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