After getting less than favorable edits on The Real Housewives of Orange County, Alexis Bellino’s husband Jim has been happier staying out of the spotlight. But new “lost footage” from the Season 7 RHoOC reunion has prompted him to speak out.

In the footage, Slade Smiley — longtime beau of cast member Gretchen Rossi — takes offense to a blog post Jim wrote advising the male partners of the Housewives to stay focused on their own career. “You need to be the breadwinner,” Jim wrote. “If you’re not driven, you will be distracted.” Smiley, who manages Gretchen’s career and whose debt and financial issues have been a storyline for the past two seasons, felt Jim’s words were aimed directly at him.  In order to clear the air, Jim opened up exclusively to Wetpaint Entertainment.

Wetpaint Entertainment: Slade feels your post was an indirect insult. Was it about him?
Jim Bellino: No, it wasn’t. I don’t know why he feels that way. I never said the post was about one person in particular. I never mentioned his name.

Who were you writing about then?
Myself. I suffered a loss of income from being on the show that first year. What happens when you’re a husband or a boyfriend on these shows — what I saw happen to me and a lot of other Housewife husbands — is you get distracted from your own work. You find yourself saying, “Well, am I going to help manage her career? Am I going to take time away from my business to help her?”

But that post wasn’t about Slade. If it had been, I would have mentioned him by name. It was about me losing balance that first year on the show. I do feel it’s a man’s job to be the breadwinner, that’s my own personal opinion. But this show edits you however they want and the negative exposure I received affected my income.

So is that why you’ve played more of a background role since Alexis’s first season?
Partly, yes. But it’s also because I have no desire to get into bantering session with these women. It’s not a man’s place to get engaged in all the cattiness.

Have your seen your business improve since?
Definitely. I’ve since opened the largest indoor trampoline park in the word and have plans to open five more in Orange County and San Diego. And pulling back from the show has just improved business relationships overall. I mean, if I’m trying to lease a building from a landlord, but his wife watches the show and doesn’t like me, it hurts my business. I can’t afford to let that happen. It’s not fair to me and it’s not fair to Alexis and our kids. It’s my job to support them and I can’t afford to have the negativity out there.


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