnosed with leukemia.
Gretchen met Jeff in 2005, when he contacted her about a real estate listing. Gretchen was still married to her first husband Chris Rossi at the time, but the two divorced in 2007. Jeff, who had made a fortune in the automotive industry, passed away in 2008. Gretchen started dating longtime friend (and Real Housewives dating vet) Slade Smiley in 2009, and the two have been together ever since!
In her professional life, Gretchen Rossi has been a bit of a multi-tasker. She’s launched Gretchen Christine, her own line of accessories and cosmetics, and she’s even found time to dip her toe into the music industry. She released a single called “Revelation” in 2010 and has performed in Las Vegas with the Pussycat Dolls.
As if any Real Housewives of Orange County star’s life needed any more drama, Gretchen also made headlines because of her courtroom drama with Jay Photoglou, an acquaintance who claimed the two dated. In 2010, Gretchen sued him for defamation, assault, and battery, and other alleged offenses, and in 2012 was awarded over a half million dollars in damages.
So, what’s next for Gretchen? Well, now that she and Slade are trying to have a baby, she says they might finally get married! Maybe we’ll get more details later on RHOC Season 8!