Jacqueline Laurita appeared on former Real Housewives of New Jersey producer Carlos King‘s podcast on Monday, where she offered an update on Caroline Manzo.
Weeks after Caroline was reportedly touched in an inappropriate manner by Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum Brandi Glanville on the set of Real Housewives: Ultimate Girls Trip season four, Jacqueline admitted her sister-in-law is “not well” before opening up about the way in which Melissa Gorga and Kathy Wakile joined RHONJ and looking back on her lunch date with Teresa Giudice and Luis Ruelas.
“I actually just reached out to her,” Jacqueline confirmed on the February 20 episode of Reality With The King. “I reached out to her when stuff happened with Brandi. I know there’s a lot she can’t talk about right now.”
When Carlos wanted to know how Caroline was doing after her reported encounter with Brandi, which allegedly resulted in Brandi being sent home early, Jacqueline revealed Caroline is “not well.”
“It was very traumatizing,” Jacqueline stated. “I didn’t push it too much. I just wanted to know she was okay because originally … I thought she like beat her up or something happened … I think it’s been hard for her.”
Moving on to the neverending saga of how Melissa joined RHONJ, Jacqueline said she didn’t know that Melissa had allegedly reached out to producers but found out later that she had contacted Danielle Staub to tell her “stuff.”
“I remember Melissa was scared about that at one point. She didn’t want Danielle to come out with what she had said to her and she didn’t tell me what she said to her but I can imagine what it all was,” Jacqueline stated.
According to Jacqueline, she believes producers were intrigued by Teresa being so anti-Melissa, especially after seeing the sisters-in-law feud on Facebook over sprinkle cookies and hearing Teresa tell her castmates not to film with her.
“Teresa always used to say while we were mic’d, ‘Don’t talk to Melissa. She just wants her face on camera.’ She knew what Melissa was about so she didn’t want her being noticed and on camera,” Jacqueline explained.
But despite her efforts, as fans well know, Melissa was ultimately brought to the cast.
“It was about a week before filming when [Teresa] found out … I remember the Christening was going to be the first scene they filmed. So Teresa was like ‘I’m not doing the show. I’m not filming with them,’” Jacqueline recalled. “She was so against it.”
Although Jacqueline advised Teresa to make amends with Melissa and Joe prior to the start of filming on RHONJ season three, Teresa didn’t do so. Instead, as she held out on signing her contract, she planned to act like nothing was wrong.
“She kinda thought, ‘I’m just gonna act like nothing’s wrong on camera,’ and she went over to put her arms around them like, ‘Hey guys,’ and then they were like, ’Now you’re being nice to us?’” she revealed. “They called her out on camera. If they wanted to come on the show and be peaceful, why do that?”
Looking back, Jacqueline said Melissa and Joe were adamant about not wanting to hurt Teresa — all while they played victim to her.
“They had a lot of stories about how Teresa treated them and a lot of things … I think they were upset that they weren’t included on her show when she was on the show and so now they’re like, ‘We’re gonna get on our own way,’” she suspected.
And although Kathy joined the cast at the same time, Jacqueline defended the way she did so, claiming she never intended to surprise her cousin, Teresa, with her addition.
“[Kathy] didn’t say anything at first to Teresa because she didn’t even know if they were gonna pick her and she didn’t want to go through the whole interview process and then not get on it and have to be like, ‘They didn’t pick me to be on your show,’” Jacqueline explained. “She was gonna tell Teresa but then she had gone away first. They were trying to decide, ‘Are we really doing this?’ And then when she got back, Teresa had already found out.”
Years after the drama of season three, and after years of turmoil, Jacqueline enjoyed a lunch date with former castmate Teresa, which she credits, in part, to Andy Cohen.
“Andy Cohen kept bringing up my name on Watch What Happens Live like with Teresa, ‘I think it’s time to end that war,’ and he would say little things like, bringing me up and I heard her in a few different things where she was saying like, she would talk to me,” Jacqueline revealed. “I knew it was there but I didn’t want to reach out because I didn’t want to get back into that world.”
But then one morning, Jacqueline woke up to a text from Teresa, who said she was coming to Las Vegas and hoped to meet.
“She was like, ‘You can bring Chris. I’m gonna have Luis.’ I sat up and I like, had to look at it again. I was in such shock and I showed Chris. I’m like, ‘Teresa wants to meet for coffee. What do you think?’ And Chris was like, ‘You should sit down. It’s been a long time. I think you should sit down and talk, hear her out. See what she has to say,’” Jacqueline shared. “And so we agreed to meet with her.”
“I was excited to see her and it was just weird when I saw her … We literally almost, it was almost like running towards each other to hug each other. And we just started talking like no time had passed and we didn’t even really address the old issues,” she continued. “We were just catching each other up on everything.”
While many felt that Jacqueline’s reconciliation with Teresa was prompted by the negative comments Jacqueline made publicly about Melissa, Jacqueline confirmed there was not “another motive.”
“[Teresa] was very genuine and just so sweet,” Teresa insisted. “We both kinda just said, during the time of the show, we were both going through things in our lives that was very stressful. We had a lot of pressure being on the show, not only from producers but people in our ears from people on the cast, or outside influences and stuff, so when you have a lot of people in your ears and you’re under a lot of stress and things are happening on the show, you don’t really know who to trust. It’s very hard to make up and maintain a friendship on a show like that.”
And although she and Teresa didn’t leave off in the best place on RHONJ, Jacqueline said her recent encounter with Teresa showed a “very different” side of her from what fans see on television.
“She was much more humbled, very sweet, her demeanor was very different. She reminded me of the old Teresa,” Jacqueline noted. “I was very happy to see her. We picked up like no time had passed and [were] just laughing, talking, [and] catching up. Gabriella called … so I got to see her. It was just really nice.”
As for her thoughts on Luis, Jacqueline said that while she’d “heard things” about him from other people prior to meeting him, she found him to be the “nicest person.”
“He was very caring and upbeat and positive. He was like, ’Teresa’s been wanting to reach out to you for a long time and I’m glad she did it’ so that made me happy,” she revealed.
Jacqueline then noted that while she and Teresa have made up numerous times, she thinks “this time is for good.”
Jacqueline Laurita was featured on the first seven seasons of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, although her season six role was that of a “friend.”
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