Cityscape

Real Housewife Teresa Giudice meets superfans in Westport

Presley Busenbarrick, left, and Donna Leap meet Real Housewife Teresa Giudice at a book signing in Westport on Saturday.
Presley Busenbarrick, left, and Donna Leap meet Real Housewife Teresa Giudice at a book signing in Westport on Saturday. jsmith@kcstar.com

Presley Busenbarrick, 17, of Atchison just may be Teresa Giudice’s most fervent Kansas fan.

He has followed her since 2009, when reality show The Real Housewives of New Jersey (RHONJ) began on Bravo, and he even briefly changed his Facebook name to Presley Giudice. He did a book report on Giudice’s new book, “Turning the Tables: From Housewife to Inmate and Back Again,” for English 3 at his private school.

And he was ever hopeful that one day he would meet her, even signing up for email alerts with “Teresa Giudice and Kansas.” That paid off a week ago when he got notice she would be doing a Kansas City book signing on June 10, sponsored by the new Westport Ice Cream Bakery. One of the partners is from New Jersey.

Presley was first to buy tickets, $100 for a meet-and-greet and gift bag that included her new book.

About 250 people attended the event, some paying just $50 for a book and autograph.

“She’s so determined and just how much she loves her family. She seems like me and you,” he said as he waited in line to see her in a private event space at Dempsey’s Burger Pub. He brought his best friend, Echo Growney, for “moral support.”

“He called me and said this is what is happening and we are going,” said Echo, 16, also of Atchison. “Since fifth grade it has been Teresa, Teresa, Teresa.”

They bonded with longtime Real Housewives fan Donna Leap of Kansas City, who described herself as being on the older side compared to the teenage fans. But she said the Real Housewives series helps bring the generations together.

“Do you think Melissa and Teresa are going to be good for now?” she asked Presley, discussing the latest dramas and resolutions on the show.

Giudice spent a few minutes with each superfan, posing for a photo and then giving them a hug and thanking them for coming. Presley was shaking as he checked his cell phone photo with Giudice, seemingly overwhelmed.

She arrived Friday night, staying at The Raphael Hotel for her first time in Kansas City and dining at Eddie V’s Prime Seafood before heading to Manifesto. She also spent time shopping at Victoria’s Secret on the Country Club Plaza.

Joyce Smith: 816-234-4692, @JoyceKC

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