Not too long ago, I published my lists of the ten best and worst women from the Real Housewives franchise. The rankings seemed to be well-received; so here I am with another go at it, this time aimed at the guys. I’ve compiled a list of the worst husbands and boyfriends from the Housewives franchise, and I gotta say, it was pretty easy. Amusingly, the majority of the spots went to men from Orange County, and I have to admit that not a single guy from Atlanta made the cut (as if the lovable Ed Hartwell or Eric Snow would be close to the words “worst” — although, Big Daddy and Bob Whitfield came close).

After the jump, check out my list of the worst males (children excluded) from the Real Housewives

10. Mario Singer, New York City

In general, Mario isn’t so bad, and we’ve grown to love Ramona so much that it’s hard to say anything bad about her family, but the truth is that Mario is prone to some asshole behavior. There was his whole ridiculous tennis tiff with Jill, which stemmed from him taking a silly proposition waaaaaaay too seriously. And then there was his subsequent attack on Jill, which now seems deserved but truthfully at the time was very déclassé (to borrow his wife’s favorite word). And then there was the even more idiotic “Countless” controversy wherein he refused to apologize for an admittedly puerile (even if amusing) dig he took at LuAnn. The point is that Mario has a tendency to be a douchebag from time to time, and that plops him here on the list.

9. Dina Manzo’s invisible ex-husband, New Jersey

I put this guy on the list only because he allegedly is the reason why Dina’s daughter Lexie is not on the show anymore. Watching her and her mom interact was one of the few highlights of Jersey’s first season, and now that Lexie is gone, there’s even less of a reason to watch this snoozefest of a show. Boooooooo!

8. Joe Giudice, New Jersey

Joe is mostly the strong, silent type, but when he opens his mouth, he doesn’t always say gentlemanly things. In season one of New Jersey, he threw about the word “gaylord” (major no-no on BRAVO), and most recently, he called his daughter UGLY. When Gia began to cry, he didn’t apologize; he merely told her to get over it. Oh, and then there’s that whole $11 million debt he ran up with his wife. Not the best.

7. Frank Curtin, Orange County


Of all the men on this list, Frank seems like he might be the nicest guy; however, a pleasant disposition doesn’t make up for the fact that he’s the biggest doormat of a father on the show and that he got his family kicked out of their home on national television. Yes, Frank hid the crumbling financial status of his investments from his wife (who, admittedly, is something of an ostrich with its head in the dirt), and as a result, the whole brood had to suffer the embarrassment and inconvenience of being evicted from their Laguna Beach residence. Never mind that his daughters are already disasters. And never mind that he stood silently by as his wife underwent elective and expensive surgery. Eventually, when the shit hit the fan, Frank tried to win back the love and support of his fam by making desperately idealistic statements such as “It’s all gonna work out.” He then proposed that what the Curtins REALLY needed was just a big family vacation. The whole thing was very, very sad, and as friendly as the guy might be, his judgment is kind of deplorable.

6. Brad Boles, Jill’s “gay husband,” New York City


UGH. Jill’s “gay husband” Brad is kind of the worst. He just tries so hard to be the fabulous breakout gay character that will earn his own show on Bravo, and yet he fails immensely on all fronts. There’s something about him that just feels so put-on. I’m thankful that his only appearance in season three was a tiny three-second cameo in the corner of the screen during the season finale. I don’t know why he more or less vanished from the show, but I like to think that everyone finally realized how insufferable he can be.

5. Louis Knickerbocker, Orange County

It’s a little weird and perhaps tasteless to include a dead man on this list, but I suppose I should add the disclaimer that this list is about people as they are portrayed on the show. I don’t portend to know how these men are or were in real life — these are just reactions to what I’ve seen on screen, and as such, I think it’s totally fair to include Lou, ex-husband of Tammy, on this list. There are several reasons why Lou did not endear himself to the audience, but mainly, I’d have to say the creep-factor is the biggest one. The fact that he constantly surrounded himself with teenage girls in skimpy outfits (including some of his very own daughters) always rubbed me the wrong way. He truly gave me the heebie jeebies, and I don’t think I’m alone on that front.

4. Jim Bellino, Orange County

There’s nothing worse than a condescending, boorish husband. Oh wait: there is. A condescending, boorish, sanctimonious husband… who wears age inappropriate garb. Jim Bellino is the ultimate pontificator, and his old-fashioned treatment of Alexis (who, it should be noted, is a willing participant) is totally off-putting. This guy causes groans nearly every time he steps in front of the camera — whether he’s puffing away pompously at his cigar or ordering his wife around the kitchen. Kind of awful.

3. Matt Keough, Orange County


Probably the biggest out and out asshole of the franchise, Matt Keough is truly a piece of work. He used to be a passive-aggressive drunk, but now he’s just aggressive. He screams at lovable sad sack Jeana when he walks in the house, and he doesn’t even care if other people are around to see it. The sheer amount of self-loathing and anger in him doesn’t really make for entertaining TV. Just… sadness.

2. Simon Barney, Orange County

Anyone who can cause the audience to feel an ounce of sympathy for Tamra Barney must be pretty bad. Meet Simon Barney: the cold, manipulative, and controlling (soon to be ex) husband of Tamra. Simon always seemed like a dick, but as the seasons went on, he just got worse and worse. He occasionally made decent points about this and that, but in general, everything he said seemed like a snaky mind game whose purpose was to make Tamra more dependent on him. In the latest season of Orange County, Simon went into overdrive as perceived threats (ie. Vicki, dwindling finances) made him feel like he was losing his grasp on Tamra. This resulted in maddeningly passive-aggressive fights followed by ridiculously controlling monologues. It was therefore tremendously liberating when Tamra snapped back at Simon during the season finale; however, that very same episode showed something truly disturbing as we saw the extent to which Tamra was truly afraid of her own husband. Shivers.

1. Slade Smiley, Orange County

Any surprise here? Slade Smiley has made a career out of dating Real Housewives. There was Jo. Then Lauri. Then maybe someone else? And now Gretchen. He’s a total leech and a slimeball on top of that. His interactions with people all feel fake and amped up for the cameras; however, once in a while, he lets his guard down, and we see that inner asshole we first glimpsed during his rollercoaster relationship with Jo. The guy is not happy-go-lucky, despite what he’d have us believe. Plus, the way Slade chatted with Gretchen’s parents felt totally inappropriate. Everything about this guy is awful. Why won’t he simply go away?

What do you think about the list?

32 replies on “The Ten Worst Husbands, Boyfriends, and Significant Others from ‘The Real Housewives’”

  1. I agree with your list of guys on here minus just Simon. I’ve said it that whole season despite the fact I’m not a fan of Vicki or Simon I think both were completely manipulated by Tamra- and I think if you watch closely the whole Simon/Vicki fight was completely created by Tamra. I think Tamra likes to be caught in the middle and I don’t beleive she was honestly afraid of Simon. Most women who seem to genuinely fear their husbands don’t seem to act like her- my sister even said she almost looked like she was pretending to be Julia Roberts in sleeping with the enemy! I think watching the season you can see little signs of Tamra trying to manipulate the audience- her story just doesn’t add up. That being said Simon could STILL be a jerk- but just not it the way I think he was depicted.

    LOVE your lists B-side!

  2. Alex’s husband Simon Van Kempen had some moments last season that just made me think he was pretty obnoxious. Back when they were inseparable as a couple (I also couldn’t stand Alex back then either). Are these two the most improved now (while we’re handing out superlatives)? Spencer Pratt is still the worst. I don’t care if he isn’t a househusband. He’s so horrible he makes all lists.

    love this blog

  3. I don’t know if Matt Keough is in the same category as the other men. Sure he’s a drunk and a mean one at that, but it’s not all his fault. They’ve talked on the show about him being a nice and jovial man while he was in the major leagues then it went downhill when he was forced to retire.

    In 1991 he was in the dugout when he was hit in the head by a line drive. He was taken away on a stretcher and nearly died. Apparently having his career taken away from him and the constant headaches turned him into a drunk.

    Taking him off the list would allow you to move Jim Bellino up to number 3.

    1. I am in favor of anything that moves Jim Bellino up on the list!! Very much agree with all the jack @sses here but I just think he is AWFUL.

      Super fun list — what’s next?

    2. To add on to what D-Lo said, Matt Keough has a documented traumatic brain injury. Jeana commented multiple times that he was a wonderful husband until the injury. I wouldn’t dare speculate what is a result of the injury and what makes and him being an asshole but depending on the area of the brain involved it wouldn’t be unheard of for someone with a TBI to have personality changes, decreased inhibition and increased aggression and addictive habits. Anecdotally, brain trauma (some strokes, hemorrhages, and brain injuries) can exacerbate existing (mild) personality traits, especially if there is a pre-existing alcohol or drug dependency.

      1. To clarify:

        Matt Keough is a tool. Jeana should have divorced him years before she did. There just might be a medically related reason for his behavior but still not a reason to stay married to him and deal with the verbal abuse.

        1. Not only is Matt Keough an a**hole, but he apparently raised his children to be as well. I have never seen children treat their parent the way those boys treat Jeanna. It’s horrible to watch. Her own son cussed her out because she showed up to support him at a baseball game! Why couldn’t those boys have made the list- the oldest is definitely over age.

  4. Juicy Joe just seems checked out on life. He was secretly praying for a boy when Teresa popped out her last kid so he’d have someone to relate to in his household. Mario was pretty annoying the last few seasons which is why I’m glad he didn’t make it on camera a lot this season. Same with Brad. I know you think he’s a bore, but I like Jason Hoppy a lot, especially after watching Bethenny Getting Married

  5. And is it me or does Jill’s face look dirty on the reunion? Bad bronzer? Makeup slip-up? Lighting? Oi vey

  6. Honey Bunny- That made me laugh.
    I’m thinking the best list is next. Gregg Leakes FTW!!

    Matt’s a total asshole. But you are all probably right- the TBI gives him a pass.
    My worst is a no-brainer- Jim Bellino. Biggest dick on this show. And when you described him as “sanctimonious”, you nailed it. He is a self-righteous prick. I can’t wait to see this guy lose his fortune (which you KNOW is only a few seasons away).

    1. Derder, I’ve read a few rumors that Greg Leakes is about to file for divorce. Can’t say I blame him. Deshawn and Eric Snow have filed for divorce too. I hope Lisa and Ed make it!

  7. I don’t think Mario should be on the list, as far as a husband – he’s pretty good to Ramona and maybe he just had Jill’s number before the rest of did in season 2. I think I’d replace him with the count who ends his marriage via email or Danielle’s ex for getting together with her in the first place.

  8. Jim needs to be higher on the list, but other than that it’s spot on! Can’t wait to see the “best” list! I’m already forming one in my head!

    1. Gretchen’s Jeff needs to make that list. He was good to her, and bought her a pink motorcycle before Tamra got one.

  9. I’m in total agreement with the inclusion of the dead Knickerbocker on the list. Not only was he creepy, as B-Side mentioned, but he left his girls with NOTHING. No life insurance policy, no inheritance, no life skills, nothing. He left it all to his creepy, too young wife who kicked his daughters out and stopped paying for their cars. Horrid man. He should be farther up.

    1. Surprised no one has mentioned thus far that his too young wife was a mail order bride from Thailand. Apparently several of his friends also had Thai mail order brides. I don’t even want to know what the hell was going on there.

      I loved how his eldest daughter never referred to her by name, just always called her “the Thai wife.” I believe she remarked on the creep factor of the whole thing as well.

  10. Simon Van Kampen.
    Sorry folks.
    He still creeps me out. Such a brown noser, pathetic excuse for a man. Didn’t you like the way he had Alex’s back at the Gotham party?
    “Thanks wingman,” said she, as he sat himself right down at Jill’s feet.
    Elch. Really is the WORST media whore of ALL. I mean of ALL…women and men alike.
    And I also like Mario. He did have Jill’s number before we all did. And with as much as he has to put up with with the Ramonacoaster, he handles it really well and always has her back.
    He’s quite pleasant on the eyes, too.
    Just my 2 cents here.

    1. I’ll back you on this! He was a traitor to Alex at the “Gotham” party. And I usually don’t give a flying fig about one’s sexual orientation… unless you’re married to the wrong sex! C’mon!

  11. How about housewife offspring next? From Nugget’s Dad to Jaqueline’s Nicholas in his douchy Ed Hardy gear, those women have produced some real turds.

    1. The drunken Cuff Love kids. The fashion-challenged Nene spawn.
      But on the other hand — Vicki’s daughter is a saint. Go figure.


      1. Shane Keough is the worst. Johann and Francois rank by virtue of their pretentious names. Theresa’s Gia, of course.

    2. Yes, please rank the offspring – but I wouldn’t include Nicholas. He’s just an innocent victim of his Ed Hardy loving parents.

  12. I think we need to give an honorable mention to Gretchen’s dead fiance Jeff. Jeff seemed like a perfectly nice old guy BUT HE LIVED HIS FINAL DAYS OUT ON THE REAL HOUSEWIVES! If that is not hell I don’t know what is. It is the opposite of dying with dignity. It’s sort of like the modern equivalent of being drawn and quartered.

    Well, at least it was the Real Housewives of OC and not like Atlanta, or Jersey.

  13. Dina Manzo’s ex husband should be commended for not allowing her daughter to be filmed! It wasn’t his fault that Dina forged his signature the first season.

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