Dina Manzo, former Real Housewife of New Jersey, is sitting down with Celebuzz and talking about EVERYTHING! That includes her new scripted TV gig- Tainted Dreams, RHONJ, and of course, her sometimes controversial friendship with Teresa Giudice. Dina says the Teresa we see on RHONJ is not the Teresa she has known for 15 years. Dina also says that she does not regret being a part of RHONJ, but is not thrilled with how the show has affected her relationships with some of her family members. Read Dina’s interview below!
We really admired you for leaving Real Housewives of New Jersey; it was a very brave move. Do you regret leaving? Or are you happy you invested in your own catharsis by focusing on your real, not reel, life?
I don’t regret it, and I’m so happy I did leave. I had to be true to myself. Everyone thought I was crazy walking away from a super-successful show, and all the red carpets you’re invited to. But it wasn’t me. I wasn’t going home from work every day happy — and that, to me, is very important. I have my own show now on HGTV [Dina’s Party]; I’m starring on Tainted Dreams; and my charity, Lady Bug, is nationwide and very successful.
Having said that, I want to also add that I do not regret ever being a part of Real Housewives because the show has made [everything] all possible. I’m not thrilled with what the show did with my relationships with a few of my family members, but I’m confident one day when the show is over, we’ll be back to normal. We’re waiting to see this pass.
It was nice, albeit shocking, to see you back on the series this past season. Were you nervous — even though you only appeared in a few party scenes?
I was super-nervous! I had my reasons, which I will keep to myself. It had nothing to do with anything happening on Housewives; it had to do with my foundation, LadyBug. I do support Teresa [Giudice] behind the scenes. I mean, I go to all of her events. I had asked [the producers] not to mic me, but one thing led to another, and when you drink you some Fabellini, well, one thing leads to another. [Laughs] It is what it is, and I can’t do anything about it now. In hindsight, I would have gone to support Teresa, but I would’ve refused to wear a mic because they did twist my words.
Are you surprised you and Teresa are friends? Do you think Teresa is misunderstood? We liked the Teresa we saw on Celebrity Apprentice.
I’ve known Teresa for over 15 years, and the Teresa I know is the one I saw on Celebrity Apprentice. Housewives is somewhat produced and — I hate to say it — set up to put you in a [contrived] situation you normally wouldn’t put yourself in. Would I go to a dinner with Danielle Staub? No, but I had to [contractually] attend that dinner. The Teresa I know is misunderstood. She is somewhat quiet. She’ll go out and have fun with you, but, in 15 years of knowing her, I have never seen her flip a table before. I have never seen an ounce of a temper from Teresa. In these Housewives situations, it brings out the worst and the best in people. There’s a lot of egging on behind the scenes.
Do you watch Real Housewives of New Jersey now that you’re not on?
I don’t watch [regularly], but I did watch last season when it was on a rerun at 2 a.m. because I knew I’d be on the season so I could follow [the storylines]. To be honest with you, I love Beverly Hills and New York; they’re both fun and fascinating for their own reasons. But watching Jersey, well, it gives me anxiety for several reasons. Even if I didn’t know everyone on [the show], the franchise would still give me anxiety because there are so many women being hurt. The other franchise, it’s more about the women insulting each other or whatever. But on Jersey, it’s about families being hurt.
Will we see you back on Real Housewives in 2013? Or are you over it?
I said I wouldn’t do it this [upcoming] season because of all the wonderful projects I’m working on this year; but I can’t help it if the show keeps me a part of it. Listen, this is something I signed on for a few years ago and they’re allowed to use my image or name. Rumor has it I’m coming up this new season again. It’s just funny that I left the show a couple of years ago, yet I’m still the topic of conversation!
You mean you’re coming up in the new season as conversation or are you appearing on the show?
No, I’m not gong back on. But, like I said, I do support Teresa and if there is a party, I may show up to support her but I won’t be mic’d this time! I’ll be in the background, I promise!
For more of Dina’s interview, click here!
Do YOU think RHONJ caused the problems between Dina, Chris, and Caroline?
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