Dina Manzo’s Feud with Jacqueline and Caroline Stems from Project Ladybug Plus Other Theories (Updated October 31, 2014)
According to an inside source:
The Laurita siblings are crazy: being one of 11 kids with varying age differences doesn’t assure a close knit. Caroline and Dina, along with some of their other siblings, were estranged from their brother Joseph for over a decade. When Joseph’s 25-year-old son, Frankie Laurita (photo below), died suddenly in 2008, only Chris, Anthony, Jaime and Anne Laurita Ricks on the Laurita side of the family where mentioned in his original obituary (the other Laurita family members were added to later obituaries). Caroline, Dina and their mother Nettie highlighted their estrangement in their online condolence messages [they mentioned how they remembered him as a little boy]. Before his death, Frankie worked as a marketing executive for Joseph and Chris’ company Signature Apparel [which was forced into bankruptcy protection by its creditors in 2009 – a lawsuit against the Laurita brothers is still pending]. Chris has a tattoo on his wrist in memory of Frankie, and his son Nicholas’ middle name also is in his nephew’s memory. Caroline is closest to Chris, and she spends a lot of time with his sons; she is CJ’s godmother. Likewise, Chris is close to Caroline’s children. In Caroline’s book, Let Me Tell You Something, she revealed that a few years ago her then 71-year-old mother decided to leave Caroline’s father (see photo of parents above) and she moved in with Caroline; their father didn’t attend Christmas at Caroline’s house that year because of the separation.
On October 13, 2012, during part 3 of the season 4 reunion special, Dina tweeted her frustration that Caroline and Jacqueline portray her as “the bad guy,” and she wrote that her estrangement from two of her siblings, Chris and Caroline, has nothing to do with Teresa:
“#bullshit #bullshit #bullshit. I have 11 siblings I stay away from 2 of them. Do the math. I’m not going to say negative things about my siblings & go into why we don’t speak. But it’s not fair how they portray me as they bad guy. Not fair at all and it only fuels the hurt… I’ll end it at that. Turning the tv off now. Do you think for a second if I felt love from them I would stay away?? This has nothing to do with Teresa BTW.”
October 2014 Updates: See the last comment in this blog post for updates on the feud between Dina Manzo and Jacqueline Laurita and Jim Marchese’s attempt to disgrace Dina and her charity, Project Ladybug. Also see the last comment in the blog post “Jacqueline Laurita Tells Tabloids That Dina Manzo Wants Bravo to Fire Her So Dina Can Return to RHONJ” for more 2014 updates.
December 4, 2013 Update: In an exclusive interview with In Touch, Dina revealed that she and Caroline are “totally fine,” adding that anger has been replaced by civility, if not warm and fuzzy friendship:
“When we see each other, we kiss each other hello. We just don’t hang out for Sunday dinner, that’s all.”
Now that wombs have been cleaned up, and the sisters are back together, Dina says she recently spent quality time with Caroline and her newly engaged daughter, Lauren.
“I will be at Lauren’s wedding,” Dina told In Touch.
“If Caroline needed me and called me tomorrow, I would be there. I love my sister. I will always love her.”
The following is the original blog post, which was published on October 13, 2013.
On October 9, 2013, Dina Manzo spoke with In Touch at the New York Celebrity Pet Lounge at The Roger Smith Hotel in NYC regarding rumors that she is in serious talks with Bravo to return to RHONJ.
Dina confirmed that Bravo asked her to join the cast for season 6:
“I have been offered, I can say that. I’m considering it. And they let me know who’s coming back and who’s not coming back this season, and asked me if I would join, and I am considering it, I will say.”
Dina explained that she is considering Bravo’s offer now that they “let her know who’s coming back and who’s not coming back this season.” Clearly, her decision to join the cast is based on the fact that her sister Caroline Manzo and sister-in-law Jacqueline Laurita will not be returning for season 6:
“I never wanted to go back and fight with my family. They’d probably always love to have me back, and you know, I never wanted to do that. Now that Caroline is leaving for her own pilot, and I’m assuming Jacqueline’s going with her too, you know, I would never want to be public with issues with my family.”
Dina told In Touch that right now the chances of her taking up Bravo’s offer are “fifty-fifty.”
As far as having regrets about leaving the show, Dina said:
“At the time I didn’t, no, not at all. It involved really personal things at that point. And I could never fight with my family in public. So we’ll work out our issues in private. We had a lot of fun seasons. I don’t blame anything or anyone, and I’m positive my family’s going to come out of it.”
It is a well-known fact that the relationship between Dina and Caroline is strained, and probably has been made worse with Dina’s announcement on October 3, 2013 that she and Teresa Giudice are hosting an event for Dina’s Project Ladybug charity on November 11, 2013 at The Venetian in Garfield, NJ (see images below).
Dina Manzo @dinamanzo 8 Oct
Come meet me & @Teresa_Giudice (& more!) Help us raise money for children in need! Get ur early bird tickets here! http://projectladybug.eventbrite.com
This charity has been a source of contention in the Laurita family. According to an insider at RealityTea on March 10, 2012, most likely Jacqueline, the Laurita sisters started the charity together in 2007, the year Dina and Caroline signed contracts for RHONJ, but Dina took it over for herself during taping of the first season in 2008:
“Project Ladybug was a charity started by ALL the Laurita sisters. When Dina went on the show [RHONJ], she took it over as if she was the founder and the blood, sweat, and tears behind it. She wanted the glory and the attention associated with Project Ladybug. She wanted to look like the hero.”
Caroline and their other sister, Cookie Laurita, allowed Dina to take the lead and downplayed their involvement, but Dina “only speaks of Project Ladybug as if it were her own.”
Apparently, now that Dina’s Party has come along, Dina barely spends any time on the charity she once claimed to love, and has skipped events to promote her party planning and decorating ventures. The source points to Dina’s twitter account as proof that she has lost interest in the charity. “It is sad but Dina used it to get herself out there more,” the source shares.
Dina made a brief appearance at the Chicago launch of the charity last year and has done nothing more to support the cause. “Dina did nothing for that event but show up,” the source adds.
When asked on Twitter what the Laurita sibling rift was about, Danielle Staub confirmed on October 3, 2013 that it was over Project Ladybug:
The Project Ladybug Fund at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital was founded by Dina Manzo, star of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, in 2007 to provide “Make a Wish”-type services to patients being treated for pediatric cancer and blood disorders. Through ongoing initiatives including day trips to Sesame Place and sporting events, gifts such as laptop computers and toys for patients, and financial assistance to families in need, the Project Ladybug Fund at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital has become an important resource to these patients and their families as they face lengthy treatment regimens.
On September 30, 2010, Jacqueline went to LynnNChicago with a story that Project Ladybug was not a legitimate charity, and this caused problems for Dina just as the project was getting up and running.
“Dina Manzo’s temper got the better of her once again this week as people have been questioning her Project Ladybug charity. A document that I posted a few days ago, that I received from a Twitter friend (@Geoaubsmom), has sparked the interest of many people questioning how their donations to Project Ladybug are being used… Between the parody accounts and the Project Ladybug.pdf getting tweeted often by me to followers, different people, including Dina, she got fed up. Dina started on a tirade about haters and tweetholes… If Project Ladybug is completely legitimate, Dina Manzo should have nothing to hide; her anger and using sick children to gain sympathy for her cause really has to make you question what she’s doing here.” – Lynn Hudson, September 29, 2010, LynnNChicago101.wordpress.com (The Story That Started Charitygate)
Apparently there was an issue with Dina’s charity where something was filled out incorrectly on a tax form, and Jacqueline, hiding behind the title of ‘inside source’, gave the story to blogger Lynn Hudson of LynnNChicago (who passed away from a heart attack on August 16, 2012). Jacqueline made it seem like Dina’s charity was a fraud, and Caroline wasn’t saying or doing anything to stop the bad press Dina was receiving. Dina went on Caroline’s Twitter page and tweeted support for herself as Caroline; in response, Lauren went and said that Caroline’s Twitter had been hacked (basically denying that they were supporting Dina).
To make matters worse, Caroline did not publicly back Dina; in fact, she seemed to do just the opposite. From RealCityHousewife’s blog on September 30, 2010:
One of my twitter friends began questioning the finances of Dina’s charity Project LadyBug. You can read Laura a.k.a geoaubsmom a.k.a #LauraM‘s full account of what happened on Lynn’s blog.
The short version of part of the story is that Laura called the charity. No one picked up and her call went to a voice mailbox that was full.
After Laura tweeted that she called the charity, Dina tweeted this:
@jennifersale no worries Mama~I’m on it. They r basically being charged w slander &harassment When they start calling me, they’re askin 4it
Guys I LOVE u but no need to defend, Laura M is now turned over to the proper authorities & will be dealt with accordingly. Thank you!
This tweet led to a whole lot of twitter speculation over who the “proper authorities” are. Phone police? Twitter police? Manzo Mob?
Here are a couple more tweets from Dina:
Yes tweetholes, I will call u out on your nastiness if I’m in the mood & erase it after u read it. U don’t deserve the followers u may get.
In a world w such serious issues as childhood cancer & suicide~certain people still choose to spend their time being hateful. MIND BOGGLING
Do you think she yells at Jacqueline, Ashley, Teresa or Caroline about the amount of time they spend being hateful towards Danielle instead of doing volunteer work?
Caroline tweeted this:
But then later there was this tweet from Caroline’s account:
hi guys! its @laurenmanzo some1 hacked into my moms account and wrote the “please stop” tweet..i changed her password evrything is fine!
On October 5, 2010, Lynn Hudson did a follow-up blog on the Project Ladybug scandal:
As most of you know, there have recently been some questions regarding Dina Manzo’s charity, Project Ladybug. Simple questions turned into a fury of accusations and name calling on twitter over the past week with Dina’s fans choosing to live in the dark and not know the truth while others questioned what is really going on at Project Ladybug. At the front of the line asking questions was Laura aka @Geoaubsmom wanting to review financial records from this public charity, as is her right.
Never missing a thing, radio personality Carly Hall caught wind of the debate and asked me to join her discussion on her show along with Laura (@geoaubsmom) to see if we could clarify the details of what has happened to date.
That interview (approximately 50 minutes long) can be heard here: http://tiny.cc/cn5xk (interview is no longer available at this link)
You can also read the details in my previous blog: http://wp.me/pVOhN-aw
Also on October 5, 2010, RealCityHousewife wrote a blog about the scandal:
As many of you know, there has been a lot of craziness happening on the blogs and twitter lately. Lynn did a good breakdown of events on her most recent blog.
So here is what went down, a few days ago Lynn had someone posting in the comments section of her blog using the name “I Shit Over The Rainbow And Found Pots Of Gold” (classy, I know) but we just refer to her as “Rainbow”. She claimed to know the Manzo’s and was posting the rumors she had heard from people she knows around town. Her information was mostly stuff we already knew, and there were a few accusations that I think crossed the line and don’t care to repeat. Her comments are still up in the comments section on this blog, this blog and this blog if you want to read through them.
After Rainbow started posting, someone else began posting as well using a bunch of different names, but with the same pink quilt, giving it away that it was the same person. This person began SCREAMING insults at Rainbow and all of us. Those comments are still up too – the name changed with almost every post, but you’ll know the poster by the pink quilt and ALL CAPS comments. One of the names used by Pink Quilt Crazy Names was “Diamond Lover”.
On the same day that those posts were being made on Lynn’s blog there was a twitter account created with the name @diamondblonde90 who began yelling at people who don’t love Dina. But then the next day @diamondblonde90 sent messages to all of us claiming that Dina paid her to do it, but that she didn’t take the money and that she was now outing Dina. It only got crazier from there.
My twitter friend @Duhresa_Giudice (haha) sent her a tweet saying that she traced the IP and that the account was coming back as registered to the same IP Dina’s verified twitter account uses. Obviously she didn’t really trace the IP, but @diamondblonde90 responded by saying that tracing IP’s was illegal and that she had called the police and that there was now a warrant out for @Duhresa_Giudice’s arrest (reminds me of when Dina claimed to have contacted the “proper authorities” in response to Laura calling her charity). Shortly after that, the account was deleted.
This is all that could be found of what was once @diamondblonde90′s twitter account. (Thank you @tweeterlaura for finding this) The tweets shown are the older ones and unfortunately we were unable to find the really crazy tweets from the hours before the account was deleted.
There is also another fake account believed to be Dina, and that is @janislanton. That account has stopped tweeting, but it is still up and you can view it here.
Lynn (@LynnNChicago) and Laura (@geoaubsmom #LauraM #ProperAuthorities) did an interview with Carly Hall (@PrettyPlusMore) about the whole Dina Manzo/Project LadyBug twitter drama. You can listen to the interview here (interview is no longer available at this link). The interview is long, but I found it entertaining, and they called me funny so of course I think it was the most amazing interview I’ve ever heard.
You can also read the blog Lynn and Laura wrote about the Project LadyBug drama when it first started here.
Also, I encourage everyone to re-watch this footage of The Last Supper (season 1 finale) and listen to the whispered conversation Jacqueline and Caroline have about Dina. Also, watch as Caroline shows her true manipulative self. It’s interesting, and I’m sure a lot of you don’t remember this part.
Note from Fame: Click here for the transcript of the “whispered conversation” – this conversation has been edited out of some online copies of the season 1 finale.
The bottom line: The source for blogs at LynnNChicago about Dina is Jacqueline (she was well suspected of being Lynn’s source, plus she also gave exclusive interviews to Lynn).
Jacqueline would not have planted the stories about Project Ladybug without Caroline’s backing.
Jacqueline has always had a nasty habit of running to the press and being an insider on different stories. She goes to magazines, blogs, and even direct messages people on Twitter. When she does this, she often say nasty things, depending on who she is mad at or how she is feeling. She herself admitted on camera that she gets nasty when she’s hurt:
“If I get hurt I get nasty, and I got nasty because I was hurt.” – Jacqueline Laurita, Season 4 Episode 15
The following are excerpts from blogs about Project Ladybug, all written because of the rumors being spread by Jacqueline.
“In an internet radio interview, @Geoaubsmom asked Jacqueline Laurita outright on Twitter if she heard the recent interview that Carly Hall did regarding Dina Manzo’s Project Ladybug Charity. Here is Jacqueline’s response on October 17, 2010: ‘I have. What do you expect me to say? I’m not getting involved in that. So I will just say, NO COMMENT to all those asking’.” – Lynn Hudson, October 18, 2010, LynnNChicago101.wordpress.com
“LynnNChicago has added to ‘Project Ladybug Woes’ on her site. It has now become a collection of document(s) and screen-shots of bizarre TWITTER messages. People who have made innocent (ok, maybe skeptically innocent) inquiries into the PL (PROJECT LADYBUG) financials have been met with emotionally charged messages, like ‘you are trying to hurt sick children!!!’ to THREATS that they have been reported to ‘authorities’. Lynn’s blog is abuzz with talk of PL today, and one commenter posted a link to a recent newspaper article (August 2010) that boasts donations of $20,000.” – Dina’s Still Being Pestered About PROJECT LADYBUG, September 30, 2010, NJHousewives.blogspot.com
Jacqueline gave an exclusive interview to LynnNChicago, published on April 23, 2012, where she spread more rumors about Dina:
“There is a Trump connection, they have the same publicist company and the charity that Teresa is playing for is also Trump’s” Jac told me.
Fascinating! Jacqueline told us that Teresa’s Celebrity Apprentice charity NephCure Foundation is one that is near and dear to Trump and that Teresa may have chosen it with a little nudge from Trump’s people as she met this family at a Trump event. Regardless of why she chose it, it is an excellent charity.
Jacqueline confirmed that Dina Manzo had hopes that Teresa would chose her charity, “Project Ladybug” and that it would explain why Dina broke her vow to avoid all of the Jersey Housewives and film with Teresa.
Jacqueline brought up Dina Manzo, she told me that her sister-in-law doesn’t speak to any of the Housewives,
“Dina doesn’t talk to any of us anymore, she decided to stay away from all of us that were involved with the show, she wanted to be on her own”.
Before I could ask about Dina’s involvement with Teresa, Jacqueline offered,
“Teresa reached out to Dina and I still don’t know why Dina agreed to film with her, they’re not friends now.”
I asked Jacqueline what she thought of Dina’s show, “well, it got picked up for another season” was all I could get out of her.
Jacqueline, as usual, inserted herself in the middle of the conflict between Dina and Caroline. Jacqueline has caused drama for Dina since season 1 premiered (click here for the transcript of the fight between Jacqueline and Dina in the final episode of season 1 after the infamous table flip), and she is the reason that Dina is not speaking to her brother because, as Jacqueline’s husband, he did nothing to stop her. Caroline also stood by and did nothing to stop Jacqueline, and this is also why Dina is not speaking to Caroline.
The following are some other theories about the rift from a FW blog published on October 15, 2012, but was taken offline in September 2013 and is now marked “private,” plus a comment from adioslunatic from this blog post.
According to an inside source, during season 1 Caroline and Chris hired an entertainment lawyer to get higher salaries, and Dina and Danielle fought over Danielle not wanting to pay her portion of the legal fee. This was an off-screen conflict between Dina and Danielle that was never alluded to on camera.
During season 1, Dina was having legal issues with Lexi’s father regarding his permission, or lack thereof, for Lexi to be on camera, which was alluded to in the season 1 reunion special, when Caroline went off on Danielle, yelling, “You know what you did!” Dina urged Caroline to drop the conversation, but she and Jacqueline ignored her pleas.
Danielle didn’t go to the producers to try to cause problems for Dina: it was Lexi’s aunt who asked Danielle about it and Danielle confirmed that both parents needed to give permission for Lexi to be on camera, and then Danielle gave the aunt the producer’s number, which she gave to Lexi’s father. At the reunion, Caroline was crying and saying, ‘You know what you did!’, and was pointing at Danielle. She was overly dramatic and never actually revealed what the problem was, which is her M.O. Caroline was the one who was upset when it should have been Dina, who was trying to stop them from talking about it. Caroline spun that story likes she spins everything, and both Jacqueline and Caroline were the ones stirring the pot and bringing up on camera Dina’s custody issue, which she wanted to remain private.
Jacqueline may also be holding a grudge against Dina because Dina was good friends with Chris Laurita’s fiancé, who Chris left for Jacqueline because she got pregnant by him during their affair in Las Vegas while he was engaged. According to tweets from Danielle Staub in October/November 2011, Jacqueline “took her now husband from Jen his fiance”; Jen was Danielle’s “nail girl” and “Dina Manzo’s then best friend”; both Jen and Dina worked at Nisha. Apparently Chris Laurita was in a relationship with one of Dina Manzo’s friends, Jen (who worked at Nisha), when he met Jacqueline, and he cheated on Jen with Jacqueline. This may be why Dina never got along with Jacqueline because, in Dina’s mind, she broke up her friend’s relationship with her brother.
“Jacqueline took her now husband from Jen his fiancé… Jen told me all about Jacqueline when she was my nail girl and Dina Manzo’s then best friend (both worked at Nisha).” – Danielle Staub, October 10, 2011, Twitter
Dina asked Caroline and Jacqueline to stand with her in solidarity to have Danielle taken off the show because, through Jacqueline especially, Danielle knew where the proverbial bodies were buried. Jacqueline was cheesed off that Dina hogged that ladybug charity to herself; therefore, cutting Jacqueline out of partaking of the “administrative” costs Dina makes from the “charity.” Caroline was part of the take because the events were held at the Brownstone and they were not comped, so she had no beef there – she was making money off it too, but indirectly. The Brownstone and the owners – Albert, Caroline, Dina’s husband Tommy and Dina – made money off the “charity” dinners just by having them held at The Brownstone. [Plus they made money through the Laurita family’s other endeavor, the event planning company, The Sparkling Event.] One must wonder how much money they made off the cash they took in for those raffles they held at the dinner – the $20 tickets to win items that were donated for the event. You can play really fast and loose with cash. Jacqueline and Dina had issues long before the show, as attested to by Danielle herself. This was the last straw for ole Jacqueline (being cut out) and, in her usual way, went after Dina with a vengeance and put out “insider” stories to a now deceased blogger, Lynn Hudson, all about Dina’s “charity.” Dina was expendable. Period. Jacqueline and Caroline were NOT going to give up this show because they thought it was their train to fame and riches. They were thrilled to have Dina gone – more air time for them! Now, they just had Danielle and Teresa to get rid of…Oh, and they needed another charity scam (enter Autism) to make money off with a tie in to a product…hmmm, BLK, anyone?
Interestingly, at some point Caroline had established a children’s apparel company, and the company’s logo was a ladybug (apparently the company never got off the ground):
4 My Mom™LLC, is a newly established children’s apparel and accessory company created by Caroline Manzo and Hala Kerik. Our principal offices are located in Totowa, New Jersey. The company currently offers trendy baby clothing, diaper bags and various accessories for mothers and their children. 4 My Mom markets its’ product line as “accessories with a concept” and that concept being…to celebrate and honor motherhood. These products are only available online as we are searching for licensees with larger distribution and product capabilities.
Visit www.4mymom.com for more information.