N.J. Housewife Danielle Says Criminal Allegations Are ‘Embellished’

06/02/2009 at 12:00 AM EDT

Danielle Staub is speaking out about allegations that she was involved in a kidnapping and extortion plot in the '80s - sort of.

Making her first public appearance since the out-of-print book Cop Without a Badge surfaced -- which features a mugshot and sordid details connecting her to stripping and cocaine -- on the Today show Tuesday morning, the Real Housewives of New Jersey star says she'll clear up everything in time.

"I can only touch on the rumors," Staub, 46, said on the show. "I can just say, it's out there and it will be addressed. And I will definitely touch on all the subjects that are crucially in need of touching on at the time when the time is right."

"Everybody has someone in their past or present that would like to say embellished, nasty things about them," Staub said, when pressed by Today host Hoda Kotb to address the "weird stuff" and "secrets" from her past that have only briefly surfaced on episodes of the reality show.

Appearing alongside her castmates Caroline and Dina Manzo, and a pregnant Teresa Giudice on the morning show, Staub says that she is pleased with her rising public profile, and she said the attention from fans felt like coming home to her family. Fellow castmate - and Staub's confidante -- Jacqueline Laurita was scheduled to appear on the Today show as well, but cohost Kathie Lee Gifford announced that she was about to give birth to her third child imminently. --Brian Orloff

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