Jim Marchese, who is married to Amber Marchese and appeared on “Real Housewives of New Jersey” in 2014, is being accused of refusing to pay for his son’s college tuition because of his son’s sexual orientation.
James Michael Marchese, 19, set up a GoFundMe page on June 15, asking for $35,000 to help pay for his college tuition at Fairfield University, where a year’s tuition, room and board and fees can total around $65,000.
“At the beginning of 2018, my father ‘found out’ I was gay,” he wrote on the site. “… My father has been slowly cutting ties with me until I ‘live according to his standards.’ Essentially, this meant — and still means — that I have to be ‘straight’ and date women while ‘admitting’ that I chose to be gay … With this, my father has refused to help in paying for any schooling because he believes I have to live in his home and follow his preferred life-style to be good enough to receive any financial assistance with school.”
He has since gained support from Bravolebrities including Danielle Staub (who made a $5 donation), Ariana Madix ($500) and Lisa Vanderpump ($10).
A source close the Marchese family told us that Jim is refusing to pay for James’ tuition at Fairfield because he has four children and does not want to pay that amount for each child.
James told Page Six on Thursday that he has “been working really hard these past two years to try to get as many scholarships as [he] can” to attend Fairfield.
“With not being able to get a co-signer for student loans and me not being able to just take out student loans without a co-signer, I turned to GoFundMe to try raise money just for the rest of the cost for my first year of tuition, because I’m currently working to build up my credit score, so that I can just take out a loan without the co-signer next year and the subsequent years as well,” he said.
Page Six uncovered in court documents that James’ mother Rebecca Grande — known then as Rebecca L. DePeri — is unable to contribute to his tuition because she filed for bankruptcy in October 2005. Grande was charged with stealing more than $780,000 from clients while working as an operator at a title insurance agency in 2009, per a local news report. She was also indicted and pled guilty to stealing money from Erika Farrantan and her family in 2012. She was ordered to pay over $32,000 in restitution in the matter, per a court judgment obtained by Page Six.
James said that he was aware that the school is costly, but it “feels like a home” to him.
He added that he has had little contact with Jim, 50, since 2018 when Jim found out about his son’s sexual orientation after reading text messages on his cell phone.
Jim came under fire last December for making anti-LGBTQ comments in response to Kevin Hart stepping down from his gig as Oscars host after a series of old homophobic tweets written by the comedian resurfaced.
“So true NO STRAIGHT MALE wants his son to be gay. A gay son is a curse that takes away your #family traditions #heritage #lgtbiq is a parents (sic) nightmare that destroys families. Ruins holidays like #Christmas #KevinHart we support you! #LiberalismIsAMentalDisorder,” Jim tweeted at the time.
“For those pushing #LGTBIQ agenda show me a single credible study which links genetics. Being gay is a physical act derived in sexual deviance by definition. No one is born gay it is a lifestyle choice like being vegan. Get over it. You are #FakeNews.”
Jim declined to comment and Grande did not return multiple requests for comment.
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