Vicki Gunvalson, one of the original members of the Real Housewives of Orange County, is dating a Southern gentleman embroiled in a controversy with ABC.
Gunvalson, who lives in Coto de Caza, where most of the reality show's original cast members resided when the series premiered, recently filed for divorce from her husband, Donn, and put her house up for sale, according to her biography for the Bravo TV network show.
Her new love is Brooks Ayers of Mississippi, who has been met with suspicion by Gunvalson's adult children.
In a 20/20 news segment, ABC cited Ayers' relationship with Nicolette Catanzarite and basically portrayed Ayers as a deadbeat dad. Ayers promptly threatened to sue over what he claimed was a false report.
On Tuesday, ABC posted a follow-up on its website, essentially backtracking and conceding several mistakes of fact in the original segment.
This is what ABC had to say:
This is a follow-up to a 20/20 report broadcast June 29, 2012, concerning Brooks Ayers of "Real Housewives of Orange County."
The report said, among other things, that Ayers had left his former girlfriend Nicolette Catanzarite with unpaid medical bills relating to the birth of their son Joey in December 2008, that Ayers had not visited or communicated with Joey since he was 5 or 6 months old, and that Catanzarite had been unable to locate Ayers until he was first referred to on "Real Housewives" in 2011.
We want to clarify that Ayers' insurance paid for most of Joey's medical expenses arising from the birth, although not Catanzarite's; that Ayers provided rent money and certain other expenses to Catanzarite for a time after Joey was born; and that Ayers saw Joey a number of times after their breakup in May 2009, the last being July or August 2010 when Joey was 19 or 20 months old. We also wanted to clarify that Ayers and Catanzarite have communicated periodically since that time, and that when Catanzarite was in California in January 2012, she met with Ayers and his girlfriend.
In a statement to ABC, Ayers says that he "hopes to resolve his disputes with Nicolette soon."
Meanwhile, Gunvalson moves on to her seventh season of Real Housewives with Ayers at her side.