Slade Smiley and Gretchen Rossi are getting called out!
Earlier this month, the Real Housewives of Orange County alums mourned the unexpected death of his and ex Michelle Arroyo’s 22-year-old son Grayson Smiley-Arroyo after his long battle with brain cancer. Gretchen posted several tributes to Grayson since the news broke – most recently, writing on Instagram for Valentine’s Day:
“On this Valentines Day we want to honor & remember our sweetest little Valentine Grayson. Cannot say thank you enough to whomever at @entertainmenttonight took the time to find this footage and make such a beautiful compilation of Slade & Gray together. It brought us to tears. Thank you all for the love, texts, messages, gifts, flowers, & especially prayers during this difficult time. We have felt your love & the Lord’s arms wrapped around us. Our hearts will never understand why loved ones like Grayson are taken so early from us, but we find comfort in knowing he is now with our Heavenly Father, in a healed body, no longer in pain, smiling and dancing like he was always meant to be doing.”
While the tributes are very sweet, Michelle is not buying it and slamming the couple for “capitalizing” off Grayson’s death! Speaking with TMZ on Sunday, his mom claimed Gretchen and Slade have “grossly misrepresented the true nature of their relationship with Grayson, which was virtually nonexistent.” In fact, she said neither of them has made the effort to see Grayson in the past 10 years! Not only did Gretchen and Slade allegedly didn’t make an effort with her son, but Michelle also alleged that she had to hire attorneys since her ex has owed her $152,000 in child support since 2019. OMG!
On top of that, it sounds like Michelle has been through a lot, telling the outlet she lost her home, business, and life savings while taking care of Grayson, who had been battling cancer since 6 years old, alone. Ultimately, the momma said she refuses to remain silent about the years of “inexcusable behavior and neglect” from Slade, noting that all that Grayson wanted was a relationship with his father at the end of the day. So, so sad.
A GoFundMe was created by Becky Arroyo to help cover the medical costs and “expenses related to Gray’s memorial services.” Any extra donations will be given to the Amazing Gray Foundation. She noted Michelle has dealt with the “substantial financial cost” by herself and was the “sole care provider and healthcare advocate” for Grayson. Housewives Tamra Judge and Teddi Mellencamp, who donated $500 each to the fundraiser, even touched on Michelle’s comments on their Two T’s in a Pod podcast. Tamra said:
“It’s heartbreaking and I know Slade lost his son and that’s hard, but Michelle was his prime caregiver. She never said much while Grayson was alive, but now that he’s not, I think she’s had it. Gretchen just got a big chunk of money for being on Ultimate Girls Trip and Michelle is having to go through a GoFundMe to pay for his services.”
But for his part, a source close to the couple fired back and claimed Michelle isn’t telling the full story. They even accused her of being the one trying to “capitalize on this tragedy,” telling Page Six on Wednesday:
“It is really sad that Michelle continues to try and capitalize on this tragedy and defraud the public while continuing to sling mud at a grieving father who just lost a piece of his heart.”
The insider insisted that Slade was “a loving and caring father,” but his legal support ended on Grayson’s 18th birthday:
“Gray turned 18 in 2018 ending legal support at that time, despite which fact Slade has always taken care of his son.”
As for his alleged “nonexistent” relationship with Grayson? The source claimed that Michelle “interfered” with the television personality getting to see his child “leading up to his very last days” despite his “endless attempts” to arrange a visit. TMZ noted there are multiple texts and emails showing Slade asking Michelle to see Grayson – only to be denied.
Insiders told the outlet that Slade and his daughter with Gretchen tried to see him a week before he passed away. However, he never saw Grayson again and had to say goodbye to him in the morgue. Oof. The statement to Page Six concluded:
“The list of false accusations goes on and on, but the sheer fact that she would scoop this low to use this tragedy for attention and to swindle good natured people out of money is pathetic and really sad.”
What a sad situation, especially since they are all in the process of grieving this devastating loss. Reactions? Let us know in the comments below.