Slade Smiley has some words of his own for Tamra Barney, Vicki Gunvalson, and anyone else who's fired daggers in his direction.
"The most disheartening was obviously the whole ‘deadbeat dad' accusation," Slade, the longtime squeeze of Real Housewives of Orange County's Gretchen Rossi, shares with Wetpaint. "That was the hardest on me, because I had full-custody of my kids, and I fought for full custody of my son."
Slade's son Grayson suffers from diffuse fibrillary astrocytoma and a brain tumor, and once the economy took a nose dive, Slade explains that he could no longer keep up with the 11-year-old's mounting medical bills and his previously set child support. He's filed for reduction of support and says, "I was ordered to pay almost $4,000 a month, which means the first $8,000 I make, half goes to taxes, half goes to support. So I'd have to be making 20 to 30 grand a month to keep up with that type of order. And I just don't have that type of job anymore."
Now trying his hand at radio hosting, Slade admits the negative "deadbeat" buzz was just another blow to his pocket. "It affected my ability to earn for my son. A lot of my contracts, they got cancelled. So by those girls, using me as content, and making those accusations, they literally hurt my ability to earn for my son. If they were so concerned about him, why would you make such public accusations? If you want to help, do a charity event. Come and ask me what the truth really is. How can we all work together to help him and kids like him?"
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