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 Lauritas Are Back for Season 5 Because Hurricane Sandy Gave Them a Storyline That Bravo Really Liked
On September 10, 2012, Jacqueline Laurita was a guest on the Anderson Cooper Show. He asked her if she would be back for season 5, to which she neither denied or confirmed. Chris Laurita said that if asked back, he and Jacqueline would use the RHONJ as a platform for autism awareness.
On September 17, 2012, a former RHONJ post production supervisor said that before the season 4 reunion special was taped on September 7, 2012, Jacqueline and Kathy were not made offers to return for season 5, and Caroline was made an offer but declined (and without Caroline, there was no place on the show for the other Manzos).
Late Monday, October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit the Jersey shore and New York Harbor, and shortly thereafter it seems Bravo made the decision to start taping RHONJ season 5… According to a Bravo insider (not a cast member but an employee) the Lauritas weaseled their way onto the show by using Hurricane Sandy for a storyline for season 5:
“Yeah, they’re all back… they weren’t supposed to come back, but then Hurricane Sandy came and their ‘relief efforts’ gave them a storyline that Bravo really liked.”
The insider says Kathy, Caroline, and Jacqueline were OUT and Teresa’s makeup artist was in, as well as some other people they were auditioning. This was a FINAL DECISION, and it was all over the blogs, too, because it was true.
Caption: Damian and Beau Monde Salon & Spa’s Inaugural Holiday Party for Charity at the 201 Club in Englewood on December 6, 2012
So what happened for them all to return for season 5? How did they weasel their way in? THROUGH TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THOSE AFFECTED BY HURRICANE SANDY. Yes, really.
Bravo taped the Gorga’s “relief efforts” shopping at Target, the Manzo’s/Laurita’s “relief efforts” by promoting Cafface/blk as a dropout/delivery site for donations, and the Manzo boys raising money as guest bartenders at the opening of their new restaurant. These staged events under the guise of charity were followed by the taping of the Hurricane Sandy fundraiser at Space Odyssey, which all of the cast attended, except for Caroline, Jacqueline, Chris and Albie, who were in California promoting blk at a Walgreens’ grand opening.
So basically, Bravo cameras were rolling when the Manzos and Lauritas were blowing up Twitter with all their “information” about Sandy, and when they were loading the blk van with donations dropped off at Cafface, etc. — and if they looked super super happy, it’s because their supposedly good-hearted relief efforts were their tickets back onto the show:
“We are collecting things @ my store to bring to shelters! Using our twitter flwrs to spread the word! My stores in Franklin lks ” – Lauren Manzo, November 3, 2012, Twitter
“Feeling so lucky to own a public store that my fam & I can use to take donations and get them where they have to be! Thank u all for ur help!” – Lauren Manzo, November 3, 2012, Twitter
“Let’s all pull together 2day&bring as much supplies 2 Cafface in Franklin Lakes so that we can donate2those in need! Team Blk will deliver!” – Jacqueline Laurita, November 3, 2012, Twitter
This probably means the Manzos/Lauritas will be getting the super-angelic storyline edit as usual… saviors of humanity. Remember Jacqueline’s comments toward Teresa about how she shouldn’t be “doing things quietly” — well, Jacqueline returning because of her Hurricane Sandy relief effort storyline puts that comment into context:
“Now is NOT the time2silently do good deeds4others,use ur Voice2encourage MANY 2join in.THATS how I was raised!ESPECIALLY if given a platform.” – Jacqueline Laurita, November 5, 2012 4:04 PM, Twitter
Let’s hope the storyline isn’t that Teresa did nothing while they were saving the world:
“Of course we are helping every which way we can too but I’m just not one to take pics of it. Sorry, not how I was raised xx (Matthew 6:1-3).” – Teresa Giudice, November 4, 3:13 PM, Twitter
Season 5 Hurricane Sandy RHONJ Cast Member Relief Efforts Taped by Bravo (Bravo Showcases the Manzos, Lauritas and Gorgas):
- October 29, 2012 – Hurricane Sandy hits the Jersey shore and New York Harbor late Monday, October 29, 2012
- November 2-3, 2012 – Laurita/Manzo camp tweets to bring donations to Cafface for delivery by blk van to shelters
- November 4, 2012 – Joe and Melissa Gorga shop at Target for Hurricane Sandy relief effort and drop off items to donation centers (plus Joe the lumberjack cuts downed tree in neighborhood)
- November 4, 2012 – Lauren tweets to stop dropping off clothes to Cafface — says to drop them off at the Red Cross or a shelter
- November 9, 2-12 – Lauren tweets to stop dropping off donations to her store Cafface — says it makes more sense to send donations directly [well or course it makes sense to go directly to the shelters and donation centers, which is why it is obvious they were merely promoting their businesses and trying to lure Bravo into recasting them when they tweeted for people to drop off items to them]
- November 10, 2012 – Jacqueline tweets: “We’ve been helping out w/out Bravo filming but that doesn’t mean we r going 2 stop helping 1ce they r”
- November 15, 2012 – Joe and Melissa worked the phones during MTV’s ‘Restore The Shore’ special
- November 20, 2012 – Manzo boys promote their new restaurant by advertising they’ll be guest bartenders at the Village Pourhouse in Hoboken to raise money for Hurricane Sandy victims
- November 26, 2012 – Gliz, Glam and Gifts, an event held at the Brownstone by The Sparkling Event (run by Candice Laurita and Cristina Granelli, Jacqueline’s nieces) “Benefits Sandy Victims” (housewives donate items to victims of storm and offer holiday shopping)
- November 30, 2012 – Hurricane Sandy fundraising event at Space Odyssey — Teresa, Melissa and Joe, Kathy and Richie, Kim D, Elvira, Jennifer, Lauren and Christopher attend
- December 6, 2012 – Damian and Beau Monde Salon & Spa’s inaugural Holiday Party for Charity at the 201 Club in Englewood — Teresa and Kim D, Elvira Grau, Caroline and Jacqueline attend
During the season 4 reunion special, it was obvious that Kathy’s days on the show were over. She stirred the pot against Teresa for two seasons, but she must have known she wasn’t bringing any real storyline. Kathy is rumored to have a limited role in season 5… could she be reaching out to Teresa as a way of getting more camera time? It would explain the recent favorable tweets between them:
- Gorga Photo Opportunities — Charity or Publicity?; Joe and Melissa Appear on MTV’s ‘Restore The Shore’ for Another Photo Op
- Lauren Manzo Tweets to Stop Dropping Off Hurricane Sandy Donations to Her at Cafface; Manzo Boys Guest Bartend at Their Restaurant for Hurricane Relief
- RHONJ Season 5 Taping Has Begun — Teresa Giudice and Melissa Gorga Were Spotted at Elvira Grau’s Hurricane Sandy Fundraising Event at Space Odyssey
- Gorgas and Lauritas Socialize Together Post Season 4
- Producer-Driven Scripted Drama and Bravo’s ‘Real Housewives’ Series
- Bravo Insider Says Andy Cohen Hates Teresa Giudice
- Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation’s $18,000 Claim Against the Laurita’s Bankrupt Company Signature Apparel
- The Laurita Bankruptcy – Signature Apparel LLC Was Drained of Its Funds and Assets to Support the Laurita’s Opulent Lifestyle