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?”
Teresa Giudice Blogs, “I’ll Keep Being a Good Girl”; Melissa Gorga Blogs, “The Reason Teresa and Joe Didn’t Speak for Over a Year Had Nothing to Do with Jacqueline – It Was So Beyond That”
Teresa Giudice blogged, “I’ll keep being a good girl,” referencing Melissa’s belittling comment to her during season 5 episode 10, “We’ll be good as long as you stay being a good girl” – because we all know everything is Teresa’s fault.
The following is an excerpt from her Bravo blog.
Passing the Sizzle Tans Crown
By Teresa Giudice
August 5, 2013
Teresa shares her thoughts on Joe’s billboard and the sit-down with Jacqueline.
Thank you all so much for your support this week. I appreciate it more than you will ever know. xx
I really am trying to let things roll off my back. I just want my family together and at peace, no matter what. Insult me, make fun of me, do what you will. I’ll keep being a “good little girl.”
I cannot believe on last night’s episode they showed a clip of my old Sizzle Tans commercial! It was one of the first things I ever did when I was on Housewives. I totally regret it, it’s so cheesy! I had an inexperienced PR person at the time, who convinced me it was a good idea. And Andy will never let me forget it! “I tan, I spray…” It seems like a million years ago. I’d just had Audriana four months before we shot this, and I was nervous. You can tell Joey wasn’t nervous! I thought he looked great. I’m happy to pass the Sizzle Tans crown on to him. Enjoy!
The sit-down with Jacqueline was intense. I was deeply hurt because we had been so close for so many years. I never expected her to turn on me like she did. I certainly never got any packet of information about Danielle’s past, but if I did, I wouldn’t have read it. I really don’t care about people’s pasts, and I don’t have time to go digging. I’m raising 4 kids and working! I’m not the gravedigger in the bunch, believe me!
Yes, five years ago, I flipped one table — the first and last I’ve ever flipped in anger. I’m a passionate person, but I have grown. I watched the scene on TV and I didn’t like what I saw. I don’t want my kids to see that, and I would never do that again. I’ve never physically attacked anyone, and you certainly haven’t seen me do that this season! I’ve learned from my mistakes. And I have no issues with Danielle anymore. At the time, she was attacking my friends, and I was defending them. Then she said things about me, and it made me mad. But that was a long, long time ago, and I’ve moved on. I’ve apologized publicly, and I wish her all the best. And I wish all the best to her gorgeous girls. She must be doing something right to have such great kids. (Kids that aren’t making fools of themselves on Twitter…)
You’ll have to see how it all plays out with me and Jacqueline. It’s far from over!
Thank you all again for your support and prayers.
“I don’t trust that asshole bleaching, lip waxing (all of them) traitor.” – Anonymous commenter on Jacqueline Laurita
Two hours after Teresa’s blog was published, Melissa posted her Bravo blog. Melissa and Jacqueline conspired to get their lies straight before blogging, with Melissa writing, “I will say that the reason Teresa and Joe didn’t speak for over a year had nothing to do with Jacqueline – it was so beyond that,” reiterating what Jacqueline wrote in her blog for the episode: “Teresa’s family, including her brother, have all told me that I had nothing to do with the reason they didn’t talk to her for that year. They have all told Teresa that as well.”
Melissa and Jacqueline lie for each other. The footage speaks for itself. Teresa’s brother texted her the day after the season 4 finale, saying, “You’re dead to me.” So strippergate and Jacqueline’s accusations that “Teresa is the one that set it up” is the reason for Joe Gorga’s text and why he refused to speak to his sister for more than a year [the Gorgas and Giudices had just spent a pleasant week together in an RV in California and had left together as a sign of unity when Caroline berated and insulted Teresa in Napa].
After the season 4 finale taped in September 2011, they falsely accused Teresa of being behind the blogs, so their anger and hatred intensified, which certainly was another reason they refused to have anything to do with her until February 2013.
It should be clear to the cast that Teresa doesn’t have an army online trying to influence the viewers (it’s the rest of the cast that is behind the negative tabloid stories about Teresa), but in Jacqueline’s Bravo blog for episode 10, she continues to imply that she does, writing: “I tweet from my own Twitter. I don’t make up fake accounts or get others to speak or tweet for me. Whatever I have to say comes straight from me, and I’ll even say it to them and/or publicly. I’m certainly not sneaky.”
Jacqueline was at a loss for words at the end of episode 10 when Teresa asked her what she’s done to hurt her. Teresa should challenge Melissa and Jacqueline to itemize everything she’s done “so beyond strippergate” to “hurt them,” with timestamps on each of her transgressions.
The following is an excerpt from Melissa’s Bravo blog for season 5 episode 10.
Jacqueline Laurita Blogs That She Did Not Point the Finger at Teresa Guidice for Setting Up Strippergate
In her Bravo blog for season 5 episode 10, Jacqueline Laurita is again rewriting history by claiming she only said “it” was a setup and that she did not point the finger at Teresa Guidice at the season 4 Posche Fashion Show finale. She is being deceptive by writing, “I told her brother that ‘it’ was a set up.” This is partially true, but she told Melissa earlier that “I think she’s the one that set it up,” and then also answered, “Yep,” when Joe Gorga asked her, “My sister was the one that came up to my wife and told her that?” Joe then screamed, “She wants to set my wife up. Set my wife up!,” and Jacqueline told him, “I’ll send you the messages.” The next day, according to Teresa in her TH, her brother sent her a text, saying, “You’re dead to me.” They didn’t speak for a year and a half, from late September 2011 to mid February 2013.
Go back and watch the tape: she clearly is the first one to accuse Teresa, and it all goes downhill from there.
Jacqueline to Caroline: I feel like it was a setup of some kind.
Jacqueline to Melissa: You know what? That was a setup.
Melissa: I know it was but Teresa should have said absolutely not, I’m not going to approach my SIL.
Jacqueline: I think it was a setup. That’s what I’m saying.
Melissa: I know it was but she shouldn’t have went along with it.
Jacqueline: Well, I think she’s the one that set it up.
Also in her Bravo blog, Jacqueline again brought up the “fake” make-up on Teresa’s part. This goes back to the lie Melissa and Jacqueline conspired to tell about Teresa during reunion 4 – they obviously conjured up stories about Teresa and then agreed to back-up each others lies.
The one lie that Jacqueline has been retelling ever since reunion 4 is that after she and Teresa made-up in the RV during their trip to California, later that night she and Melissa overhead Teresa in the RV saying, “I hate Jacqueline; I can’t stand to look at her fucking face.” They’ve never explained who Teresa allegedly was talking to.
This is such a blatant lie – Jacqueline does not have the self control to hold that in, and she was fine with Teresa the rest of the trip, even refusing to take the bait when Kathy and Caroline were trying to flip her back onto their side. Plus, Jacqueline would have blogged and tweeted about that statement had she really overheard it – she was on a Twitter rampage for a year, and never once tweeted it. Obviously, the story was made up just before the reunion, and Melissa agreed to back up the lie if Jacqueline would back up her lie that Teresa twisted her arm at Gia’s and Milania’s joint birthday party in 2012.
However, a source claims there was no conspiracy between Jacqueline and Melissa to create this lie; rather, it was Melissa misleading Jacqueline: “Melissa lied to Jacqueline the day at her house when Jacqueline asked if Teresa had said how she felt about her, and she lied again at the reunion.” According to the source:
“Clearly Bravo producers knew the family drama would send the Gorgas and Giudices over the edge. Melissa came on the show trying to ‘one up’ Teresa: season 3 aired during some hard economic times yet Melissa’s introduction to the show was how spoiled she is and how it wasn’t an issue for them. That Christening was so disturbing on so many levels. The Marco family were the animals while the Giudice family reacted. Even Juicy Joe stood there in awe wondering what the heck. And then there was Melissa kicking her way into the fight while her baby boy was off to the side somewhere. And first of all, who gets that ‘loaded’ with drinks at a christening? Melissa has it in her mind that she is the star, but she’s not. Melissa is delusional and was a poser from her introduction. Joey Gorga is another famewhore. Bravo producers really stirred the pot in season 4, not to mention airing episodes out of sequences, making the cast look like liars. The original cast care about each other. Jacqueline did say she felt bad for Teresa because Teresa didn’t want her family on the show, and it’s clear that Teresa wanted her friend Jacqueline to go along with her. They were genuinely close; it’s too bad their friendship had to end. Joe Giudice and Chris Laurita had a real friendship too, but Chris was forced to be involved with the drama. On the California trip in season 4, Teresa and Jacqueline looked pretty happy at the estate vineyard the day after making up in the RV, yet Teresa allegedly said afterward: ‘I hate Jacqueline; I can’t stand to look at her fucking face.’ The disconnect is Melissa. At the reunion show when Teresa questioned who she was talking to when Jacqueline heard her say this (and asked Jacqueline why she didn’t knock on the door), Melissa chimed in and said, ‘You were talking to me.’ Melissa lied to Jacqueline the day at her house when Jacqueline asked if Teresa had said how she felt about her, and she lied again at the reunion. It’s just too sad to see how much bad blood is between Teresa and Melissa.”
In her scenes during season 5 episode 10 (other than her talking heads), Jacqueline seems to be uncharacteristically subdued, as if she is medicated.
The following is her Bravo blog for episode 10.
Being Civil with Teresa
By Jacqueline Laurita
August 4, 2013