Producer Reveals Shocking Behind-the-Scenes Secrets About the Real Housewives of New Jersey (Exclusive Originally Published at FameWhorgas on September 23, 2012)
The following transcript is an interview with a former producer for The Real Housewives of New Jersey. The interview was conducted on September 17, 2012 and was first published at FameWhorgas in four parts starting on September 23, 2012. The interviewer, who exclusively shared this with FameWhorgas, was writing a piece on the reality of reality television and forwarded parts of the interview pertaining to RHONJ for the purpose of reading fan comments to get a different perspective on the transcript. I will not disclose the names of the interviewer and interviewee; however, I can say that I received this directly from the interviewer: this person, the one who conducted the interview, is the cousin of the former producer. My source saw that people were doubting the legitimacy of the interview when it was first published at FameWhorgas on September 23, 2012, so he/she wrote the following explanation:
“I was asked by my country’s main news website to write a piece on the reality of reality television. My cousin worked on RHONJ, so I asked for an interview. The interview was only given because RHONJ does not screen in my country, and I promised anonymity. We also don’t have any Bravo shows on television here. I called my cousin in Washington and spoke for 20 minutes before realizing I would have to watch the RHONJ to understand what was going on and who was who. So I went online and watched every episode and called back a few weeks later. The second interview (which was recorded) was an hour and a half and mentioned numerous shows from TLC and Oxygen, but I have edited it down to the relevant parts, mainly due to privacy for my cousin.”
Q: “So can you tell me about your role on the RHONJ without giving away who you are”?
A: “It’s fine, my contract has finished. I worked on season 3 and 4 of RHONJ as a post production supervisor for 15 episodes.”
Q: “Can you explain why you no longer work with the RHONJ? Does it have anything to do with the rumors that the production team was fired due to a conflict of interest?”
A: “Not true at all, I can’t speak for everyone, um, there are quiet a few of the same team returning for season 5, but I was offered a role on another show and decided to leave for my career; no one was fired for a conflict of interest though.”
Q: “So how ‘real’ is the show? We discussed before (in a private conversation) about the various blog rumours; can you clear anything up?”
A: “Well, if you give me specifics, I can try.”
Caroline Manzo and Teresa Giudice’s Feud
Q: “I’m curious about the Caroline/Teresa feud. Was she really that angry that Teresa wrote those comments in her cookbook?”
A: (laughing) “Oh come on, at the start of the season the production team sits down and gives a general overview of where we want the storyline for the show to go. ALL of the wives are in on this. We discuss popular storylines from the season before, storylines that need tying up, and also ways of threading in new storylines that look organic to the story. Do you really think we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on just following these woman around with no plan? No, the season and the storyline has a basic outline from the first day.”
Q: “So you’re saying there is no feud?”
A: “I’m saying the feud you are being fed is for television only and there are bigger issues there.”
Q: “Then why are we not being told what the bigger drama is? Wouldn’t it be better to show that than manufacturing the drama?”
A: “It’s up to the wives what they choose to put out into the public forum; nothing is forced on them.”
Jacqueline Laurita and Teresa Giudice’s Feud
Q: “What about Jacqueline and Teresa?”
A: “We knew at the end of season 3 that their friendship was ending; the main reason, I was told, for the feud was because Jacqueline was offered several endorsement deals (including a teeth whitener and a real fruit-based alchohol), and Teresa organised deals for herself with similar products which turned off the company wanting to invest in Jax and the Housewives’ name.”
Q: “Well, why was this not mentioned throughout the season? Why are we getting this confusing story that makes Jacqueline look crazy? Why not explain this to the viewers?”
A: “Jacqueline’s ‘character’ wouldn’t have endorsement deals; it didn’t feel right for the character. Jacqueline (the character) is a loving home mother who is trying to raise her children; we couldn’t go from doting housewife to celebrity endorsement maker; it wouldn’t feel organic.”
Dina Manzo Quitting the Show in Season 2
Q: “In season 2 you had a change of cast with Dina Manzo leaving; did she really leave because of Danielle?”
A: “There were legal issues around the filming of Dina’s daughter, and Dina and Danielle had off screen legal issues. Dina threatened to quit the show unless Danielle’s contract for season 2 was shortened; she basically told the producers it was her family on the show or Danielle, but the others didn’t back her, so she quit the show.”
Q: “What about Teresa? Did Teresa threaten to walk too?”
A: “No, none of the other wives did; that is why Dina is so angry at her family; I guess she feels like they chose the show over her.”
Q: “Well they did, so why is she speaking to Teresa then and not the others?”
A: “The others were her family.”
The Addition of the Gorgas to the Show and the Christening in Season 3
Q: “So tell me about the casting of the Gorga family? Did they really send in an audition tape saying they would take down Teresa, mafia style?”
A: “They auditioned, as does everyone. Look, it’s not like just because she is Teresa’s sister-in-law we instantly cast her because we had heard of bad blood between them. Teresa’s brother and Melissa were filmed for a short period and that was edited into a small compilation to see if they were interesting enough to be on television. This happens on every single show. Melissa does say that they will take down Teresa in the video, but in a playful manner. I’m also sure it’s been leaked onto the net, so it wouldn’t be hard to find.”
Q: “What can you tell me about the christening episode that introduces the Gorgas?”
A: “Well, I can say I was actually there that day. It was our first full day filming with a large team; we had been filming previous to that, but they were establishing shots. It was much worse than what was shown: the extended family didn’t want anything on camera, so what you don’t see is family members getting violent with the crew and grabbing their cameras and ripping microphone packs off and throwing them across the room. It was chaos.”
Q: “Why did Joe Gorga react the way he did? He was crazy.”
A: “I’ll just say, first day shooting nerves can make some drink and others take….I’ll leave it at that.”
Editing Problems with Season 4
Q: “What is going on with the editing for this season [season 4]?
A: “Can you elaborate?”
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.
The Root of the Problem Between Dina Manzo and Caroline is Jacqueline Laurita (Updated November 9, 2014)
The simple truth about the feud between Jacqueline Laurita and Dina Manzo:
1. Dina didn’t like Jacqueline to begin with because Chris was engaged to Dina’s friend, Jen (the nail girl at the Nisha Spa, still owned by Dina’s ex-husband and Lexi’s father, George Hadjiapostoli, along with his current wife), when Chris knocked up Jacqueline in 2001 on one of his trips to Las Vegas.
2. At the table flip dinner in the final episode of season 1, The Last Supper (click here for the video), Jacqueline spilled the beans about who revealed the book that Danielle’s ex-husband wrote, Cop Without a Badge, claiming Dina was the one who brought it to the salon, Chateau in Franklin Lakes, to show it to everyone, and she told Dina she wasn’t going to lie for her anymore. Then Jacqueline started in on Caroline about Dina, saying: “You came to me and you were like, ‘I know what Dina is, don’t you think I know what she is, I know.’ You were like, ‘Feel sorry for her, feel sorry.’ How could I feel sorry for her when you know what she is? You said you knew too (Caroline tries to interrupt her but Jacqueline continues with a sly grin, pointing at Caroline), and your husband said he knew.” Earlier, Jacqueline had screamed at Dina: “The whole town knows about you!”
3. Jacqueline implied during the season 1 finale that Dina had a business arrangement, not a real marriage, with Tommy (who cheated on her both before and after their marriage) and that Tommy agreed to marry Dina on camera for VH1’s ‘My Big Fat Fabulous Wedding’ to help launch her reality TV career. For Al and Tommy, The Brownstone would be prominently featured as the event facility for the wedding, which would lead to an increase in bookings, so Tommy’s (and Al and Caroline’s) motivation was to boost revenue for the family business. The VH1 wedding special was taped in 2005-2006 and aired in 2007, which was the same year Dina signed her Bravo contract for RHONJ, so it did launch her career. The RHONJ casting story is that Dina and Jacqueline were chosen for the original cast, then Dina recruited Teresa, and then Jacqueline suggested two other mutual friends. When the two other friends dropped out, Jacqueline suggested Caroline, and production found Danielle Staub when they were scouting the Chateau salon in Franklin Lakes. Tommy, who played his part by marrying Dina on camera, wanted nothing more to do with reality TV and declined to participate in RHONJ, but Al decided to make some cameo appearances to help promote The Brownstone.
4. Sometime in 2008, Jacqueline told Danielle that Dina had forged Lexi’s dad’s signature on a contract, which gave permission for Bravo to tape her, and this is why Caroline went off on Danielle during reunion 1, while Dina pleaded with Caroline to stop.
5. Dina threatened to quit RHONJ unless Danielle was fired but the rest wouldn’t stand in solidarity with her, so she left on her own in the midst of taping season 2. Dina told Life & Style in July 2010: “My ex husband was well aware of Lexi’s involvement in the show. She would often call him with details after a day of shooting.” However once the show aired and her ex saw the content, he allegedly decided he wanted Lexi off the air. It was this moment, according to Dina, when Danielle began to spread malicious lies in an attempt to turn Lexi’s dad against Dina. “She told my ex’s family that I’d actually forged his signature on the contracts, which I did not,” Dina said. “She knew she could work on his emotions, so she supplied him with every phone number of everybody he’d need to follow through with a lawsuit — contacts at Bravo, our production crew and her attorneys.” According to Dina, her ex-husband didn’t believe Danielle’s tales and never went forward with filing a lawsuit. “She thought more would come of it, like I could lose custody,” Dina explained. “She just wanted to hurt me.” Dina also told Life & Style that Danielle continued to spread lies about her, and she felt as if she had no choice but to quit the show. “Now she’s telling people my ex-husband is suing me and that Bravo fired me because of that,” she claimed, adding that Danielle has been spreading new lies that Dina’s current husband, Tommy, left her and lives with a younger girlfriend. “Tommy lives right here with me and is happy as a clam,” she said. “Things are better than ever.”
6. In September 2010, Jacqueline passed along a story to blogger Lynn Hudson that Project Ladybug did not have 501(c)(3) status, causing problems for Dina just as her charity was getting launched.
7. Dina had her gay brother’s wedding lined up for her HGTV show, and Caroline snagged it for Bravo instead for RHONJ season 4.
8. For years, Jacqueline has posted and retweeted negative tweets about Dina and has fed biased stories against Dina to bloggers and tabloids, often using gossip monger Tom Murro to disseminate her version of the feud; and Dina’s blood relatives, Chris and Caroline, have done nothing to stop Jacqueline.
9. After four years of refusing to make her family’s issues public, Dina broke her silence in Part 1 of the Season 6 Reunion Special (in her Bravo blog Dina wrote: “An incident happened at the reunion, and I won’t even give that person the attention they crave, but it set me off to tell my truth. Well some of it at least”). She told Andy Cohen that Chris contacted her after he heard about her divorce and they arranged to meet, but that lasted all of 15 minutes because Jacqueline insisted she be present. She also mentioned that neither Chris or Caroline attended her daughter Lexi’s graduation party and that she and Lexi were not invited to Lauren’s engagement party. Also, Dina implied that during season 1 and season 2 Jacqueline was manipulating Danielle Staub behind-the-scenes by telling her stories about Dina, which caused friction between the two. This is obvious when you watch the final episode of season 1, The Last Supper. Jacqueline screamed that she was told it was Dina who showed the book to everyone at the salon, and she exclaimed that the same person who told her that it was Dina also told Danielle that it was Dina. Dina yelled at Jacqueline: “You pretend to be her [Danielle’s] friend. That’s why you have to say this!” Jacqueline yelled back at her: “You brought it over to me!” Dina then stood up and, as she walked way, said to Jacqueline: “You are two-faced, two-faced; you’re not her friend (pointing toward Danielle).” Jacqueline shouted back at Dina, “You’re two-faced. You’re such a liar Dina! I’m not covering for you anymore!” As Dina responded back, “You never did,” Jacqueline continued her rant and screamed, “The whole town knows about you!” Caroline shouted: “Jacqueline, Jacqueline, enough!”
10. Caroline is turning on Dina now that Dina has addressed, on camera, her issues with Jacqueline (see November 3, 2014 update below). If Chris and Caroline don’t keep appeasing Jacqueline, she’ll do to them what she is doing, and continues to do, to Dina (and has done to Danielle and Teresa). With the business fraud hanging over his head, Chris needs to keep Jacqueline under control (remember him getting caught on camera lurking, keeping a close eye on Jacqueline). And Caroline, for Chris’ sake and the sake of his children, is siding with Jacqueline over Dina. Jacqueline keeps the “receipts.” She saves information such as texts to use as ammunition when she needs it. She knows where the bodies are buried. Jacqueline herself admits that she gets nasty when she perceives that someone has hurt her. Furthermore, Jacqueline wants her feud with Dina to be public so she can generate interest in the family fight and give herself a storyline for season 7. Because the Lauritas need the money, Chris must have agreed to sell-out his sister Dina for a storyline. Melissa, Kathy and the Marcheses also seem to have their eyes targeted on Dina for a storyline for season 7 (the Housewives have a mob mentality and tend to gang up on one person, and with Teresa going to the pokey, they see Dina as their best option), but Dina has stated she won’t be returning for another season. In her Bravo blog, Dina wrote: “Kathy and Melissa should not have challenged me about ‘family values’ if they don’t want to hear my side.” Dina also wrote: “I have no words for my sister on WWHL. She could have answered the no engagement question and left it at that. The lies that followed after were extremely hurtful and must have come from the sheer frustration of having to defend her position on the engagement party. All of you have seen I have ONLY ever said positive things about her no matter what I was feeling.”
UPDATE NOVEMBER 3, 2014: Dina Manzo made the video below, “Dina’s Truth, The Reunion Part 1,” and published it on youtube and her website on November 2nd.
Caroline Manzo was a guest on WWHL after Part 1 of the Season 6 Reunion Special for RHONJ premiered on November 2, 2014. After host Andy Cohen showed Caroline a montage from the reunion special of Dina’s comments about her conflicts with Jacqueline and Caroline, Caroline explained her point of view. The following is a transcript from Reality Tea.
“It’s true I didn’t invite her to Lauren’s engagement party, for good reason. First of all, I’m embarrassed, I’m mortified that I even have to say this, because you and I both know I have come at you hard when anyone tries to discuss this. But I have to defend myself now at this point. Over the past four, five years Dina has never attended any family functions at all [in fairness, there are photos of Dina with multiple siblings (see photo below) and her parents, so perhaps Caroline is referring to the functions held by the Manzo side of the family]. We’ve got nieces and nephews that are three, four, five years old that she doesn’t know. She didn’t go to my brother Jamie’s wedding [in fairness, of the 11 Laurita siblings, besides Jamie, only two, Caroline and Chris, attended, probably because they were on the cast of RHONJ for that season], babies were born, baptisms, graduations, birthdays. Not just me, not just Chris.”
Caroline said that less than ten minutes after Lauren got engaged, the first person she called was Lexi (Dina’s daughter). Lexi said to Lauren, “I’m so happy, my mom says congratulations.” Caroline continued: “That was in November; the party was in April. From November through April, not a word.”
Andy then said that it seems like Dina is willing to reconcile after she mentioned that she’d do a cooking show with Caroline. Caroline replied: “No, I’m a package deal. I come with everybody. You may have issues with somebody, but you don’t dismiss someone in your family. You don’t say, ‘I’m giving you a choice, I’m giving you an option. The only way you and I can have a relationship is if you cut someone out of your life.’ That’s my brother’s wife. Chris was given the same ultimatum. You can understand the gravity of that. This is a man that has a son that has special needs and you’re saying to him to leave his wife in order for you to have a relationship with him. The same little boy that she walked past two weeks ago at a party [if Dina hasn’t attended a family function in five years, how did she ignore Nick a couple of weeks ago at a family wedding?]. And how you cannot take that baby and hug him and tell him you love him, I don’t understand that. So I have to say I don’t want the cooking show. I don’t care about TV, I don’t care about what the papers say. I want my family back. And I have done everything in my power to make that happen and so have the rest of us. Dina has to grow up.”
Right after Caroline shared her perspective on the family feud, Jacqueline Laurita tweeted (among other things): “Wow! Caroline, I know how hard that was for you to speak up. I Love you! XOXO! Hope it can be put to rest now. Too much hurt for too long.”
For some reason, Kathy Wakile thought it was her place to jump into the Lauritas’ family conflict, tweeting, “You go Caroline, always telling it like it is!”
According to a source, Caroline and Jacqueline are not fans of the Gorgas or the Wakiles:
“The Gorgas and Wakiles are about…THEMSELVES…such famewhores. They came out of the gate thinking they would steal the show. What they really did was help Bravo turn the show from fun to dark. Caroline and Jacqueline don’t try to out-do Melissa or Kathy. Melissa is a piece of work. She and her sisters retweet blogs when they favor them. Teresa seemed to have had a point about the Marco sisters and their past. The Wakiles need Rosie as she is truly entertaining and at ease with the camera; Rich and Kathy, and even their kids, are too camera aware. Joseph Wakile is just like his father. At what age does a father of three kids stop acting like a horny teenager.”
Dina did not directly address Caroline’s rant on WWHL, but she did respond to a tweet about it from one of her followers: “I’d be quiet now my ‘sister.’ Don’t go there or I won’t be so quiet. I would text you but I don’t have your number.”
The next day, on November 3, 2014, Dina tweeted Jacqueline, telling her: “You are using your son against me and that is sickening. I was only slammed by those you try to manipulate. Smart ones see through you.” Dina then told Jacqueline: “Forget my name for real and move on to your next target. Get the psychiatric help you need. Now I’m DONE.”
Finally, Dina tweeted: “I’ve never taken this to social but I have my breaking points.” She also said: “So appreciate the support and kind words but let’s end this. I am moving on and will focus on my family that loves me!”
Jacqueline tweeted the next day with what a appeared to be a dig at Dina and her marital situation: “I think when people don’t have real love in their lives they become bitter and lash out at those that do. It’s a jealousy that’s hard to control.” She also tweeted: “I need to feel sorry for those people and understand their bitterness. Instead of getting angry, I need to just pray they find inner peace. It’s hard.”
Jacqueline followed up that tweet with some positive thoughts, despite being egged on by a blogger.
And later in the day, Jacqueline tweeted encouraging words to help reunite the Laurita family, but apparently she is also “favoriting” harsh tweets about Dina (and because Dina does not follow Jacqueline on Twitter, Jacqueline retweets other people that tag Dina so that it will show up on her timeline).
Commenters at Reality Tea (Holly, SicilyJo and TamG) made some astute observations on the Laurita family dynamics, at least for the siblings and in-laws pursuing careers in reality TV:
“Why don’t they ALL get off TV and quit discussing their dirty laundry in public? But no, they would rather sit around pointing fingers at one another on one hand and cashing their Bravo check with the other. Seems to me a simple solution instead of dragging this ‘feud’ around like a ball and chain. Much of it comes from their own famewhoring needs and the desire to be on TV.”
“Caroline is the biggest hypocrite of them all, and Andy is so afraid of her Don-Caroline-act to call her on it. When has Caroline ever admitted to hitting below the belt (i.e. predicting the demise of someone’s marriage, speaking negatively about someone’s MINOR children, plus she knows Jacqueline screwed up in defending Danielle)? Yet she wants someone else to admit to it? On the WWHL After Show, Caroline said Dina needed to get off Twitter. When has she ever said Jacqueline needs to get off Twitter? Chris and Caroline clearly enable Jacqueline to do their dirty work for them. Jacqueline has always continued to write about Dina on Twitter, even though Dina left the show to avoid a public battle with her family, and yet Dina is in the wrong for defending herself? Jacqueline uses her innocent-act to garner sympathy and an army against Dina, and yet Dina is wrong?? I’m not getting it.”
“What’s hilarious is that Caroline’s most famous line on the show is: “Let me tell you something about my fambly. We’re as thick as thieves.” LOL. Um, seems like nothing could be further from the truth. They are a grudge-holding, back-stabbing, gossiping mess. When your most famous line is a blatant, provable lie, it’s time to STFU.”
UPDATES OCTOBER 2014: See the last comment in this blog post for updates on the feud between Dina Manzo and Jacqueline Laurita. Also see the last comment in the blog post “Dina Manzo’s Feud with Jacqueline and Caroline Stems from Project Ladybug” for more 2014 updates.
Jacqueline Laurita confirmed on twitter that she was asked in March 2014 to tape scenes for season 6 — Bravo wanted Jacqueline and Kathy, along with their husbands, to talk on camera about the Giudices’ guilty pleas and sentencing, and the Lauritas and Wakiles were happy to oblige.
Bravo interviewed Jacqueline about her return to RHONJ in the episode that premiered on September 21, 2014. The following is what Jacqueline said about her relationship with sister-in-law Dina Manzo, which Bravo later removed from the published interview:
“Currently there is no relationship between us, but only because she chooses not to have one. It’s frustrating because I feel like it’s all petty, nonsense stuff, that all just seems silly and unimportant to me. I have other, more important things to focus on, although, I’m always open to reconciliation with people that are willing and sincere. My husband is probably the most hurt by Dina. Maybe one day we can heal as a family like the Gorgas and Giudices did. Miracles have happened on #RHONJ. All it takes is for both parties to want it at the same time and be sincere about wanting it. (That’s the key.)”
Melissa revealed in her Bravo blog for the season 6 finale that she decided to opt out of taping on the day the Giudices’ verdicts were announced (so apparently that was an option). She wrote:
“Even though there were many positive moments this episode, there was just such a sadness around it all. As you saw, I made the decision not to share our reaction to the outcome of the sentencing. It was an extremely hard day for this family, and I believe issues this serious are meant to be private. I know I’ve asked you before, but continue to pray for their family.”
Throughout season 6, Dina refused to discuss the Giudices’ legal issues.
“It was left open 4 me 2 come back 2 the housewives at some point but 2b honest I’m enjoying filming for #ManzodWithChildren 4 now #FunShow” – Jacqueline Laurita, Twitter, July 16, 2014
UPDATE FEBRUARY 21, 2014: When interviewed by Life and Style magazine on February 21, 2014, Jacqueline claimed her departure from RHONJ was because “I needed a little bit of a break, but we’ll see what happens from there.” She then took aim at her sister-in-law Dina Manzo by telling the magazine:
“I understand why Dina wouldn’t want me on the show: She doesn’t want to address family issues on-camera!”
The following is the original blog post, which was published on October 6, 2013.
On October 3, 2013, Jacqueline Laurita, through family friend Tom Murro, told RadarOnline that because of an old feud that goes back to season one, she has to be gone for Dina Manzo to return to RHONJ:
“Dina Manzo gave the producers an ultimatum – fire Jacqueline Laurita or I’m not coming back. Dina wants to come back but wants Jacqueline fired first, because she is afraid of fighting with her.”
After the story was published, Jacqueline tweeted:
“I don’t think Dina is trying to get me fired, but I know she doesn’t want to come on the show with me on it. Probably to avoid any conflict. Dina and I used to be really close when Chris and I first started dating and got married. We had a lot of fun together. Until the show. :0( “
Jacqueline also tweeted an indirect accusation that Dina is the reason the feud continues:
“Hopefully one day, the family will come back together. Like other families we know, everyone has to sincerely want it and try, or it doesn’t work.”
Jacqueline is the reason Caroline Manzo and Christopher Laurita no longer speak to their sister Dina. However, she told RadarOnline, through Tom Murro, that Danielle is the “real instigator of all the old fights” and asserted that she “always protected Dina until she dragged her into the season 1 finale, wanting her to lie for her while she cowardly let Caroline cover for her” (see transcript below):
“Jax stopped Danielle from exposing Dina so many times by refusing to film with her if she said anything about her. Jax told Danielle that if she said anything about Dina, she would not be friends with her anymore. Danielle always told stories about Dina and everyone else. Jacqueline always protected Dina until she dragged her in the season one finale wanting her to lie for her while she cowardly let Caroline cover for her.”
Danielle was asked via Twitter if Project Ladybug was the cause of the rift between Jacqueline and Dina, and she confirmed that it was:
Jacqueline, through Tom Murro, also told RadarOnline on October 1, 2013 that “Dina’s own marriage may be in trouble and her status will all depend on her own success” (Dina revealed in February 2013 that she and her husband had separated, but they may not actually be getting divorced). Jacqueline insulted Dina in the piece by saying that since leaving RHONJ Dina’s attempts at TV have failed, and that her only option now to make money so that she can leave her husband is to stay in the spotlight:
“If Dina makes enough money on her own then she can leave her husband; if not, she’s going back to him. She’s already attempted a few shows to further herself but they fell apart. RHONJ was her only option to stay in the limelight for now.”
Oddly enough, just before RadarOnline published their exclusive story, Dina tweeted on September 26, 2013 about Danielle, writing, “If it wasn’t for the ‘telephone game,’ I think Danielle Staub and I would have even gotten along – I hold ZERO ill feelings towards her”:
“Ahhh, I guess old episodes are showing … you guys are so sweet. I agree it’s more fun to see good times! If it wasn’t for the ‘telephone game’ I think Danielle Staub and I would have even gotten along! I hold ZERO ill feelings towards her BTW.”
Jacqueline’s friend Tom Murro tweeted Dina for a response to the RadarOnline story, and Dina responded, vaguely implying that Jacqueline may not be returning for season 6, but she made it clear that she had nothing to do with it (Dina did not confirm or deny that she herself would be returning for season 6).
When Tom tweeted, “Your enemies are closer than you think,” Dina replied, “Yes, I’m well aware who my enemies are, and I send them love”:
Tom Murro @celebritymagnet 1 Oct
Care to expand on this?
Dina Manzo @dinamanzo 1 Oct
@celebritymagnet oh yes, I have the power to fire ANYONE. I’m getting Kris Jenner off Kardashians too! Ur “source” is a little off my friend.
Dina Manzo @dinamanzo 1 Oct
I have NOT made any decisions on my next career move yet, I haven’t gotten anyone fired nor do I have the power to do that ~ Don’t be so silly.
Dina Manzo @dinamanzo 1 Oct
Ok, let me put all the rumors to rest right now so I can continue my love affair with twitter…
Dina Manzo @dinamanzo 3 Oct
@celebritymagnet read my tweets sunshine, all news is not based on false drama. Shocking right? ; )
Dina Manzo @dinamanzo 3 Oct
@celebritymagnet did you see my @projectladybug event? how bout my event planning course?
Tom Murro @celebritymagnet 3 Oct
@dinamanzo No one denies you do good things–Falsehoods by source? If true, your enemies are closer than you think.
Dina Manzo @dinamanzo 3 Oct
@celebritymagnet yes & I’m well aware who my enemies are. I send them love : ) I hate no one and wish them nothing but success.
Tom Murro @celebritymagnet 3 Oct
@dinamanzo So, none of what they say is true? You would share scenes with @JacLaurita then?
Dina Manzo @dinamanzo 3 Oct
@celebritymagnet cut it out~they make decisions on returning cast members BEFORE they cast new season~Duh! thought you were smarter than that Tom?
Tom Murro @celebritymagnet 3 Oct
@dinamanzo I’m a little slow sometimes. Been a long week. Were you asked to be on? Do you want to be on? You didn’t answer the 2nd part @realitytea
Dina Manzo @dinamanzo 3 Oct
@celebritymagnet @Realitytea well that part you’ll just have to wait & see. I don’t know move I’m making next – working on it all now.
RumorFix reported on the RadarOnline story, which lead to more confusion about whether Dina had demanded that Bravo fire Jacqueline. Dina cleared things up by tweeting, “Not true at all”:
Rumor Fix @RumorFix 2 Oct
#RHONJ Did @dinamanzo really demand that @Bravotv fire @JacLaurita??? http://bit.ly/1aMeQya
Dina Manzo @dinamanzo 2 Oct
@RumorFix wow! a “source” that actually tells the truth? lol So refreshing!
Maree @manymagees 2 Oct
@dinamanzo @RumorFix wow! Asking to have @JacLaurita fired that’s so wrong @Andy #RHONj needs J I hope it’s. false rumor!
JayJ @Havee2009 2 Oct
@dinamanzo I sure hope all these reports are not true…cuz that would make you very unlikeable!
Dina Manzo @dinamanzo 2 Oct
@Havee2009 not true at all doll
Jacqueline, through Tom Murro, also told RadarOnline on October 1, 2013 that “Dina doesn’t want to be exposed for who she really is,” which could relate to the confusing conversation between Jacqueline and Caroline in the final episode of season 1 (Episode 7, The Last Supper) after the infamous table flip went down.
In early November 2014, Bravo premiered a “supplemental edition” of season 1 episode 7, The Last Supper, “featuring previously unseen footage and commentary from the Housewives and their families, and reflection on the dinner dramas in the season 1 finale.” The following is a transcript of the conversation between Jacqueline and Caroline after Jacqueline told Danielle that Dina was the one who brought the book Danielle’s ex-husband wrote, Cop Without a Badge, to the salon, showing it to everyone (this conversation was not included in the premiere but made the “director’s cut” and was not in all copies of the season 1 finale on the internet) – “TH” means Talking Head, the interview/confessional that the Housewives give with producers which later are edited into the footage.
Jacqueline screamed that she was told it was Dina who showed the book to everyone at the salon, and she exclaimed that the same person who told her that it was Dina also told Danielle that it was Dina.
Caroline looked over at Jacqueline and shouted that she and Dina were together when they showed the book at the salon and at The Brownstone.
Dina yelled at Jacqueline: “You pretend to be her [Danielle’s] friend. That’s why you have to say this!”
Jacqueline yelled back at her: “You brought it over to me!”
Dina then stood up, and as she walked way, said to Jacqueline: “You are two-faced, two-faced. You’re not her friend (pointing toward Danielle).”
Jacqueline shouted back at Dina, “You’re two-faced. You’re such a liar Dina! I’m not covering for you anymore!”
As Dina responded back, “You never did,” Jacqueline continued her rant and screamed, “The whole town knows about you!”
Caroline shouted: “Jacqueline, Jacqueline, enough!”
During the exchange, Chris at least twice tried to stop Jacqueline from going off on Dina by gently squeezing her upper arm, but she ignored him, and he eventually gave up and put his head in his hand and then started biting his nails.
Teresa then addressed Danielle. Danielle told Teresa to “Pay attention, puhleeze!,” which sent Teresa into a rant, followed by the infamous table flip. After Joe escorted Teresa from the room, Caroline said to Jacqueline, “Jacqueline, Jacqueline, I told the truth. I showed the book. Dina wasn’t with me.”
Teresa returned to the room, sat back down, and shouted (while shaking her head and doing the “talk to the hand” motion): “Don’t fucking think that I’m fucking airheaded and stupid, because that’s what pissed me off. And then telling me to fucking pay attention. She doesn’t know who the fuck she’s fucking with, okay! Telling me to fucking pay attention! I don’t think so!”
Dina then tried to clear the air with Danielle, but Danielle wasn’t buying it.
Danielle TH: To be honest with you, my real opinion of Dina and her fake everything is that I really could give a flying ya-know-what about you!
Jacqueline to Caroline: I know you begged me not to tell the truth, but that’s not fair…
Chris: I don’t want to hear another word. Enough! Enough!… Danielle, you’re welcome in my home…
As things started to settle down a bit, Dina left the room and Jacqueline started to talk about her to Caroline (both Caroline and Chris tried to cut Jacqueline off, but she grinned and ignored them both).
Caroline: Jacqueline! … That’s my family.
Jacqueline: You came to me and you were like, “I know what Dina is. Don’t you think I know what she is? I know. You were like, “Feel sorry for her, feel sorry.” How could I feel sorry for her when you know what she is?
Caroline: Because you’re wrong.
Jacqueline: You said you knew too (Caroline is repeating, “Jacqueline, Jacqueline,” but Jacqueline continues with a sly grin, pointing at Caroline) and your husband said he knew.
Caroline: Jacqueline, you know who you’re hurting? My parents.
Talking head interviews:
Jacqueline in her TH: In the end I feel good that I told the truth as I saw it. I just hope that they can love and respect and accept me for the decisions that I make.
Dina in her TH: Jacqueline, obviously, was misinformed. Here’s my thing: you wanna stick up for your friend, that’s great, I admire that, but know what you’re talking about first.
Caroline in her TH: Has it affected my relationship with Jacqueline? Probably not. Has it affected Dina’s relationship with Jacqueline? Yes. Does it bother me? Absolutely.
After the table flip, with Jacqueline sitting in his lap, her husband Chris told Danielle that she was welcome in their home. Later, when Danielle was outside with her daughters, Danielle said, “See what happens to Dina when she messes with me — her own family (Chris and Jacqueline) turned against her on that one.”