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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of New Jersey

Dolores & Melissa Set the Record Straight on Pre-Reunion "Takedown" Meeting: "Conversations Happen"

RHONJ's Dolores Catania and Melissa Gorga addressed the alleged plan to "take down" Teresa Giudice and Louie Ruelas.

By Joshua Espinoza
Dolores Catania Confirms the Pre-Reunion Meeting

Pre-reunion meetings are pretty common among The Real Housewives of New Jersey cast — at least that's what Dolores Catania and Melissa Gorga say.

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One of the many allegations lobbed in the RHONJ Season 14 premiere involved a so-called “takedown” meeting aimed at Teresa Giudice and her husband, Luis “Louie” Ruelas. The couple addressed the purported conversation during their dinner date with Dolores and her Irish beau, Paul “Paulie” Connell, saying they heard about the scheme from Dolores’ ex-husband, Frank Catania.

“Frank told Louie that they all met at Margaret [Josephs’] house before [the Season 13 reunion] happened to have a plan to go against Louie and I,” Teresa said in the May 5 episode. “So then after New York, my husband reached out to Frank and they made up and [Frank said], ‘I just want you to know that they all came up with a plan trying to take Louie and myself down.”

Dolores Catania says Frank Catania was invited to a pre-reunion meeting

Dolores was pressed about the allegations during her May 5 appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, saying there was definitely a pre-reunion meeting but couldn't confirm what was discussed. 

“[Frank] was invited to the, um — yeah, the meeting. Yes, he was invited to the meeting,” she told host Andy Cohen. “Was it to take Louie and Teresa down? I couldn’t say that. But I can say that it was a meeting before the reunion.”

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“I think y’all do talk before reunions,” Andy said, to which Dolores responded: “Not me. I have a theory: You cannot practice what you’re going to say before you get in that reunion because it throws you off. You can’t go in with it scripted, like, ‘Andy’s gonna say this and then I’m gonna say this.’ But conversations happen, yeah.”

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Dolores made similar comments in the Season 14 premiere: “It’s normal to have a meeting of the minds before the reunion," she said in an episode interview. "I think we all do it… with this group, it’s tit for tat.”

Melissa Gorga dismisses "takedown" claims: "Teresa does the same thing"

Split of Melissa Gorga at a movie premiere red carpet and Teresa Giudice at a Variety event

Teresa and Louie entered Season 14 feuding with fellow Jersey couples Rachel and John Fuda; Margaret and Joe Benigno; as well as her sister-in-law Melissa and brother, Joe Gorga. Melissa addressed “takedown” claims in a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, suggesting there was a pre-reunion meeting but it was “absolutely no big deal.”

“Teresa does the same thing on her side. I’ve seen it," the mother of three said. "They’ve asked me to join. They’ve literally called me to ask me to turn on Margaret at a reunion to keep the show about family. I said, absolutely not… It’s another instance of [Teresa and Louie] just finding something to try to make us look bad. It’s totally typical. It’s totally normal.”

She continued: “It’s actually extremely normal for Housewives or you to get together with a couple of girls that you’re close to on a Friday night and be like, ‘So what about this reunion?’ It wasn’t such a planned [takedown]. It’s just so crazy for her to make it sound that way.”

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