June 6, 2013 214 Comments
Laurita’s entire story line, which involved troubles with her daughter Ashley, has disappeared following Ashley’s departure from the show. “Producers have been showing all the ladies private footage of what they have all been saying behind each others’ backs hoping to bring Jacqueline and Caroline into the drama,” an insider tells me. “But so far, they have kept their cool on camera and saved the drama for Twitter, not TV.” – Huffington Post on December 3, 2011
In the trailer for RHONJ season 5, there is a clip of Jacqueline Laurita with her daughter Ashlee Holmes where Jacqueline says:
“Did you ever think we’d be here two years later…”
According to sources, Ashlee was home for two months while Bravo was taping season 5 and probably will have a minor storyline. She came home to New Jersey in early December 2012 and went back to Los Angeles in early February 2013, staying with her boyfriend.
In the beginning of season 4, Ashlee was forced from her family home and dropped off at the airport by Albie, who didn’t even carry her bags for her. Ashlee missed the flight and came back home that day, where Jacqueline was hosting a party, probably to celebrate Ashlee’s departure.
In past seasons, the Manzos and Lauritas liked to point out Ashlee’s flaws, but at least, unlike the Manzo kids, she is trying to make it on her own. Caroline and Al bought the store Cafface for Lauren, who probably hired people to run it for her, and, of course, Uncle Chris Laurita is the mastermind behind blk, stealing the idea from others and then using autism as a platform to promote the product on Bravo.
Season 3 is when Ashlee’s mother Jacqueline staged a public intervention and gave the Manzos and Greg an opportunity to mock her daughter on camera.
The 4-on-1 epic put-down fest, in which both sets of Ashley’s parents gathered together to tell her what a spoiled brat she is. To my surprise, however, the second half of the intervention brunch was a much more civil affair. Well, as civil as things get amongst Garden State guidos. Even worse, Jacqueline Laurita came off as the psycho mom and made Ashley look positively level-headed by comparison. But the Lauritas aren’t the only ones who are pissed at Ashley. Caroline Manzo‘s daughter, Lauren, asked Ashley to design some promotional t-shirts with more than a month’s notice. So basically, Ashley had a month to draw some pictures, and she didn’t do it. Lauren is definitely her mother’s daughter, so when Ashley comes bouncing into a meeting empty-handed with her jowly, bulldog grin and stupid Lindsay Lohan hat, Lauren has no interest in joining her pity party. Lauren lets her have it. [Source]
During episode 13 of season 3, Lauren berated Ashlee about being late in designing t-shirts for Lauren’s makeup-line, FACE, featured in her booth at a store in Franklin Lakes called Chateau, where Lauren was a makeup artist for a day — she quit the day after the grand opening because, according to her, she wasn’t respected [Chateau later closed and now is the location of Lauren's store Cafface, which she owns with her mother]. Jacqueline even addressed this in her Bravo blog for that episode:
“I thought it was very nice of Lauren to ask Ashley to design her T-shirts for her grand opening at Chateau for her new business. I’m so proud of Lauren. She has come a long way in the past two years with her business and in her life. She will be a very successful woman. She is a very creative and talented make-up artist. I think Lauren was disappointed in the designs Ashley presented to her, because not only did she not design anything from Lauren’s vision that they had previously discussed, but also because it showed that Ashley didn’t put any time or effort into them. Lauren is well aware of what Ashley is capable of drawing, and she was TRYING to give Ashley a chance to shine. Why wasn’t Ashley taking advantage of that? I just don’t get it! Ashley had plenty of time to do it and do it well. Lauren was right, Ashley did tell me she did those sketches in her car before she walked into that meeting with Lauren. I was upset about that, but I did my best not to say anything to her about it. I gave Ashley a few reminders here and there to get it done but that only annoyed her, so I decided to leave it alone.” – Jacqueline Laurita, August 15, 2011, Faking It
The following is a recap of that episode:
Cousin Lauren, a newly minted makeup artist with an alleged store that sells her makeup line, FACE, and her handbag line, Chateau Face, joined the spree. The setup was thus. Ashley, per a few grandfather-praised sketches shown for our benefit, is apparently a talented artist. (The sketches revealed pastels of women’s faces in the tradition of Virginia Slims ads in the ’70s, which is to say Ashley is still miles ahead of any Housewife in the entire franchise in terms of native talent.) Lauren needs a T-shirt design for her alleged makeup line. Ashley is tapped. I’m not even going to get into how a half-hour of Google-searching — decades in pre-digital research years — yielded no further information on Lauren’s lines other than that they may be procured at a pre-existing salon in Franklin Lakes. (If anyone can find more than the bare-bones Facebook page with 17 Likes and a brief mention of a “launch” with her brothers and mother present, please talk to me.) I’m only going to point out that flipping through Ashley’s sketchbook and cuttingly saying, “No. No. No,” is only appropriate if you’re auditioning for the role of Anna Wintour in a community theater production of “The Devil Wears Prada” and already playing to the cheap seats.
Ashlee tells her mother, “You lecture me about how I act and how I do this and that, but it’s, like, I’m 20 and I don’t have a kid.” She tries to turn it around by telling Jacqueline that she must have done a good job raising her, because, hey, she’s not knocked up! In her confessional, she says that Jacqueline likes to talk about the sacrifices she’s made for her, but the moment she decided to keep Ashley was the moment Jacqueline chose to be responsible for her. “So I don’t think any of that should be held against me,” Ashlee says.
Jacqueline and Chris Laurita chat with Matt and his wife Jodi about Ashley’s plans to move to California, mentioned earlier in the episode. (“I want to be somewhere that I can just focus on me and not have to hear parents in this ear saying all this stuff that I should be doing,” she said earlier. “In California, I can just focus on me and see what I want from me.”)
Matt tells them that he recently got a text from Ashleey: “I’m going to California. Are you going to pay for it or not?” He also says that Ashley flunked all of her courses at community college last year: “She has yet to show she can start or finish anything on her own.” Chris suggests they all take Ashley to a back room and beat her up. When he says this, he is smiling perhaps the only genuine smile I have seen form him in three seasons.
As Ashlee’s father Matt talks, Jacqueline makes a hand gesture to him meaning, this is going over Ashlee’s head. Ashlee sees this and is annoyed. (Rightfully so. ) A bit later, Jacqueline brings up Lauren Manzo’s decision to have Ashlee design a T-shirt for her makeup bar as proof that people believe in her. “That’s, like, not my style, what she’s making me do,” Ashlee whines. “Like, that’s why I need help. She only wants that design and, like, I don’t even, like, know how to … That’s why I have to go see a graphic artist. I’m, like, I don’t know what she’s talking about. Like, I do, but, like, I don’t. Like, it’s weird.”
As Ashlee is fighting back tears, everyone switches tack, telling her she also needs to show some more respect for them. “Just act like you give a (crap) about other people than yourself,” Matt tells her. Jacqueline tells her she feels Ashlee doesn’t respect her enough to listen to what she has to say. And that’s when Ashlee drops the “Don’t lecture me about responsibility, Miss Unplanned Pregnancy 1991.”
Jacqueline gets huffy, saying she worked hard to take care of Ashlee and was certainly more responsible when she was 20. Some back-and-forth must have gotten cut here, because suddenly Ashlee, referencing a request her mother made earlier in the episode to babysit her brothers, says, “You’re missing my entire point, and then you give me attitude. I didn’t choose to have C.J. and Nicholas. You chose to have C.J. and Nicholas.”
Jacqueline starts to lose it. “You don’t do a goddamn thing. If I ask you to watch your brother for an hour, you watch your brother for an hour. You should want to help me because I’m helping you.” Ashlee is sort of crying and laughing now: “You don’t stop and then you wonder where I get it from?” Matt tells her she needs to get that chip off her shoulder.
“She is the most disrespectful brat that I’ve ever seen in my life,” Jacqueline says, gathering her things. “You don’t appreciate a goddamn thing anybody does for you. Nothing. You continue to treat me like I’m a piece of (crap). So you know what? Why don’t you get out of my house because I don’t need to be living with someone who feels that way about it.” Then Jacqueline leaves the table.
Ashlee starts crying to Chris, Jodi and Matt that her mother makes her look like a bitch. Chris says that Jacqueline made a lot of sacrifices for Ashlee, and she feels like Ashlee hates her. Matt is more blunt: “You need to know when to shut the hell up. You know damn good and well if you pulled that (crap) and tipped your head and rolled your eyes, I’d snatch you by the neck.”
Chris finds Jacqueline sobbing in the basement. “I’m done, I swear to God,” says Jacqueline.
RealityTVBliss outlined their theory on why Ashlee was not on season 4: