I'm so tired of defending myself against fake stories and fake controversies and rumors. I try to rise above it, but I'm always worried that by ignoring it, it gets worse, like an infection that spreads because you didn't take care of it. While I don't care if someone wants to talk smack about my hair or my accent, on the big issues, I can't be quiet. I do want my fans to hear the truth from me, and I'm not going to sit quietly while my livelihood is attacked on purpose.
That said, you can see exactly what I was thinking and why I wrote the comments about Caroline in my book on my website (http://www.teresagiudice.com/) along with links to the Rachel Ray show where the joke was first said. I can only tell you my intentions, and apologize (which I have done directly) if anyone misinterpreted them.
People who are constantly looking for the bad are going to find it, even if they have to make it up. Rather than just relying on certain sentences read out of context, go get the book and read it for yourself: http://amzn.to/n93wMh. Exactly like Skinny Italian (http://amzn.to/ppsCG6) was, Fabulicious is fun, irreverent, and entertaining, and yes the recipes are freakin' delicious!
Like Kim Barnouin in her 2005 best-selling cookbook Skinny Bitch and Bethenny Frankel in 2009's Skinny Girl Dish, I wrote my books in my own voice. Not everyone is going to love how much Kim uses the F-word, or Bethenny's stories about Paris Hilton, but plenty of people do. My books are written for my fans -- fun, gorgeous, girls with attitude, amazing supermoms with senses of humor, fabulous guys, and even grandmas who never lost their sexy side. The list of things I joke about is long: The Olive Garden, KY jelly, priests, hair extensions (not the ones Ashley pulled out Danielle's head!), virgins, public pools, ass magic, US Magazine (I think those last two are closely related), Andy Cohen, cleansiness, and much, much more. And I give out millions of compliments as well to Bethenny and Dr. Oz, to Rachel Ray, Christian Siriano, even that adorable country girl Laura on America's Next Top Model.
I think it's exactly that, plus my delicious recipes, that made my books so successful. Allure magazine called them "charming" and "authentic." Publisher's Weekly, a serious industry magazine that only reviews the best-of-the-best said: "It's the chatty Teresa and her feisty yet playful anecdotes that make this an irresistible, guilty pleasure" and "like its bestselling predecessor, Skinny Italian, Giudice's follow-up Fabulicious contains more of the simple, authentic Italian recipes and reality show quips that made her first book a hit."
As I've criss-crossed the country doing sold-out book signings and meeting thousands of fans, not ONE person has ever told me they thought anything about my books was upsetting.
So, yeah, I was a little surprised that Caroline is pretending to be hurt. They're obviously jokes, they're jokes she's heard before, and even if you were really, really reaching to make them sound like insults, they're not. (If I wanted to insult Caroline Manzo it wouldn't be that she wasn't Italian. I think we all know Don Caroline is as "Italian" as they come in many, many ways...) I don't think the woman who makes fun of my voice, my clothes, my kids, my intelligence, my husband, my job, my financial troubles, or my legal problems, and teaches her own children to make fun of everyone is really going to take offense to such a small and obvious joke. She's smarter than that. So why would she pretend to be upset? I have no idea.
Here's what funny to me too -- that Caroline is doing the exact same thing she accused me of doing with Kathy on the beach -- blowing a comment about my OWN kids out of context and making it all about her kids. For the record, I said Chris Manzo was "adorable" in my book.
Later on in a chapter called "Giudice Girls Gone Wild" I talked about my own daughters and how I don't want them working the pole or working at a stripper carwash (no offense to any Manzos or Lauritas who are into that... I'm talking about MY kids!). It's a joke but it's also how I think anyone with girls feels. I don't have a boy, so I guess maybe I'd feel differently about supporting my boy opening a stripper carwash, but I only have girls. All I know is I wouldn't want them working at one. I have much higher goals for my kids, and I want them to respect themselves. How Caroline twists my talking about my girls into an insult for her son is really crazy.
This whole season has been such a crazy mind game. I feel like I'm playing "Opposite Day" with Milania... and she's five! Caroline and her family not only make fun of my book, they pass judgment on my legal issues, my family problems, the way I raise my kids... Do you ever hear me talk bad about the Brownstone or their personal problems or how I think Lauren should or should not behave? No, I keep my mouth shut and my opinions to myself. I make a little joke in a book full of jokes and everyone freaks out.
Richie can say on national TV that I was dropped on my head as a baby, and "f-- me" every five seconds, and that he's going to burn the house down, and Kathy jumps in with "It's only a joke!" My big insulting joke about Richie in my cookbook? That I WISH he'd stop with the LAME JOKES. Are you serious? He's mad I wrote that? So mad he throws my book in the trash? And then Kathy jumps on Twitter to let everyone know she pulled the book out of the trash and that he was "just kidding" when he threw it away.
Here's the thing: I think we all get that everyone jokes all the time. But my jokes aren't harmful, they don't hit close to the real issues in anyone's lives, and they aren't meant to hurt someone's livelihood. By pretending to be all upset about my book and then bashing my book, they are purposefully trying to hurt my family's income and my career. Imagine if I started bashing The Brownstone or blk water or 'On Display' and sent my fans to trash it everywhere? But I would never do that because that is pure evil.
In fact, I think you've seen me do the opposite. I publicly congratulated Melissa for her song (and gave my fans the link to buy it) three times. She never once said congrats for either one of my books. Did you see me at the blk water party holding the bottle and smiling for the press to give the Manzo boys' product my endorsement? Yes, you did.
I guess I should be happy that as hard as she looked for something to be upset with me about, this was all she could come up with (and you know if I'd done anything to her family ever, it would be on US Weekly and RadarOnline by now!). I do appreciate the attention she's brought to Fabulicious as sales have skyrocketed, but I'd much rather she just gave me positive recognition as a friend to help my book.
Looking back at all the seasons and all the times I talked about Caroline, I can't believe how many times I said I considered her "family." I shouldn't have been so blind. She never once said the same thing about me. In fact, I don't remember her even calling me a friend. I was always Dina's friend or Jacqueline's friend, or "that crazy Teresa."
I'm not a perfect friend or a perfect person and I've never claimed to be. I definitely do react to people coming after me and my family and now my livelihood, but it does take me a long time to get there. I let a lot slide off my back, including a whole season of insults from Caroline and her crew. But I'm proud to say I don't attack. I don't go looking for trouble with anyone, not Danielle, not Kim G., not the Manzos, not anyone. I don't plant fake stories, I don't bully, I don't try and get people to gang up on someone. It's just not my style. I'm too busy living my life, moving forward, and appreciating my gorgeous family. I wish Caroline and Jacqueline would stop with the drama for once. They seem to thrive on it, almost obsessively. Ashley said it herself this season that anywhere there's drama, her mom puts herself in the middle of it.
I'm worried about them because it's obvious by their erratic behavior they are hurting. I think until they find happiness and peace in their own lives, with their own jobs, their marriages, and relationships with their children and siblings, they aren't going to be able to be happy for anyone else and certainly not for anyone else's success. No matter what, they will always hold a special place in my heart. I wish them and their families all the best, and will continue to keep them in my prayers.
Just a couple more things on the finale episode... The family photo was amazing. It's the first time we've ever done that. I have no idea why Melissa would say we've taken professional family pictures without her and my brother. I would never do that. He's my only brother, what kind of family picture would that be? And I don't know why they listed at the end of the episode that I didn't attend my nephew Joey's first birthday party. He didn't have a party! Melissa told me he was sick and she was only having my parents over because she didn't want to get my kids sick. I really appreciated that, and made it up to him next time I saw him.
Thanks to all of you (thank you soooo much!), Fabulicious an amazing success just like Skinny Italian. It's going into another printing! And I'm busy working on my third cookbook which will be out in the Spring of 2012: Fabulicious: Fast & Fit (http://amzn.to/nUaQIx).
Can't wait to meet you all in Philly this weekend! Check my website for my latest news, photos, and appearances http://www.teresagiudice.com/ or follow me on Twitter (@Teresa_Giudice) or Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Teresa-Giudice/122688361577.
PS: Jay Mohr, I know you're in love with the Manzos and hang out with them in your personal life, but send me your address. I'd love to send you my cookbooks since you obviously didn't read them. It's weird to me that you would literally judge someone's work without reading it. That would be like me telling the world you were not a funny comedian without ever having seen one of your shows. You of all people know not everyone's going to get all your jokes, but to bash my book for jokes you didn't even read yourself is sad.
(And if you had invited ME to your Jersey show, I might have even let you motorboat me before we walked through the door together. It is an old Italian custom where I come from, and you just lost out, my friend.)