Slade Smiley's Ex Claims He and Gretchen Want to 'Capitalize' on Son's Death


Called out. Slade Smiley’s ex Michelle Arroyo is alleging that the Real Housewives of Orange County alum misrepresented his relationship with their late son, Grayson Smiley-Arroyo, after his death.

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Speaking to TMZ on Sunday, February 19, Arroyo claimed that Smiley, 49, and his fiancée, Gretchen Rossi — with whom he shares daughter Skylar, 3 — “grossly misrepresented the true nature of their relationship with Grayson, which was virtually nonexistent.”

The grieving mother’s allegations came after Rossi, 44, posted social media tributes to Grayson, who died earlier this month. He was 22.

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“Gretchen has posted video after video, including on Valentine’s Day, presenting a flagrantly false image of a loving stepmother to my child when the reality is she has not made the effort to nor seen him in over 10 years, which is why he is 12 years old in every picture she posts,” Arroyo claimed in a Thursday, February 23, statement to People, accusing the Bravolebrities of using Grayson’s death to “capitalize off of a shameless PR campaign to bolster their public image and garner attention.”

She continued: “In the [10] years Gretchen has been engaged to Slade she has only seen Gray a handful of times, mostly in passing, including when Gray was hospitalized in New York and she insisted that Slade leave him and fly home with her, which he did, leaving me alone at a time after a surgery when we thought he would not survive.”


In the Instagram tribute that first sparked controversy between her and Arroyo, Rossi referred to her fiancé’s late son as “an incredible warrior” and “a true beacon of hope.”

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The reality TV personality added: “We are forever grateful for the many lessons learned from this little man and will miss his beautiful spirit immensely.”

Arroyo, for her part, confirmed the news of Grayson’s passing with a social media post of her own, sharing details of his health struggles.

“I’m heartbroken to share that my sweet Gray passed away Sunday night. It was very unexpected as last week he had CSF drawn from his shunts and they adjusted the valve setting of his shunt and he was doing much better,” she wrote via Instagram earlier this month. “We were still struggling with his diarrhea and I was giving him potassium 3 times a day because it was dropping so low. His heart stopped here at home and I performed chest compressions to get it going until the paramedics arrived and took over. When he left for the hospital he looked good and was breathing on his own but his heart gave out again at the hospital.”

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After Grayson’s death, Arroyo also alleged that Smiley hasn’t paid child support since 2019 and owes $152k in outstanding payments. She claimed that the reality TV personality’s behavior in recent years amounted to “inexcusable abuse and neglect.” Us Weekly has reached out to Smiley for comment.

One of Arroyo’s family members, Becky Arroyo, seemingly hinted at Smiley’s lack of financial involvement in the description of a GoFundMe page set up for Grayson’s memorial services.

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“Along with sudden and eternal grief comes a substantial financial cost to his mom who has been his sole care provider and healthcare advocate for over 16 years,” the note reads, seemingly implying that the actor didn’t assist Michelle with medical expenses.

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