Inside the dark custody battle of ‘Real Housewives of Potomac’ star Katie Rost
Inside the dark custody battle of ‘Real Housewives of Potomac’ star Katie Rost
Inside the dark custody battle of ‘Real Housewives of Potomac’ star Katie Rost is free HD wallpaper. This wallpaper was upload at March 29, 2019 upload by Fashdea in Entertainment.
On Valentine’s Day, “Real Housewives of Potomac” star Katie Rost shared an alarming picture on her Instagram.
The graphic image, which has now been deleted, featured a naked woman lying on a bathroom floor with blood under her. Followers immediately commented because the woman in the image resembled Rost, who was pregnant with her fourth child.
“I took it down, but not before the internet went wild,” Rost told Page Six via email, confirming it was her in the picture.
The 38-year-old reality star said her boyfriend, a man named Jacob, took the photo, and posted it online after he learned Rost had suffered a miscarriage with his child.
Sharing the disturbing image was just the latest chapter in the complicated custody battle between the Bravo fixture and her ex-husband, Dr. James Orsini.
Rost told us she had a telephone hearing with Orsini and a New Jersey judge to discuss their current custody case when she began to miscarry.
“I began to bleed profusely while I listened to Judge Mecca deny me my request to be reunited with my children,” she said. “Distraught and afraid, I got into the shower and laid down to cleanse my body. The baby aborted and I was in intense pain.”
Rost and Orsini share three children together: a son named James Rocco and twin daughters, Renee and Kathryn.
The former couple, who married in 2012 and divorced in 2016, has been in a tumultuous custody battle over the past few months. Rost lives in Maryland while Orsini is in New Jersey with the three kids and his wife, Fanny Mendoza. Rost is fighting to be the primary custodian.
She alleges in court papers that Orsini has been manipulating the court system and claims he is “politically connected,” but Page Six has not seen definitive proof to back up her allegations of collusion. Orsini’s attorney Alex Pastore told us, “There has never been one ounce of evidence provided in any of Ms. Rost’s pleading which would collaborate any such accusation.”
“The record in this matter is clear that upon any ruling in which Ms. Rost is not satisfied, she, in turn, files applications to have experts and judges removed from her matter claiming bias or collusion,” he continued. “To our knowledge, the administrative director did not find any merit to the complaints.”
But distance and power struggles are not the only issues that have kept Rost and Orsini from having a healthy co-parenting relationship. According to allegations made by Rost in legal documents, the couple has a long history of physical and verbal abuse that dates back seven years. Orsini’s legal team claims that any allegations of abuse have been dismissed in court.
Orsini himself has denied abusing his ex-wife, but Page Six obtained text messages sent as recently as April 8, 2018, that show Orsini being verbally abusive to Rost, calling her a “nasty, evil person,” and “[too] selfish to have kids,” among other insults.
Page Six also obtained an email Orsini’s mother, Marie Orsini, sent Rost, her then-daughter-in-law, on Jan. 21, 2012, in which she discusses Orsini’s drinking.
“[He] certainly has a chemical imbalance to alcohol, he becomes a different person, and continues to say the same things,” Orsini’s mother said, before adding that she hopes her son “looks into himself and takes responsibility for his actions.”
Rost alleges one of the first times she saw Orsini’s temper was Oct. 28, 2011, the night before their wedding.
“The groom got s–t-faced drunk and made a series of calls to me and my mother saying he didn’t give a f–k about me, and was not going through with the marriage,” Rost alleged.
The couple went through with the wedding, but Rost claimed their issues only got worse. She said Orsini allegedly began physically abusing her before their son’s birth and she later told the police that Orsini had assaulted her.
“He’d stage it as though ‘we’ were having a fight that would involve him insulting me,” she said, adding that their arguments triggered her anxiety.
“When James became aggressive, I retreated into a shell much like that I used to support me when I had a panic attack,” Rost said. “When he was particularly nasty, I would ball up into a knot in the bed or on the sofa.”
In an emailed statement to Page Six, Orsini said in response to the domestic violence accusations, “Katie Rost has begun a one-sided smear campaign against me through social media. She has made horrendous false allegations regarding our past relationship and her accessibility to the children. I have continued to abide by court orders set in place. I would love nothing more than to have the truth revealed; yet would actually prefer the lives of my children, my wife, my stepdaughter and myself to remain private.”
After their son, James Rocco, was born in 2012, the couple had a major altercation inside their car, Rost said. In December 2018, she posted a YouTube video that is reportedly from that day. The platform removed the video in March.
“James was so angry with me for what seemed like no reason,” Rost recalled of the argument that was recorded. “He yelled and screamed until the baby began to cry in the back seat.”
Rost said Orsini eventually pulled the car over, but when Rost tried to flee, he allegedly ran after her.
Page Six obtained a copy of a temporary restraining order filed on Sept. 9, 2012, in which Rost made allegations of physical and sexual abuse to the police. Orsini has vehemently denied any allegations of abuse.
“He pulled me back to the car,” she said, recalling what she told the police. “I got in, locked the doors, started the car and went home. That night, he entered our apartment and sodomized me. He strangled me and punched my body and kicked me out of the apartment.”
Rost told Page Six that after she called the police, Orsini’s father, James Orsini Sr., allegedly asked her to drop the charges and promised to provide her counsel for a hearing with the New Jersey Department of Child Protection and Permanency (which replaced the state Division of Youth and Family Services).
Rost said the couple was ordered to attend marriage counseling, and Orsini was monitored for alcohol and drug abuse. “I thought James had turned a tide,” Rost said.
Soon after, she became pregnant with twins.
But in February 2013, while Rost was still pregnant, she said the abuse got worse.
“James Orsini kicked and beat me while I was four months pregnant with my twins,” Rost claimed. “That’s why I left New Jersey. That’s why my girls were born in Maryland.” Page Six obtained a letter Rost filed to a New Jersey judge in February, in which she reaffirms the alleged incident, which Orsini denies.
Damon Kelly, a friend of Rost and Orsini who lived in a nearby town, told Page Six he remembers his wife getting a phone call from Rost after the incident occurred.
“[Katie] called my wife crying from a hotel the next town over,” he said. “My wife went to be with her, and then my wife called her mother, and told her mother to come to New Jersey right away to see about her daughter.”
In the months leading up to that point, Kelly, his wife, Rost and Orsini frequently hung out together. The couples had family dinners together, watched football games, and attended a born-again Christian church. Kelly said that at first, he didn’t notice any signs of abuse.
“[Katie] did a good job of hiding and protecting this guy, because if I would have known what was really going on, I would not have beat him up, but grabbed him and said, ‘What the hell is going on?’”
But, Kelly admitted, not every aspect of Rost and Orsini’s relationship seemed completely normal. Orsini, like his father, is a practicing oncologist in Essex County, New Jersey, and Kelly claimed that Orsini would often give Rost medication.
“Toward the end, he was giving her all of these drugs,” Kelly said. “She said she has anxiety, so I don’t know what drugs they were — if they were Xanax or whatever they were. They could’ve been Xanax. They could’ve been something else.”
Kelly said he once heard Rost ask Orsini what he was giving her, but recalls that Orsini just “blew it off.”
“She trusted in him to give her the medication,” Kelly believes. “But 20-20 hindsight, he was drugging her up to kind of keep control of her.”
Rost’s mother, Rynthia Rost, told Page Six that Orsini told her Katie suffered from attention deficit disorder and so he needed to prescribe her Adderall.
“She ought to file a suit against him for attempted murder, but I was just trying to get her away from them, away from these people,” Rynthia fumed. “These are horrible, horrible people.”
She added, “I have evidence of him drugging my daughter. I have evidence of his bad behavior, and we also have other people who have evidence of it.”
Page Six obtained a patient history report for Rost that showed that Orsini prescribed his then-wife several different kinds of medications from 2010 to 2013, including alprazolam to treat anxiety and panic disorder, and methylphenidate — also known as Ritalin — used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy.
When Rost left Orsini and moved to Maryland with her mom, Kelly and his wife helped Rost pack up her belongings into a moving truck. They’ve kept in touch with Rost since and recently visited her over the holidays.
On Thanksgiving, Kelly said, his eyes were opened to new information that made him believe Rost was always telling the truth about Orsini’s alleged abuse.
“My wife and I were overwhelmed because we didn’t know everything going on, but for her to lay everything out, and start showing papers and receipts — these tapes, court documents, and police reports?” Kelly said. “That’s why I have no doubt believing her.”
Rost has also shared the allegations with her thousands of social media followers. On Dec. 5, Orsini’s attorneys filed a complaint stating Rost was in violation of their agreement not to disparage each other online.
In 2016, Rost was featured on the first season of “The Real Housewives of Potomac,” but Rost alleges that her ex-husband is to blame for her not returning to the show for Season 2 as a full-time cast member.
In a letter Rost wrote to a New Jersey judge, which she shared with Page Six, Rost said another judge “sent a letter to NBC Universal attempting to get them to fire me” so that she would not “disparage” Orsini. Rost alleged that Orsini and his lawyers caused her to lose a $115,000 contract with NBCUniversal as a result, and she is currently struggling to pay her legal bills.
A source close to production told us, “A judge never sent any letter to NBC. The attorney sent a letter just making sure that our legal team knew what was in their agreement.”
The source added that the amount of money Rost provided us for the Season 2 deal was “a bit inflated.”
Rost’s mother said Katie’s inability to share more of her personal life affected the business deal.
“The producer wanted her to provide some information, and [Katie] wasn’t willing to do it,” Rynthia said. “I believe that Gizelle [Bryant, another ‘Potomac’ cast member,] had said some things, and they wanted her to talk about them. At some point she stopped filming [for the second season], because [James] had taken the kids. They didn’t like that she wasn’t sharing enough of what was going on in her life.”
“It had absolutely nothing to do with any issues with her ex-husband,” a source close to production said. “We had decided she was just going to be a ‘friend of’ at that point, not a full Housewife. She didn’t want us to shoot anything in her personal life, including her home, anything she was doing. She was shutting everything down anyway.”
In March 2019, the network announced that Rost will be returning for Season 4 of “RHOP” in a part-time role as a friend of the Housewives, according to a press release.
A source close to production said that Rost was added this season “organically” because of her friendships with the women on the show, but “moving forward I think we have to think about that more closely with what is going on.” Rost’s current custody issues will not be featured on Season 4.
Rost claims she has not seen her children in nearly 10 months. On June 27, Judge Jane Gallina-Mecca, who is presiding over the case, ruled that Rost would only be allowed supervised visitation, pending a mental health evaluation. According to Mecca, the order was granted because Rost missed a scheduled court date and it was “clear” she did not intend to return her children as ordered.
“Her clerk told me I wouldn’t need to come to court if we had an agreement in writing,” Rost told Page Six. “I had just gotten to Virginia with the children. School had let out on the 21st of June. I didn’t think it was reasonable for her to require me to drive with them all the way back if it wasn’t necessary.”
Rost provided an email from the clerk sent on June 25 stating that if Rost and Orsini could not work out an arrangement, Mecca would have to make the decision at a hearing. The clerk also said, “I assume no one wants [the children] at the courthouse, but I do not know the best logistical way for the parties to approach the matter.”
Rost’s mother, Rynthia, was not allowed to supervise. Page Six reached out to Mecca to comment on the case, but a spokesperson for the Administrative Office of the Courts in New Jersey said the courts or judges are not permitted to comment on cases that are pending.
“The record is clear on this issue,” said Pastore, Orsini’s attorney. “[Rost] was only to be permitted supervised parenting time until she was evaluated by Dr. LaCouture in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Ms. Rost failed to schedule her appointment with Dr. LaCouture. Dr. LaCouture advised the court that Ms. Rost has not made herself available for the court-ordered evaluation.”
Page Six obtained proof indicating that Rost has made attempts to see her children on at least two separate occasions.
On Nov. 24, Rost sent Orsini a text message asking him not to ignore her requests to set up times and dates that can facilitate her parenting time. On Dec. 2, Rost sent an email to their parenting coordinator, William Dimin, in which she claimed Orsini had kept her from getting in contact with her kids.
However, Orsini’s legal team argued that Rost did not attempt to see her kids through the appropriate channels, which would be the Bergen Family Center.
“Since June of 2018, Ms. Rost scheduled one parenting visit with the children,” Pastore said. “The children appeared at the Bergen Family Center for parenting time, but was told that Ms. Rost cancelled the visitation and she did not appear. Since that time, Ms. Rost has texted our client seeking to not follow the terms of the court order and permit her parenting time.”
In response to Rost contacting Dimin, Pastore said the parenting coordinator responded on Dec. 4 reminding Rost of her parenting privileges.
“He advised Ms. Rost that he may be able to arrange for a neutral third party to supervise in lieu of having to go to the court for parenting time,” Pastore said. “We understand Ms. Rost never followed up with Mr. Dimin. Instead, that very evening Ms. Rost began her social media smear campaign against our client and since that date chose not to exercise parenting time with the children.”
Rost maintains that the court is conspiring against her and uses tactics “to hide [their] corruption and frustrate the efforts of an outsider who fights for civil and parental rights.”
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