Years after leaving the series after five seasons, Caroline revealed why she and Teresa are no longer friends before dishing on the interaction they had while filming their Super Bowl commercial, explaining why she left the Bravo series in 2013, and disclosing how her kids’ lives are different due to their time on reality television.
“I knew her very, very casually,” Caroline said on Life After Bravo of where she stood with Teresa prior to the start of RHONJ.
According to Caroline, things between her and Teresa became tense once it “became a competition” for Teresa and once Teresa began accusing Caroline of being a bully.
“I’m not a bully. I’m telling you what you need to hear. I’m trying to help you,” she explained. “Teresa loved to say, ‘Oh Caroline, you’re old.’ Yeah, I am. I’m not dead. With that age comes a sort of knowledge. I’m not bullying you. I’m trying to be a big sister to a degree. It was taken completely the wrong way.”
While Caroline and Teresa have kept their distance in the years since Caroline left RHONJ, they briefly reunited one year ago to film a Super Bowl ad for Sabra Hummus.
“I made it a point to reach out prior to filming so we could go and put our best foot forward because this is an amazing opportunity,” Caroline recalled, adding that Teresa would only speak to her on the phone.
After Teresa assured Caroline she would be professional during the then-upcoming shoot, Caroline asked her, “What did I ever do to you? Can you tell me what I ever did to you?’”
“[And she said], ‘Well, you didn’t have my back with [Melissa Gorga],’” Caroline explained.
Although Teresa said it was Caroline’s failure to stand up to Melissa during their years-long feud that drove a wedge between them, Caroline pointed out that Teresa and Melissa made amends years ago.
“She’s very close with Melissa now so why do you still have beef? Why are you still so angry? Why are you still holding that grudge?” Caroline wondered.
As for what happened between the two of them at the Super Bowl ad taping in California, Caroline said there was no drama to report.
“The first thing, she looked at me, she goes, ‘Nice dress.’ And I went, ‘Thank you, it’s good to see you.’ We did our thing. I tried to talk and be cordial throughout and afterwards, I went into her dressing room and I said, ‘Teresa, it was good seeing you. Happy holidays. My love to the kids.’ I gave her a kiss and I walked out. End of story,” she stated.
When Caroline was then asked about her decision to leave RHONJ, she said she knew it was time to go when “the burden became too heavy in my personal life.”
“You can’t work with something that doesn’t reflect your beliefs and the show became something that just didn’t reflect my beliefs of who I was as a person,” she explained. “It’s not about the money. It’s not about the fame. It’s about your moral compass and how you live.”
Caroline may no longer be on board with the concept of RHONJ, but she said she has “no regrets” about her time on the show.
“It completely changed our world,” she admitted.
“I often wonder where my kids would be,” Caroline continued. “I think [Lauren Manzo] would be very much on the same track. She always had a passion for hair and makeup. She’s really good at selling, at marketing and all that. She’s doing very well for herself and she’s very happy.”
“Christoper would still be in food and beverage because that’s his passion… Albie, I think probably would have went into law. Unfortunately, that wasn’t in the cards. But at the same time, Albie wanted to be in law to do contracts and strangely enough, what he has from law school, he uses that education every single day. I guess in a crazy way, they’re doing what they were supposed to be doing on a different level,” she added.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey cast will return to Bravo early next year for season 11.
Photos Credit: Astrid Stawiarz/Charles Sykes/Bravo