Real Housewives of New Jersey newcomer Traci Lynn Johnson is setting the record straight on how her marriage to her husband, Tiki Barber, came to be after being accused multiple times of engaging in an affair while Tiki was still married to his pregnant ex-wife, Gigi Cha.
“There’s stuff out there about you, that you were the nanny, that you broke up a family. Do I ask those questions?” Giudice said after Traci asked a question about her fiancé, Luis Ruelas.
Not taking the accusations lying down, Traci responded, “I wasn’t the nanny! But I don’t have a problem with people asking me that.”
The New York Reporter ran a story back in 2010 claiming that Traci and Tiki met while Traci was still in college at Mount Saint Mary University, and he had even stayed over in her dorm room and sent her flowers. Traci’s father also told The Huffington Post she allegedly was babysitting for Tiki’s two children.
“On her 21st birthday, he sent her 21 dozen roses to her dorm. He also gave her a diamond and sapphire bracelet,” a source told the outlet.
However, sources for both Traci and Tiki vehemently denied those rumors. An insider for Tiki shut that down immediately, saying that the two weren’t anything more than “friends.”
“She absolutely, positively, never babysat the kids,” the insider said of Traci. “They were friends in 2008. There were never roses, there were never bracelets.”
The timeline of their coupling and the subsequent divorce from former wife Gigi seems to check out. Tiki filed for divorce from Gigi in April of 2010 and didn’t marry Traci until 2012, according to Us Weekly.
According to statements given to ET, Tiki and Gigi were already separated when Traci and Tiki were working together on The Today Show, and the two had a friendship that turned into something more once Tiki separated from Gigi.
“People believed what these tabloids were writing about us from anonymous sources and things that just simply were not true,” she told the outlet. “There was no basis in fact at all.”
Unfortunately, Tiki decided to “stay silent” on the matter, which didn’t help their situation at all and ultimately tarnished his image.
“I already figured that everyone knew the scandal, but they didn’t hear the truth,” Traci continued. “I was not the cause of my husband’s divorce from his first wife. I most certainly was never the nanny. That’s just shameful for people to even think or say, because that’s hurtful to not only me, but to my husband and his ex-wife and their kids. So, it’s just a vicious rumor.”
Traci said she had planned on going into her new role on RHONJ to show a “true love story.”
“This wasn’t some fly-by-the-night type of scandal that happened, and we broke up. I think this was a good testament to our love story, and it also gave me an opportunity to set the record straight.”
RHONJ Live Viewing – This is also the live viewing thread for tonight’s new episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey season 12. Share your thoughts below as the episode airs at 8/7c on Bravo.