Cast Blog: #RHONJ

Cover Girl

Teresa explains the story behind the tabloid cover.

Hi Baby Dolls!

Wasn't Jamie and Rich's wedding gorgeous? Joe and I were so proud to be a part of it, and yes, we both cried. Like I said in my blog last week, I'm very proud to be on show that made history. I've always been such a big believer in love -- maybe that's why I have to say it three times: love, love, love! That's my natural way: I love, love, love people right away, I give them my heart and trust them until they prove different. It has gotten me hurt in the past, especially with some of my old friends, but I don't know how to be any other way and I don't want to be. I think if you put love and positive things out into the world, you'll get them back.

Thank you all for supporting my first appearance on QVC this weekend! It was crazy and nerve-wracking, but so fun! I loved when David did a happy dance when he tasted my food. That's the best part for me -- when people love what I've made. It feels so good.

I know the other Housewives keep making comments about how I must have a ghostwriter do everything for me. It's either a sign of jealousy that their own stuff isn't that good, or an insult that they think I'm stupid. Maybe it's both. Sorry that I can write well and have done so since my very first blog -- but I'm not perfect, I'm not an English teacher, I know I say "me and Joe" instead of "Joe and I," but I write how I talk. I do have a college degree, and yes Microsoft Word does have spell check, so I don't see how it's really all that hard. And if I did have someone else do it all for me, why am I able to go on pressure-filled live appearances like QVC and big speeches at libraries and stuff and manage to sound OK? I usually ignore all the little comments and insults, but this is one I'm pretty sick of, so I just want to put it to rest once and for all. I don't have a ghostwriter do everything for me. I have a co-author on my books, Heather Maclean, and her name is clearly on the cover. No mystery. She lives in the Midwest, has three kids of her own, and just wrote her 12th book. Believe me, she doesn't live in my kitchen and type all my stuff for me. She doesn't have the time, and you know I like to do things myself anyway. I don't even have a personal assistant or nanny. Remember when Melissa and her sisters were laughing last season about how I couldn't afford one? I'll take all the accusations as a compliment that I'm doing a pretty good job on my own.So let's talk about the In Touch magazine cover that had everyone's panties in a bunch. Before I talk about the one they all conveniently couldn't stop reading though, I want to tell you about my history with magazines and how the whole thing works.

When I joined RHONJ, I didn't know anyone on TV. I had no one to tell me how it worked, I had to learn on my own. The first time I was ever on a magazine cover was for US Weekly in 2009. Our show was taking off in the ratings, and US Weekly contacted Bravo to have me, Dina, and Danielle pose for a story. (PS: No one ever knows which story in the magazine is going to be the cover because if bigger news comes along, it gets priority. I'd hoped to be the cover of People in May last year for that "Teresa Fights Back" story of me with the boxing gloves, but the day before Arnold Schwarzenegger’s love child was exposed. Guess what was on the cover.)

The three of us had a fun photo shoot in N.Y.C. -- they glammed us up and put us all in blue dresses. I was already pregnant with Audriana (which wasn't part of the show yet) so I had to stand sideways and they cut my belly off! The whole thing was just like a dream and so fun. Like pretending you're a movie star. When the magazine came out and we were on the cover, it was shocking. First because no Housewife, not even the 'New York' ladies or Bethenny, had ever been on the cover of a national magazine before. It was exciting to see it in the grocery store aisles. It was just so weird to see myself. I thought we all looked really pretty. But it wasn't all wine and roses. Underneath our pretty picture, right on the cover, was a box with my face in it screaming as I flipped the table. Not so pretty. And then there was the cover text: "Real Housewives' Dirty Secrets." What? What dirty secrets? I didn't have any dirty secrets. I was actually embarrassed and was afraid to show the magazine to my mom! That's when I learned just because you get to take a pretty picture for a magazine doesn't mean they are going to write pretty things about you. In fact, you can almost guarantee the opposite.

The second time I was asked to possibly be on the cover of a magazine was with Jacqueline and our new babies for In Touch. Someone (maybe another Housewife from another franchise, I forget because I didn't even have a PR person back then... I knew nothing) told us that you should ask for money to be in the magazine. Great idea, we thought! Why not get paid if you can? They're making money selling your face, why shouldn't you get something? I'll pose for a picture if it means I can put money in my kids' college fund. Deal.Here's the deal though: you're only ever paid for photographs. The magazine has to pay for photos no matter what: either they do a photo shoot with you, or they pay for shots from a professional photographer who just happened to catch you walking down the street, or god forbid, the paparazzi. Here's how I feel about that: if the magazine is going to run a story about you anyway and you have no control about what the story will be, what will be on the cover, even how they might twist your own quotes or use ugly pictures of you, why not get paid for a professional photo shoot? I love, love, love photographs... especially of me and my girls. You've seen my Christmas cards; I go over the top with photographs. Now suddenly magazines are offering to give me gorgeous photos (that I get to keep) and they'll pay me. If I say no, they're going to do the story anyway, but the photos will probably not be pretty, like the recent cover of US Weekly with my arms crossed when I look all mad. Who wants that?

So Jacqueline and I were all excited to have beautiful shots of us and our babies in In Touch and get paid for them! And that one actually was a pretty nice story, no drama or crazy cover tags. But maybe that's because we never made it to the cover. We got bumped for a story about Brat Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. No need to have a dramatic cover sentence for us because we weren't the cover.

It's weird how it works: you don't always get paid even for photo shoots. People magazine doesn't pay for instance (unless you're Brad Pitt I'm guessing). But when I was asked to pose for a photo shoot with my girls in their playroom, for back-to-school clothes with Alex McCord and her boys, and with my girls for Halloween in People magazine, I did them all for free because I love taking pictures! You don't have any say about the photos of course, and they can still pick a bad one, but I still think taking pictures is fun, especially when I get to keep them for free.

At some point the photos of me and my kids must have been selling well because I started to get asked more often, and started to appear on covers I was never asked about at all. And of course, the stories about me got crazier. To date, I've been on the cover of over 25 magazines. That's just crazy to me; I know actors and models would kill for that much exposure. But I didn't ask for it. They put me on the cover because apparently magazines sell really well when I'm on them. I'm not sure if that's flattering or not since the stories aren't typically very flattering.The truth is Jacqueline and Caroline aren't on the covers of magazines every week presumably because it wouldn't make the magazine sell. They aren't missing from the magazines because they take some high road and say no. They aren't wanted. I'm not saying being wanted is better or somehow desirable because in most cases it isn't, but to say that I have any control over it is false. And they know it.

So on this episode they were all acting so shocked at the story they said I put out. First of all, they know I didn't put it out. Yes, for that one I posed for the photos rather than have random street shots of me used. And I wanted some photos of me and Gabriella since she's so quiet and not on the show a lot. During the shoot they asked me some questions, and I answered them. Some of them, not even all of them. And I didn't say anything bad about anyone.

What did I say? They were asking all about how my friends were treating me now that I was in bankruptcy. Obviously they wanted me to say something mean or crazy, but I didn't. No one has treated me differently. (Although I didn't know Caroline was talking about the supposed auctioning of my stuff on camera...I would never talk about her finances on TV!) I did say that Richie and Kathy (mostly Richie) used to jibe me about how many times I went to the mall. Richie would say, "How much gas did you use up today driving to Short Hills to buy more clothes, Teresa?" Maybe it's because he works at a gas station that he's so interested in gas, but he was always floored by how often I shopped. He didn't understand it because his wife wasn't on TV yet. Now that she is, she shops a lot too. Big deal. I'm not sure how saying that is so super bad like Kathy is making it out to be. Richie did say it all the time and it was annoying, so what. Kathy is all insulted though? I'm not buying it from the woman who said on TV about me: "I guess intelligence is a different language for Teresa," "It's not my job to raise her," and "You better wrap a sweater around that icy heart, because you’re gonna catch a nasty cold." Wow.

As far as the other ladies, their quotes are from THEM, not me. Those are the things they said themselves on the show. If a writer wants to label them as "insults," what can I do? Nothing. Just like I could do nothing about the cover headline: "I'm terrified of being poor." I guess I don't want to be poor, but I would never say that and I don't think like that. We grew up immigrants with nothing. No one wants to be poor, but I wouldn't have written that as my headline. Did I want it to also say I had "shocking debt"? No. Or that my marriage was in "crisis"? No. The editors write that I'm "bullied by my friends for being broke." Not my quote, not from me.What's crazy is that Caroline acts like it is from me. As if I'm some master magazine publisher who puts these stories out. I don't put them out. They go out with or without me. And Caroline, Jacqueline, Melissa, Kathy and their husbands KNOW THIS. They know this because they've seen it over 25 times. Why no comments about the other covers?

How about the OK! Magazine cover that came out TWO WEEKS before this one and was also on stands while we were filming? Why didn't they all read and comment about that one? I was on the cover (I like the shot, but I didn't know about it, it wasn't a photo shoot) and it said: "Reality TV Shockers: Teresa pursues a new man." Um, what? Yeah, not true, like 90 percent of them. I wasn't asked about the story, wasn't interviewed, and they don't have a single quote from me. Inside the story says "On the Brink of Divorce" and quotes a bunch of "insiders"... AND QUOTES MELISSA. There's Melissa smiling under the headline Melissa "Tells OK! Exclusively Why She Believes She'll Never Bury The Hatchet With Her Sister-in-Law." Wow. So Melissa put that headline out there? Not very loyal to family... And here are a few of Melissa's direct quotes: "Joe (Giudice) doesn't always speak the truth. A lot of the things I hear him say are false." And "I always was nothing but good to Teresa," "Teresa and I both know the reason we're not close," "She was never happy for any of the good things that went on in our lives." This was done right before she filmed everything she said about the In Touch article at her pool party while wiping away a fake tear. I just can't...

So now you know how it works. I never did. I do get paid for photo shoots sometimes, sometimes I do them and don't get paid, but I like pictures. And here's another thing: if they pay you for the shoot, they shoot a million pictures in tons of different clothes so they can spread them out and use them in several different magazines without having to pay you again. I think I've only ever done 4 or 5 photo shoots that they've used in the over 20 covers (I can't even count how many times I've appeared in the magazines. I don't even read them anymore...) And I do say no A LOT. I'm busy, it's not a lot of money, and I don't need it.

Regardless of the photos, I can't control what's on the cover or when, and I usually hate what they say. Even though I love the picture of my wedding vow renewals with Joe, they wrote right over my wedding dress: "Despite Joe's drunken bullying, Teresa refuses to leave him." Did I put that out there? Of course not.Just for fun, google "Kim Kardashian Life & Style Cover" and read the headlines that come up: everything from "My Dream Wedding" to "The Proof Kim Cheated." One week it's Kim's bikini secrets, the next she's suing her own mother. She obviously doesn't like the like covers, but she has no control.

Again, all the other Housewives know this very well. To pretend I'm putting them out is just not true. In fact, the one time Jacqueline, Caroline, and I were all on the cover of In Touch together, we all got skewered for "The Secrets That Could Ruin Them." Apparently I caught Joe in a hotel room with a blonde, Jacqueline had a stripper past, and Caroline is involved in a police cover-up to "bury a horrific assault." So clearly I'm not best friends with the editors of In Touch, and they don't do me any special favors!

Now that you know how it works and that they know how it works, keep watching. The next few episodes (and the bad acting accompanying them) will blow your mind! It really blew mine!

I'm still on my national book tour. I was just in Miami, now I'm in Pennsylvania, then Chicago! Love meeting you all! I'm so honored by how well "Fabulicious: Fast & Fit" is doing! Thank you, thank you, thank you! If it's sold out in your store, you can still find it on Amazon:

Follow me on Twitter @Teresa_Giudice and Facebook and visit my website for photos from my travels and life, news, and lots of love, love, love.

Tanti Baci,
Terasa xx

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Dina: "The Reunion was Very Hard to Watch"

Dina Manzo opens up about her comments regarding her family and why she kept quiet for Teresa Giudice.

This reunion was very hard to watch. What most of you don't know is I went in there with the intention of keeping silent on my family issues, as I have for the past four years. An incident happened at the reunion, and I won't even give that person the attention they crave, but it set me off to tell my truth. Well some of it at least. I felt I was very P.C. this whole time, but now I had enough. Some people will push you because they know deep down inside you won't push back, but being "zen" is all about setting boundaries, and learning that has been part of my spiritual path. 

I don't want to go into much other than saying my answer about Nic came out very cold because there was more to it. I wish it were that easy to get to know him, but unfortunately it's not because of my relationship with his mother, and I'm just being honest. He is not missing me nor does he know what is going on with this family because of NOTHING more than his age. Anyone who is trying to make people think otherwise, especially his mother, should be ashamed of themselves. The Mother Theresa comment was about people comparing how I raise money for children with cancer yet don't help him. I went on to say how blessed my brother is to live in a county in New Jersey that people actually move to for the autism programs offered. How I see joy in him because of the progress he is making. He is a happy, beautiful child that is on his way to recovery, and although I know it's a struggle for parents of children on the spectrum, there is NOTHING wrong with seeing joy in them instead of sorrow. I appreciate all the parents of children with autism for their emails, tweets, etc. understanding and APPRECIATING that I see Nic as a 4 year old beautiful boy and not labeling him as anything other than that.

Kathy and Melissa should not have challenged me about "family values" if they don't want to hear my side. I kept quiet for the most part for TERESA, not wanting to bring up old wounds when she was dealing with so much around her sentencing. It was a hard position for me to be in. 

I have no words for my sister on WWHL. She could have answered the no engagement question and left it at that. The lies that followed after were extremely hurtful and must have come from the sheer frustration of having to defend her position on the engagement party. All of you have seen I have ONLY ever said positive things about her no matter what I was feeling. 

Please take a moment to watch this video I made on my truth about it all. I will post all the details on my look next week, but you can get to everyone involved -- from hair to dress  -- on my Instagram post on Sunday. Speaking of Instagram, I invite you to join me on a post a day for the month of November to share what you are thankful for. Showing gratitude for what you have in life just allows the universe to send you more to be thankful for! Trust me, it works!

Sending lots of love, 

Dina xo


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