Caroline Manzo on Why She Quit RHONJ, Teresa’s Reunion With Jacqueline, and Who She Still Talks to, Plus Update on Kids & If She Watches Show

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Caroline Manzo on Why She Quit RHONJ, Teresa's Reunion With Jacqueline, and Update on Kids, Plus Who She Still Talks to and If She Watches

Why did Caroline Manzo really walk away from her role on The Real Housewives of New Jersey?

While looking back at her time on the show with Tamra Judge and Teddi Mellencamp on their podcast and reacting to Teresa Giudice‘s reunion with Jacqueline Laurita, offering an update on her kids, and more, Caroline explained what prompted her to walk away from the Bravo reality show.

“I have not watched anything Housewives since I left. I always say, ‘Why would I aggravate myself for free?’” Caroline asked on the April 7 episode of Two Ts in a Pod.

But she is still in contact with some of her former castmates.

“[I talk to Kathy Wakile] every now and again. [Dolores Catania], of course. Dolores is ride or tie. She tells you what’s on her mind. Her kids are the best thing. I know her kids since they were pint-sized so I’ve known her a thousand years,” she gushed.

Caroline also knows Dolores’ boyfriend, Paul Connell, who she began dating in late 2021 after her breakup with David Principe.

“I do like Paulie. She deserves it. [But] I don’t know if she wants the ring,” Caroline noted of a potential engagement.

Although Caroline claims Dolores’ ex-husband, Frank Catania, “does not want her to get a ring,” he applauded the former couple for maintaining a healthy dynamic.

“The family dynamic there is so unusual, but it works for them,” she noted. “I always say that she should write a book on how to divorce properly because I remember way back in the beginning when things weren’t great between them and then how far they’ve come … [They] put this relationship out there and [said], ‘You know what? Even though you get divorced doesn’t mean you have to be bitter enemies.'”

While Caroline spoke openly about Dolores, she quickly shut down when asked about the rumored feud between Dolores and Dina Manzo.

“No, I’m not gonna talk about it. We don’t need another layer, please. Like I said, I’m not getting aggravated for free,” she explained.

Moving on to a lighter topic, her children, Caroline said Albie, Chris, and Lauren Manzo have been out of her house “for years.”

“My boys are about an hour and a half away, they’re down the shore, and Lauren is two towns over, so she’s about 10 minutes away, 15 minutes,” she revealed. “[My granddaughter Markie] is here right now. She just turned six.”

Caroline loves being a grandmother to Markie, and for now, she’s her sole grandchild.

“[Lauren’s] one and done with her. I’m sorry for that, but okay, whatever,” she shared.

Then, when asked if the boys will have children of their own, Caroline added, “We’ll see. Not my business.”

“They’re doing a lot of good things,” she continued. “The boys are very very busy. They have a hospitality group with restaurants and stuff, so they have a couple of really big projects in the summer down the shore. Lauren’s got, of course, her business up here … Everybody’s doing their thing.”

After clarifying that the only way she’d return to RHONJ would be for a large amount of money, Caroline told Tamra and Teddi she left the show after season five because it was “toxic.”

“It changed my world. It changed the dynamic in my house because when you finish filming, that doesn’t mean it’s over. That’s when the phone calls start. That’s when the texts start,” she explained. “Filming’s the easy part.”

“It just never stops,” she went on. “It just became something that was non-stop, and then you have the people that are obsessed with the fame and having that moment on their face on the magazine cover, that will do anything to take you down as long as they shine, whether it be a truth or a lie … And I”m like, ‘I’m too old for this nonsense. Why am I doing this?’”

Caroline may be removed from the series, but she was happy to see Teresa and Jacqueline make amends.

“I think it’s great,” she confirmed. “I think that they really missed each other, and that’s where the venom came from, cuz it came from a place of hurt. They really were very, very good friends and the show gets in the way of relationships a lot.”

“I think it was a casualty of the show, and I’m happy that they’re back together,” she added.

Also, on the podcast, Caroline revealed she recently filmed an episode of her YouTube cooking series, Food, Love and Chaos with Caroline Manzo, with Isaac Mizrahi.

“[He] was my guest so he came over to the house, and we had fun. He’s so sweet,” Caroline gushed.

But she doesn’t always film at home.

“This next couple of weeks I wanna start venturing out,” Caroline explained. “We went to Brooklyn last week and just went to all the different hotspots from when I was a kid and just try to go to different restaurants and stuff.”

Although Caroline is no stranger to showbiz, she said hosting her own show has been a learning curve.

“I’m doing everything myself. [And it] really sucks because you don’t know what kinda money you’re spending, what you’re doing, and when you’re doing it yourself, it’s a lot,” she shared. “It’s a work in progress but it’s fun.”

“At least it’s mine, and I don’t have to worry about any nonsense,” she added.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey season 13 airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Bravo.