“Real Housewife” gives up stripping, but not the spotlight

Danielle Staub says she's getting help for her emotional issues -- but is it just another stunt for attention?

Topics: The Real Housewives, Television,

"Real Housewife" gives up stripping, but not the spotlightTHE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW JERSEY -- The Reunion Special -- Pictured: Danielle Staub -- Photo by: Andrei Jackamets/Bravo (Credit: Andrei Jackamets)

When Danielle Staub announced Wednesday she was quitting her stripping gig to seek help for her emotional issues, reactions ranged from “Who knew she was stripping now?” to “Who’s Danielle Staub again?” Allow me.

The 48-year-old mother of two daughters — best known for her Teresa Giudice-bating antics on “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” — has, like vast hordes of reality stars before her, kept herself in the public eye over the past few years through a variety of stunts and ventures. Last year she released the prophetically titled memoir “The Naked Truth,” had the inevitable sex tape scandal, left “Real Housewives,” and briefly reinvented herself as a quasi lesbian chanteuse.

Then, this week — in a move that somehow coincided with the season premiere of the now Staub-free “Real Housewives” — the news came that Staub, who celebrated her last birthday at Scores, had signed a three-year contract with the famed gentleman’s club to perform “raw and fully uncensored” for its clubs and Web site.

But when photos of Staub enthusiastically working the pole predictably emerged, the former housewife had her aha moment, and, as she says, “walked away.” Staub, who has been open in the past about her prior history as an exotic dancer and escort, told People in a statement Wednesday that “My low self-esteem derived from childhood sexual abuse has messed with my mind and self-worth, and over the years I thought about getting help but pushed it deep into the depths of denial. For years I have had the suicide hotline on my cell phone and would like nothing more than to free myself from this constant pressure. Seeing how I have hurt myself and my family this time, I can no longer push it behind me.”

There is, should you choose to view it, a nine-plus-minute clip of Staub shimmying off her pushup bra, miniskirt, and thong on the Scores Live page, right above an invitation to judge whether “you feel Danielle Staub is hot enough to be a Scores dancer?” Trust me when I say, there isn’t anything about that full vulva-cam video, the accompanying text, or the comments underneath that will do anything to alleviate Staub’s admitted low self-esteem.

Staub says she was “coaxed” into doing the Scores gig, but God knows she wouldn’t be the first woman in adult entertainment to say she was sexually abused. And it’s clear that Staub, who wrote in her memoir of being molested in her bed as a child by a “relative or family friend,” is still working through her traumas.

The future prospects for Staub, who was recently named part of the reality cast from hell for a restaurant-themed VH1 series featuring Heidi Montag, Jake Pavelka, and Ashley Dupre, are still up in the air. That she’s seeking help can only be a good thing after all the obvious pain just beneath the diva act and ass grinding. No one deserves to have a suicide hotline on her speed dial. But she’s not quietly retreating for some time out of the spotlight and therapy. Instead, she’s done what any former reality star might do when faced with a personal crisis. She tells People she’s sought out help from none other than a fellow VH1 star  — “Celebrity Rehab” host Dr. Drew Pinsky. She may no longer be dancing, but don’t expect Danielle Staub to stop thinking of her next move.

Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a staff writer for Salon and the author of "Gimme Shelter: My Three Years Searching for the American Dream." Follow her on Twitter: @embeedub.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.


    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows



Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>