'RHONJ' Alums Jim and Amber Marchese Respond to Son's Claim They Refuse to Pay for His College Tuition Because He's Gay
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"He's clearly trying to use Amber's celebrity stature to literally sucker people into paying so this spoiled rich kid can attend an egregiously overpriced no-name school," Jim claims.

UPDATED: 6:33 a.m. on 6/27/19

Jim and Amber Marchese have spoken out about their son's allegations.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Jim denied he was refusing Michael James Marchese's college tuition based on his sexual orientation, saying he simply doesn't want to spend that kind of money on a "no-name college." Jim also feels James is being "selfish" with his college choice, given that he has "four other siblings who also need financial help."

"This has nothing to do with sexuality," Jim told Champion Daily. "It has to do with money. He wants to go to a no name college in Connecticut that costs $275,000 when he doesn't even have a career path that he's focused on versus going to a state school that would cost $40,000. Who pays that much for Fairfield college? If he had gotten into Yale, Harvard, MIT, U Penn, Wharton Business School -- any of the top 20 schools -- we would have a conversation. The idea that he wants to spend $275,000 without regard to the fact that he's got four other siblings who also need financial help is absurd and selfish."

Regarding James' claim that his father began to mentally abuse him after finding out he was gay, which "led to me being removed from his home," Jim said, "We never kicked him out. James chose to live with his mother because she lets him do whatever he wants."

According to James, his mother is unable to co-sign his student loans, but Jim claims "she does have a job and a salary -- as does her current husband -- but they refuse to put in any Money and want it all to fall on Amber and I."

"His complete go fund me page is a fraud," Jim said. "I just paid for him to complete Christian brothers Academy, an elite private school, and for him to complete pre high school at an elite private school at a total expense of $200,000+. His mother did not pay any of it."

"He's clearly trying to use Amber's celebrity stature to literally sucker people into paying so this spoiled rich kid can attend an egregiously overpriced no name school," he added. "He's under court order currently to meet with me three times a week for dinner and to go to therapy because he has been deemed to be 'troubled' and he's refused to attend court ordered therapy or the dinners for nearly the last year."

Regarding the "gay related material" Amber allegedly found on James' brother's phone, Jim said, "The way we found out that Michael was even gay was that his younger brother Sebastian, who is age 14, received this rancid nasty gay porn on his phone and computer while we were watching a family movie with his younger siblings. The reason it was sent to Sebastian was that some of my older sons senior friends at Christian brothers academy wanted to gang bang Sebastian. They even sent him a video on the discord -- new Snapchat for kids -- called three gentlemen slam jamming where two guys were raping a third. They specifically said 'his a--hole is mine.' They were preying on him."

Jim concluded his lengthy defense by saying, "In the end this has nothing to do with sexual orientation. It has to do with money which again his mother, grandparents, etc will put no money into. No one believes this is a good investment which is why no one is co-signing. The go fund me page again is a scam. Even if he gets the first year where is he coming up with the rest of the money? He'd have to do a go fund me every year. Also one other thing -- it's a Jesuit school so think about that. He just wants to go there because his friends are. And that's that."

Amber also released a statement, saying she was "really upset" that her stepson "chose to make this public."

"We tried to keep it out of the public for a reason so Michael can heal from past traumas (that have NOTHING to do with being gay and/or a member of the LGBTQ community) that have happened to him," she said. "I have said since day one since we found out that we love him, we adore him, and we want the best for him."

"What he's doing is called extortion," she continued, "as he is using my public platform coupled with him being gay in order to try to get us to pay for something. Also, it would be wise to not forget that Jim and I have put all four of our kids through private school which is an expensive investment (almost a half million spent already) coupled with the fact that I am a two time breast cancer survivor. I have paid out of pocket hundreds of thousands of dollars in order to ensure that I am cancer free and stay healthy for ALL four of my children."

Echoing her husband's sentiments, Amber added, "His college choice simply isn't a wise purchase. Michael can go to any other college that is more economical that would make financial sense for our family, but he cannot browbeat us into paying for something that we just cannot afford. Also, one other thing I think it's important to mention, is that Jim and I both made it very clear to him that if he is gay, we would still welcome him with open arms into our family and would not love him any differently and certainly we would never kick him out of our home because of it."

"It's sad to me that he would choose to use his sexual orientation in an effort to make Jim and I look bad, when the crux of the issue has nothing to do with sexual orientation whatsoever," she concluded. "It's sad, but his lack of respect, love, or empathy for his entire family is apparent and this saddens me deeply."

ORIGINAL STORY: 1:22 p.m. on 6/26/19

Over the years, Jim and Amber Marchese have made headlines for various reasons (their explosive season on "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," their time on "Marriage Boot Camp," alleged domestic disputes), but today's reason -- if true -- takes the cake.

Jim is allegedly refusing to pay for his son's college tuition because of his sexual orientation.

According to Instinct magazine, James Marchese (Michael James Marchese) had his heart set on attending Fairfield University in Connecticut this fall, but Jim said he wouldn't pay for it after finding out that James was gay. The publication claims James consequently set up a GoFundMe page to help raise the $35,000 he still needs to fund his freshman year.

According to Instinct, James' stepmom, Amber, found "gay related material on his brother's phone," prompting both boys to come out to their parents. This is when James claims "mental abuse" began and financial support was pulled.

"At the beginning of 2018, my father 'found out' I was gay," James explains on his GoFundMe page. "This began two weeks of mental abuse that led to me being removed from his home when I told my Mom (her and my father are divorced) and went to court with her. Since this time, 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 so that I could get something out of it from my mother. 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."

"All of this has not made me give up though as I have worked extremely hard my Senior year to get as much assistance with schooling that I possibly can through scholarships and the like," James continues. "I also began working the summer of 2018 and continued to throughout the school year so that I can begin saving money for college. Even with all of my efforts, I have fallen short of the money I would need to be able to go to the college I have been working extremely hard to get into."

"For Fairfield University, for one year, is around ~65,000 dollars," he says. "The reason I am only asking for 35,000 is because, through my focus on my studies through this year, I have been able to get Merit Scholarships for around ~30,000 dollars of that cost. I was able to be exempt from all of my Final Exams this year as well as getting an average of 95 for my final year in high school. I did not only work and study this year as I also was the Stage Manager for my high school's theater company for their fall and spring production. Being the Stage Manager required me to stay after school Monday through Friday till as late as 10 pm in preparation for the shows."

"At this current time, I am unable to get a co-signer for my student loans and is the main reason I have decided to create a gofundme page to try and help raise money for my Freshman Year," James goes on. "Since my Mom has taken on full financial responsibility for myself and my brother (he left my dad's home at the same time I did) she can't co-sign for the loan and, as said earlier, my father refuses to offer any help. I hope to have the ability to take out the loans myself for my Sophomore Year of college as I am currently working to build up a credit score and will continue to work during the school year so that I can continue to save money to put towards college. The 35,000 dollars that I am asking for would go directly to paying my first year's tuition and all the expenses for board, books, etc."

But James is striving to make lemonade out of these lemons.

"I hope to take what has happened with my father and turn it into something positive," he says. "Earlier this month, I was a part of a student panel that talked about the importance of having an inclusive classroom for LGBT+ students. Through Fairfield, I hope to be able to expand upon my want/ability to help others who feel alone in the world. I want to be able to help other teenagers and students to feel safer being who they are so that they don't have to feel like the whole world is against them."

"Again, I thank you immensely for taking the time out of your day to view this page. It is honestly okay if you're unable to donate to this as there are a plethora of things I could only imagine you having to pay in your lives. I ask that, if you can't donate, you spread my story so that others can help," the message concludes.

In response to the story, Andy Cohen -- who reportedly fired Jim and Amber from "RHONJ" after just one season -- tweeted, "I wish I could say I was surprised. Pathetic."

TooFab has reached out to Jim and Amber for comment.

In December of last year, Jim came under fire for defending Kevin Hart's homophobic tweets that cost the comedian his 2019 Oscars hosting gig.

"NO STRAIGHT MALE wants his son to be gay," Jim wrote at the time. "A gay son is a curse that takes away your #family traditions #heritage #lgtbiq is a a parents nightmare that destroys families. Ruins holidays like #Christmas #KevinHart we support you! #LiberalismIsAMentalDisorder."

Jim's response to the swift backlash was to double down.

"First: bigots are intolerant of others opinions. The comments below prove you are all bigots. Second, not one comment from a straight male who has sons. Third; Europe is importing muslim men because #lgtbiq has caused a crisis due to lack of children being born," he wrote. "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."

The last tweet of Jim's rant included a shot at Andy.

"Thoughts: over 1.2 million views of my tweets in 5 days & 99.9% don't disagree, about 400 #lgtbiq making 1000 nasty comments. 20% of comments from outside USA," Jim tweeted. "I beat #rhonj ratings. Sorry @andy @bravo #fatherscurse #LoveWins for man & wife create life #SaveTheChildren #marketing."

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