RHONJ’s Teresa Giudice Talks Being “Ambushed” and “Sucker-Punched” by Melissa and Joe Gorga, Shares What It’s Like Watching Show for the First Time

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RHONJ's Teresa Giudice Talks Being “Ambushed” and “Sucker-Punched” by Melissa and Joe Gorga, Shares What It's Like Watching Show for the First Time

Credit: Bravo

Teresa Giudice addressed being “ambushed” and “sucker-punched” by her brother and sister-in-law Joe and Melissa Gorga, and she revealed what it’s like watching the episodes for the first time. The Gorgas, who allegedly joined Real Housewives of New Jersey behind Teresa’s back in 2011, have bounced on and off the rollercoaster of family feuding.

Recently, their tension reached a boiling point as the couple skipped her wedding to Luis Ruelas after Teresa purportedly discussed a false rumor about Melissa’s affair. Now, the family members are no longer speaking.

“I come from a small family and we were really close. And then for something like this to happen, it was really hard for me to deal with,” said Teresa in an interview with PEOPLE, addressing the extended feud.

According to Teresa, the recent drama is heavy for her, and she’s experienced this in the past as she was “ambushed” by Joe and Melissa when they entered the show.

“Since my family came on the show, it was very hard for me to enjoy being on TV,” said Teresa. “Here I am, just getting my feet wet, enjoying it and then bam. I get knocked, really stabbed in the heart with my family coming on the show behind my back.”

She went on to say, “The reason why I still talk about it now, and it’s been 10 years, is because it was very traumatic … I never signed up to be on a TV show with my family. This was my thing. I was excited about it. It was something new for me, and it was like my job, and I was excited, and then all of a sudden I get bombarded and ambushed by my family. And it was very sad, because I felt like my dream kind of got shattered.”

“I would’ve never sucker-punched them like that,” Teresa explained, “because I don’t roll like that. If they were on a show, I would’ve never went on there and hurt them the way they hurt me. That’s not my style. That’s not the person I am. If anything, I would’ve got my own thing, because I’m always that. I always like to be different.”

The 50-year-old also shared, “I always tried to keep the peace and that’s why I kept my mouth shut for a lot of years … because my parents, they lived for me and my brother … for anything bad to happen afterwards, it’s heartbreaking. No parents want to see their children fighting.”

“But now, unfortunately, my parents are not here anymore,” said Teresa. “So I’m going to do what’s good for my family, good for me, good for my children. And I just want peace. And that’s why any toxicity, [I have to] keep it out…. I’m not going to accept this toxicity anymore. I am going to be the mama bear, protect my family.”

Teresa claimed, however, that she would never quit the franchise. “I would never step away. I started the show. I’m never going to give that to anyone because I’m the one that started the show,” she explained. “Other people are trying to put that out there, like, ‘Oh, Teresa wants to leave.’ It’s so crazy to me how people are trying to plant the seed that Teresa wants to leave the show … the games that people play. No. I started this. I’m not walking away until Bravo wants me to walk away.”

She also told the outlet that she hadn’t watched an episode of the show — until 2022.

“I’m watching the show for the first time because I never watched it before. And if you pay attention, when I was at the reunions, Andy Cohen would ask me questions and I wouldn’t know what he was talking about,” said the star. “Everybody knew I was not watching the show.”

Regarding her change of heart, Teresa expressed, “I just wanted to educate myself and to see what my brother and sister-in-law were saying about me.”

“I’ve been seeing all this on Instagram, these accounts that are posting past episodes. And I’m watching and I’m like, ‘My brother said that? My sister-in-law said that?’ So then I started watching and I’m like, ‘Now, I got my answer,'” she continued.

“But I couldn’t watch it [initially] because it was so hard for me to relive it. And good thing I didn’t watch it back then, because now I’m seeing what my brother and my sister-in-law was saying about me back then, oh my God. It was like a knife right through my heart. I think I would’ve reacted differently if I would’ve watched the show.”

The Real Housewives of New Jersey season 13 is set to premiere on Tuesday, February 7, on Bravo.