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When it comes to reality TV, some might say it seems staged, unreal, and scripted. Well, I can tell you, there’s nothing scripted about finding out what people think about you when you watch a new episode for the first time.

The major difference between real life and reality TV is that in real life, what someone thinks about you either never gets back to you, or it takes a while—it’s part of a social process that takes time and many leaky sources. On reality TV, you find out fast—and it’s brutal, and there are no holds barred.

It must be something about sitting in front of that camera alone that makes people feel safe, seemingly disregarding year after year that what they say there is not private, and in fact, what they say in these confessional type interviews is largely what drives most of the storyline for viewers. As you watch these individual moments, imagine what it would be like if you could watch a reel of the people in your own life in the same format. What would they be saying about you? Would you care? Would it matter? Would they be doing it just to hurt you, or is there a common theme among them that might suggest you have some things to work on?

No matter what, whether there’s ever a confessional about you, don’t you want your friends to be truthful to your face, and loyal to the end? Being truthful is part of being loyal, but being loyal means standing by your friends through thick and thin. Loyalty means many things to many people, but to most, it is at least in part about being the kind of person whose love of friends and family does not change no matter what else in life does change. With or without money or fame, and with or without status and “hip factor,” loyalty should always be there. Loyalty is not meant to be an afterthought, but the tool that navigates us through stormy seas. If you’re loyal, alliances are obvious, and choices become very easy to make.

How I am portrayed this week is a great example of how easy it is for opinions and loyalties to be changed. Many may think I had a good episode because they see me praying for my wife and spending time with my children—not a bad depiction at all. But what will the flip-floppers think of me next week when I’m not there, or if for example, they see me tell my wife she’s talking too loud without seeing us laughing about it later? The fact is, Alexis’ hearing was affected by having the twins, and she has asked me let her know when she is talking too loud. But you won’t hear anything about that unless you’re reading my blog.

Many viewers have been conditioned to accept what they see on TV as reality, as it occurred; it’s a little sad and kind of scary to me how easily some viewers will just accept the subtly hidden opinion—don’t be fooled, the camera itself is a character on this show, and it has its agenda and is often a narrator as well. Loyalties become extra fickle when there’s a third party helping viewers decide what to think.

How people on reality TV treat one another changes every episode. How can this be? Even the most fair-weather friends I have had didn’t change their opinions and feelings that often in real life. How cast mates regard each other in their private interviews changes more than the weather—and what’s worse, some of the audience watching the show changes their opinion of someone based on what their favorite cast mate on the show says.

From one week to the next, the audience loves you, hates you, then loves you again—it’s a merry-go-round, but the nauseating part is how easily some change their opinions of people they don’t even know based on tidbits of secondhand opinions from a third party. Where is the loyalty—both on the show and in life? I understand that this is meant for entertainment, but when I read tweets about reality TV personalities, some of the criticism is so sharp and hateful is boggles the mind.

Imagine, a mother of two from Wisconsin tweeting, “You’re a loser I hate you, you should kill yourself” Then, two weeks later, the same person tweeting about the same celebrity tweets, “Loved your makeup this episode! where’d you get that lipgloss? Plz follow me I’m a fan!” What was it that got under her skin so deeply that she became motivated enough to say something so incredibly awful? Then she pivots faster than a weathervane in a tornado—what the heck is this based on? If people in your life are this fickle, get rid of them. There’s no time to try and figure out why you can’t please 2% of people—so focus on the 98% you can and worry about them. I for one am not naïve enough to believe people aren’t talking negatively about me, but I also know there’s no percentage in lending too much credence to the opinions of people who have never met me, and never will.

I’ve greatly appreciated the wonderful comments people have made about getting to know me through this blog–all of the constructive comments and compliments I have gotten have been enlightening and heartwarming. But it’s funny how a few of the comments seem like double-edged swords. Some comments have said, wow, I hated Jim, thought he was a loser, I believed what other people said about him, and now I love Jim! Faithful fans of the show can now see the real me, and it’s been a reality check for us both.

For the first time ever, I decided to put myself on display for anyone who would like to read this blog. Before that, I should have been a mystery, not someone anybody hated—think about the reasons people hated me: Because they BELIEVED INFORMATION FROM TV OR THE INTERNET WITHOUT VETTING IT. It wasn’t because any of the viewers had dealt with me personally and had a bad experience with me. Instead, many people didn’t like me because of how I looked on the show from one week to the next. This is testimony to how fans are driven from one side to another based on where they feel their loyalties should lie. The truth is, as I have stated in previous blogs, many of the people on reality TV have allegiance to one thing: MONEY—their judgment is based on that loyalty, but it doesn’t mean viewers has to be too.

So while I am ever grateful that I’ve gained new fans, it makes me wonder—if I were to stop blogging and go back to filming more, would opinions of me waffle right back to where they were? My thought is that we should not judge someone week-by-week or episode-by-episode, but by the content of their character that has been revealed consistently over a long period of time.

There’s nothing wrong with a little healthy skepticism when it comes to believing what we see on TV and read on the Internet. Don’t buy into the latest hate fest—or hug fest either. Sometimes there’s no way for any of us to know what’s going on in the hearts and minds of others, but I think it’s safe to say that swapping allies midstream and shifting your nationally-known opinion of a former friend is a sign priorities may not be where they should be.

Loyalty is nine-tenths of the law—Alexis and I are not interested in bandwagon friends, and you shouldn’t be either.

Just keepin’ it real,

-Jim

There’s an old saying, “Don’t get mad, get even.” This saying isn’t very Christian, but beyond that, it won’t do you any good to get even with someone—it always backfires. So no matter what you believe in, Jesus, karma, or just living by the Golden Rule, in the end, getting even will take it’s toll on YOU spiritually, materially, emotionally, and physically; NOT the person you’re trying to get even with.

So that’s my caveat for this week’s episode, because I see people behaving in a way that I would like to “get even” with. But I know that won’t serve me, and it sure won’t help Alexis or our family. Instead, I say don’t get mad, get driven!

In this week’s episode, we see people gossiping and talking so much trash, but then in the next scene, we see the same people being talked about and getting mad about being talked about. High school cheerleaders are more mature and better put together than this—it’s like watching an episode of 90210, but without any charm, class, or levity between the bouts of puerile nonsense.

It can be our normal reaction when we are talked about to lash out and defend ourselves—I think we’ve all been in a place where the need to defend ourselves has arisen, and sometimes we don’t make the best tactical moves when doing so. Think back to when you were a kid and you were being made fun of at school. When you came home, do you remember what your mom said? “Ignore them.” My mom used to tell me, “It’s none of your business what other people think of you.” Moms are the best at dispensing such awesome pearls of wisdom. And we should try more to live by them—but when what someone else thinks of you can literally destroy your life because it’s being said to millions of people, it’s a different story.

What a group of school kids are giggling about when you walk by their lunch table is one thing; what someone says deliberately to harm you in the eyes of the public is quite another matter. The bully mentality is the same in both places—it’s just that the people on TV have the tools to be destructive on a larger scale, but that doesn’t make their mindset any more evolved than that lunch table of snickering bullies.

It sure is convenient when people use being feminine as a means to protect themselves against a man talking about them, but then they say anything they want about a man—this kind of hypocrisy makes me wan to throw up. We have a moral responsibility when it comes to being on TV, so when someone’s child has cancer, and you continuously berate and belittle that person, you have crossed a line, and you have to expect that the person you have attacked is going to eventually give you back your due. With that said, I don’t agree with any of the gossiping, I’m simply explaining the natural course of events you can expect when one person bashes another relentlessly—eventually, a beaten dog will bite you. I don’t agree with how even those who have been victimized have chosen to deal with it, but you can certainly see the chronology of events that lead to what’s unfolding in front of us now.

I don’t think it’s fair to play the gender card. If you have, and claim that it’s sexist for a man to talk about a woman after you’ve attacked his character as a man, you’re being short sighted. I don’t agree with sexist commentary, but I also don’t believe in hiding behind excuses when you are guilty of making horrific remarks that start unstoppable and unbearable rumors. And by the way, no one is buying the wiping away of nonexistent tears.

Malicious gossip drives some people. So to those people, we say thank you—it’s the naysayers that drive us. Alexis has never worked so hard—she has accomplished so much since she has been on this show, but what makes her a person of high character is that she would never sell her soul for a paycheck. If you’re paying attention, you’ll notice that Alexis doesn’t change who she is or alter her personality depending on where she is or who she is with—she is true to herself and doesn’t do “personality wardrobe changes” to fit in, to please, or to stir the pot. She defines classiness on this show.

Did Alexis overstate her role on Fox 5? Absolutely! But haven’t we all overstated when we are excited about a new endeavor in our lives? Imagine if every time you accomplished something, people all around you put it down for the entire world to see on television. If someone in your life is putting you down, DON’T GET MAD, GET DRIVEN!

Alexis has two clothing lines, and is finalizing a deal with a third. She is working on a morning show, she is writing a book, AND she is a great wife and an unbelievable mother. I can tell you first hand that when Alexis watches shows like this week’s episode, she doesn’t get mad, she gets DRIVEN. Take a page from her book—if someone in your life is a thorn in your side, let their gossip and hate tactics drive you. Some people’s reaction to Alexis being picked up by Fox 5 can only be described as rage. I’m not asking people to be thrilled for someone they dislike, but if all they can muster is rage, it’s probably not about Alexis’ success, but about missing pieces in their own lives.

If you can’t keep someone’s name out of your mouth, no matter what the sentiments for them are, it means you are thinking about them—the more you talk about them, the more it becomes evident you are thinking about them. It’s simple psychology. These are simply jealous, base people living a life that is so bereft of meaning they have nothing to add to conversations but flippant, sarcastic, angry interjections. The meaning of their lives revolves around the bitterness they have created for themselves, and they are unable to control their reactions because they long for happiness. What’s ironic is that this happiness is out of their reach BECAUSE of their bitterness and inability to live and let live.

This is not an isolated incident—we all face these challenging people everyday in our lives, but it’s how we react to them will determine our destiny. I leave you with this: “Vengeance is mine says the Lord.” Do you remember how the Rocky movies end? Well, we’re only in round five, and Alexis is Rocky, so stay tuned.

Just keeping it real,

-Jim

As I watched this weeks show, I realized that all America sees is a particular scene—not the full evening or day of a particular event. The fact is that things are occurring before and after every scene that you never see that may change your opinion of a person.

An example of seeing a particular scene and NOT the full event is when you hear Alexis say, “No, I still do it all, I make the kids lunch, give them baths, pick them up from school,” and so on. THIS IS NOT THE WHOLE TRUTH. When Alexis works at Fox 5, she gets up at 5am to work. At that time I get the kids up, get them ready for school, feed them breakfast, and take them to school. During the other times I work two jobs, so sometimes I am not home to help. We’re both there to parent on the weekends, and Alexis will be the first to tell you I spend plenty of time with our children. Does this sound familiar to any of you and your schedule? Moms and dads pitch in however they can, when they can to make a household run. Bottom line: It’s called teamwork, and that’s what marriage and child rearing are all about.

I guess my point is, a simple scene can give viewers the impression that Alexis does everything with the kids and Jim does nothing. That’s simply not true. This week I am actually going to defend people on reality TV because many times I feel they are unfairly judged for a “BAD WEEK” and not on what the viewers’ opinion of their overall character is. If you have always seen and known someone to be fair and reasonable, decent, and usually a force for good, GO WITH YOUR GUT and decide what is still true about them based on what you know, not on what you see in simple scenes.

Shouldn’t we practice basic non-judgment like this in life ALL the time? Too many times we unfairly judge someone who has wronged us, or who we perceive as being in the wrong based on one piece of information we have, rather than trying to find out what else might be going on. To take it a step further, we could try and find out why they are hurting. Why? Because it is usually when someone is in a great deal of pain that they strike out the hardest and with the least amount of empathy for anyone else around them.

Believe me, I know a lot about hurting, and I have been very tempted to blast particular cast members. But I promise you, if you will just try to look at the underlying reason someone tries to hurt you instead of letting your natural defense mechanism go to work, you will find much more peace for yourself. Through understanding the BIG PICTURE instead of a small piece of the puzzle, the anger and frustration that comes along with living in half-truths simply goes away.

I challenge you to watch any of the episodes a second time and really look at the eyes of every cast member (be sure to have a pen and paper.) Focus on the eyes of each person and write down the emotion you sense that person is going through in their life—don’t judge based on what you know about the person, or what you think you know—just look at their expression and try to read the story being told by their eyes. When you are finished with this exercise, look at your paper and analyze what you have written. I guarantee you, the emotion you wrote down for each individual will be very different from what your perception of his or her overall week on the show was before.

In my opinion, it’s the people who talk about others the most who suffer the most—not those who are being are talked about. Do you really think that when a particular cast member is finished filming a scene where they have said something bad or negative about someone else they feel good? I can tell you first hand, no. I don’t claim to have never done this, I just try to be conscious of it, and make an effort not to. Although gossip is popular and good for TV, it is rather immature.

But aren’t we all guilty of negative speech? If you look at the BIG PICTURE again, I think you’ll see that when we gossip, we ultimately hurt ourselves, and we are the ones who look insecure, not those we gossip about.

I leave you with this: If someone in your life has a bad week and reacts harshly toward you, instead of judging them for what you think caused that kind of week for them, try to find out what is going on with them and be compassionate—it will be far more rewarding, and may even bring you closer.

Just trying to keep it real,

-Jim

Before I get into this week’s blog, I want to address something so many of you have been talking about online. It’s one of those details that you forget about when you can’t see the forest for the trees. After this, I will lay this subject to rest permanently, but this has to be brought up as it was addressed by so many of you and brought up on the show (hopefully for the final time.)

I didn’t realize how many people were under the impression that Alexis did not know I had dated Peggy until she said something on the show. This is woefully inaccurate. What REALLY happened was that Alexis and I had our agreement (as I stated in my last blog) but as SOON as we found out Peggy had been chosen for the show, I told Alexis that she and I had dated (15 years ago.) So for anyone still laboring under the misconception that Peggy was the one to break the news to Alexis, this is simply not true. And that’s a wrap!

Now onto this week. I want to thank the tens of thousands of people who have visited this blog and those who have reached out and confirmed my feeling that breaking my silence was the right thing to do. Although I am not sure how long I will continue to blog, I’m going to keep it up for now. Frankly, it feels good, and I find it to be a relief to be able to tell you the truth the way I see it.

This week, I’m stepping into the lion’s den for my wife. Alexis is one of the kindest, most loving, and authentic friends one could ever have. To see people take her friendship for granted and walk away from it blows my mind. That might sound very biased, but she is my wife after all, and I know what a pure heart she has, and how much emotion and effort she puts into those people she calls her true friends.

It SEEMS this week that Alexis can say nothing right. It made me realize something: Alexis and I don’t deny Christ at all, but some have labeled us as self-righteous, or judge us in a way that is different from everyone else on the show. We never claimed to be better or wiser than anyone else, and we don’t place judgment on others based on their faith. Has anyone else noticed that Alexis has been placed in the “religious” category where she is scrutinized more closely than anyone else on the show?

The way Alexis comes off this week is unfortunate, but it’s also not very fair. Because Alexis is not a fake, she says what’s on her heart and mind—not what she thinks someone wants her to say. Others will say and do a lot to get what they want or to seem “edgy” in the moment. Some are out for money, others for fame, and others just want to be told they are right. None of it is really about fame and fortune, it’s about acceptance at the most basic level.

Having stepped away 18 months ago, it all seems very clear from my point of view. I really wasn’t sure if doing a blog about my thoughts was a good idea, but I also wasn’t sure if disappearing without some explanation was a good idea either. But now I see that giving myself the space to speak freely, I’ve actually truly allowed myself to see there’s a lot going on for the love of money. Don’t get me wrong, we enjoy nice things like everyone else, but they don’t define us and they are certainly not our driving force. What drives us is God, family, and friends.

You hear people say all the time that money is the root of all evil. Not so. It is the LOVE of money that is the root of all kinds of evil. Everyday we see someone say or do something to have the competitive edge over someone else. I too have been guilty of this. For what? To stay relevant, to continue making money, or in the case of some, to gain a higher sense of self when the best part of themselves—their true inner self with all its potential—was sitting right there all along!

Whether it’s money or glory you’re after, both are expendable, and both have an exchange rate. HAS ANYONE ELSE NOTICED THAT AS OUR ECONOMY HAS WORSENED THAT THE EXCHANGE RATE ON OUR INTEGRITY HAS GOTTEN LOWER? We have to ask ourselves, what is the exchange rate on our integrity? On our humility? On our humanity? On our morality? We should all ask ourselves these questions and answer honestly.

Whether it’s cash or another kind of currency is irrelevant. Once you are so consumed by the desire for things and status, the meaning of life washes away like watercolor. Life is meant to be big and vibrant—not always perfect, and not always pure, but bright, full, and meaningful because of what you do for others, how you conduct yourself in both good and bad times, and how you behave in both good company and bad. It’s not up to us to judge, it’s up to us to live as best we can based on what we know—NOT what we have.

In the end when we die, what we saved we had, what we spent we lost, and what we gave we have. All we have left is what we gave.

-Jim

The title says it all. This is going to be a pretty raw entry.

I thought when I decided to step back from the show and let Alexis do her thing, I would be allowing the best things for her life while I went back to what I do best: business. Instead, I am more the topic of discussion now than when I was part of the show.

Without provocation, I have become the whipping boy of Orange County. Could it be because I chose to leave the show? What do you think? I can understand now how a man could do harm to himself in these shoes. It’s not an easy thing to be on TV in the first place, but like I said in my last blog, it was a decision we made with our eyes open. SO I THOUGHT.

But now I can’t believe the reality of reality TV. Imagine what it would be like to be watching a show you knew millions of people were watching at the same time while people who you’ve not uttered one word about drag your name through the mud with pure enjoyment.

Coming from the place of hurt that I am in, and knowing the things I know from living here and being on the show, it would be so easy for me to blast those who have INTENTIONALLY tried to assassinate my name and character. It would be so easy but it’s not worth it. If I do, I become just like them, and that is the very reason I stepped back from the show. At the end of the day, I have to answer to God, and I know it wouldn’t sit right with me to try to tarnish the names of these women as they have done to me.

In one tiny segment of a TV show, my entire self worth and good name were put on trial for no reason and in a completely unwarranted fashion—and in a setting where there was no way for me to stand up for myself. What would you do? Would you fire back? Would you try to devastate another person? What makes someone your opponent is your decision to lend credence to their thoughts and actions. You have to engage someone for them to officially be your opponent. You couldn’t play a game if there was no one there to play against, and that’s who I had thought I had made myself by leaving the show, but once again, I thought wrong.

But that’s the point, isn’t it? This is a game. Instead of basing things on facts or dealing with reality, TV caters to the need for a storyline, a catch, a hiccup, that moment that everyone watching in the room gasps simultaneously. I have become the reason for that gasp. In fact, for a few days after watching this episode, I was devastated. But I am a big boy and its time to pull up my bootstraps and move on.

There is a nationwide dependence on drama, and an epidemic need to destroy real human beings. Many of you have been commenting about the fact that I should have told Alexis about prior relationships, so I would like to respond and give you the FACTS…

WHEN ALEXIS AND I BECAME SERIOUS, WE HAD A VERBAL CONTRACT THAT NEITHER OF US WOULD EVER BRING UP OR DISCUSS OUR PAST RELATIONSHIPS. I WAS VERY HONEST AND UPFRONT THAT I HAD DATED A LOT ALL IN SEARCH OF THE WOMAN THAT I WANTED TO CALL MY WIFE, AND SINCE WE CHOSE TO LIVE IN THE TOWN THAT I GREW UP IN, WE AGREED THAT THERE WAS NOTHING POSITIVE TO BE GAINED FROM BRINGING UP OLD FLAMES, OR HAVING DISCUSSIONS ABOUT WHO HAD DATED WHO, AND ALL THE STRINGS THAT COME ATTACHED TO OPENING THAT CAN OF WORMS. WE MADE THIS AGREEMENT OUT OF RESPECT FOR ONE ANOTHER, NOT AS A WAY TO HIDE OUR PASTS. WE TOOK EACH OTHER AS WE WERE, AND THAT WAS THAT.

I am a real human being. The accusations tossed around so cavalierly about me tonight made me shudder—not just for myself and my wife, but because of the basic premise: Anyone can be made to seem like a kind of monster if he or she has enough enemies on reality TV. Whether you’ve earned those enemies or not means nothing—because in the end, decisions about your imagined (not real) character will be decided based upon any information given on air—no matter how inaccurate, false, or outrageous the claims may be. In an effort to explain to everyone the facts I have created a facts page to let you decide what the truth is. PLEASE CLICK HERE to read the Jim Bellino Bio.

What’s funny is that I could easily sit here and do the same thing—I could very easily tell you stories about these women that would change how you perceive them, just as they have changed how I am perceived. But after reading this I hope you will realize why I have chosen not to play the game. It’s beneath me. And no matter how far escalated the accusations get, I will not stoop to their level—not for reality TV, not for fame, not for fortune, and not for anything else.

As humans, we are driven to react initially without thinking—in an animalistic fashion we very frequently attack viciously—AND BELIEVE ME, AT THIS POINT, I WANT TO ATTACK VICIOUSLY. But this is not what God wants. God wants us to WAIT, and have a spiritual reaction, and by choosing this more mature way of dealing with things are born opportunities to heal and move on.

Calling someone disgusting because you don’t like how a TV show is working out for you is that animalistic response. Addressing real grievances appropriately after thoughtful consideration is the type of spiritual reaction I am trying to have now. Please don’t misunderstand me—I am not insinuating that I am spiritual, I am simply saying it’s the reaction I am trying to have. I have rewritten this blog 10 times so far and believe me, it started out “blasting,” but ultimately I just couldn’t let myself sink to their level.

When there is no story to tell, people invent one using what few splinters of a crafted reality they can to make it stick. But the only thing still standing when the smoke clears is the truth, no matter how long it may take that smoke to clear.

When you bless those who curse you, God shines his favor on you. It’s not always easy, but it is very rewarding. I hope God shines his favor on all the castmates, but I also hope the time for dragging my name through the mud is now over. All TV drama has an expiration date, and the one that makes me the scapegoat went bad a long time ago. Time to move on—even the fans are totally over it.

-Jim

Welcome everyone. I wanted to get my blog going again to let you know I’ll be here every week with my impressions of what’s going on in each episode and with the “off air” drama that surrounds the show. I want you all to know you have an alternative place to turn to for the real inside scoop because frankly, a husband’s perspective that has been associated with the show for three years will be unique. So you can expect my thoughts every week.

Some people say that when you decide to go on television you can’t hide what’s true about you anymore. They call it “dirty laundry.” In the early days, I would have thought this was true, and it was fine with me because I had nothing to hide. There was nothing in my past to conceal, and all my dealings both personal and business have always been aboveboard. So I thought, what do we have to lose? What will they find, that I pay my taxes, raise my children, went to Bible school, have my degree in theology, have successful business ventures, and that I’m married to Alexis? So I took no issue with putting myself in a potentially vulnerable position.

Then people started to have opinions about me—how I look, how I dress, about my relationship, my faith, and so on. None of these bothered me because I knew “fans” would take sides and like who they identified with. If they identified with someone who is the antithesis of me, I thought, then their opinion of me may not be good, but who cares? It’s an opinion based on surface-level things like looks, money, where I live, and other superficial things.

But then things took a turn for the grotesque. I consider myself to be a sharp mind in most cases, but I now feel naive when looking back, only to realize I never considered that someone could or would fabricate things about me that are not about my looks or my faith, but about far more serious aspects of me as a person, as a business man, as a US citizen, as a MAN. In going through recent Internet searches for my name, I have found stories that have shocked and awed me—I have unveiled preposterous claims. But what’s worse is that these aren’t mere claims or things a person is writing saying they “think” I did. Someone has been bold enough to suggest in a factual manner that I have done things I never did and never would do. Imagine this being you and trying to live your life day to day and every time you say your last name or hand out a business card you worry that the few people who are slandering you are the ones given credibility.

For example, there are accusations I changed my last name to conceal my past. Nothing could be further from the truth. My birth name is James Carlos Bellino. My last name is now, and has always been Bellino. And for the record, those who claim I changed it to sound “Italian,” I have never hidden my heritage, but by proclaiming that truth I find myself feeling like President Obama arguing the “birthers”—the more evidence he shows that he IS American, the more people try to dig to find he is not.

Other outrageous accusations are so foul that if the persons who were putting them online were exposed the way a reporter would be, they would be charged with defamation of character, libel, and slander. But these persons choose to conceal themselves under the guise of fake blog names and cheaply thrown together websites that only rank well because they’re using my name as a keyword searchable in Google. You can attach anything to a popular name in Google, and it will begin to rank. Just pick any famous person’s name and add “drugs” or “pregnant” or “divorce”—you’ll find it whether it’s true, real, accurate, or a total lie made up just to get you to a website. Why do people make such false statements and then hide????

Tonight, my wife will be on the air in the premiere episode of Real Housewives of Orange County, season 7. I know that even though I have chosen not to be a part of filming most of the season, the onslaught is on its way. Why? Because the more Alexis forges a space for herself and an identity for herself, the more we both go under the microscope. At one time, as I stated before, I would not have been bothered by anything that “came out” because we didn’t sign on to do reality TV with our eyes shut—we knew we would be liked by some, and not by others. And that’s okay. What’s not okay is for someone to literally invent false information out of nowhere and throw it on the web with the clear intention of destroying my reputation.

You can call me fat, old, weird, a Jesus freak, whatever. Those things are subjective and I never intended to be loved by the entire world. But as we delve further into season 7, I would urge you to consider the source when reading information about me or anyone else for that matter. The backlash we have experienced because of our success was partly due to putting ourselves out there, but it is also largely due to total lies published by those who, if they knew they had a leg to stand on, wouldn’t be hiding behind anonymous blogs and websites.

This season is a wild one, but both Alexis and I have taken off our rose colored glasses. We’re not going to be blindsided by any of the nuttiness that reality TV brings because now I think we can safely say we’re veterans. Most of the time you won’t see me mixing it up at any parties or gatherings on the show, but if you don’t know why by now, you haven’t been paying attention to the treatment my name has gotten, nevermind me as a human being.

I leave you with this question: Why would women who disapprove of me so strongly continue to talk about me on camera at every possible chance? I left this show a year and a half ago, and some people (those who “hate” me and “can’t stand” me) talk about me more now than when I was physically there—all of this has been unprovoked and without my saying anything in return. The days of me laying down and taking it to save face are over. Yes, I chose to be on a reality show, but I did not choose to be crucified, and I’ll be damned if anyone is going to drive me to my grave.

In the end, one might say, “Why did you choose to speak now?” To be honest, as a Christian we are taught to turn the other cheek—but I’m out of cheeks to turn.

-Jim

 

 

**Disclaimer about comments: I will gladly post any comments from any point of view as long as they are not profane or abusive**

The schoolyard bully mentality of today’s banks has destroyed the hopes and dreams of millions of American homeowners who quite understandably feel they have no power to do battle with these financial behemoths.  We certainly understand that we are just one family doing battle with one bank over one home, but we refuse to be scared into submission.

As we shared with you in August of this year, we had reached an agreement with JP Morgan Chase for a loan modification of our home.  After we had agreed, the bank changed the terms, demanding twice as much up front cash, and increasing the interest rate (has this happened to any of you?).  All we expect from the bank is that they live up to the original deal they made with us.

Despite the bank’s conduct in this matter, we remain willing to negotiate in good faith in an effort to reach a mutually agreeable resolution.  If forced to do so, however, we will not hesitate to pursue any and all legal recourse available to us under the law, and we will continue to follow the advice of our real estate attorney in this matter. JP Morgan Chase may be the Goliath in this scenario, but we will not sit by quietly and allow this financial institution to subject us to these unfair business practices without a fight.

Not surprisingly, the mass media got the story wrong. Like most families, we are just trying to live the American dream, but that isn’t sensational enough. As we all know, the media loves bad news, and will create it when they can’t find it. For example, “Housewife Hubby Files For Bankruptcy Protection” makes for a great headline, even if it isn’t true.  Imagine if your hometown newspaper (like the Orange County Register) said you were going personally bankrupt when you weren’t. Our attorney has formally demanded that the Orange County Register publish a retraction and correction.

To set the record straight, we have not filed bankruptcy. I have been buying and selling residential and commercial properties for more than two decades. I have been working since I was 13-years-old, and have made sure that our investments are diversified—we own multiple companies, properties, securities, and other assets.  Thankfully, our financial future is secure. The bank’s actions, however, forced the entity that holds title to the home to file Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy protection for the purpose of protecting this asset while we continue to work towards resolution. This is commonly done.

Our deepest thanks go out to so many of you who have expressed your concern for us.  We cannot tell you how touched we have been by the outpouring of love and support during this challenging and frustrating experience. Please know that we are all healthy, happy and very well. At this time of year, we are reminded of how very, very blessed we truly are. We wish you and your families abundant love and joy during this holiday season.

-Jim and Alexis

 

 

**Disclaimer about comments: I will gladly post any comments from any point of view as long as they are not profane or abusive**

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