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The Camera Doesn't Lie

Caroline stands by what she said at the reunion and explains her side.

By Caroline Manzo

Hello everyone! Sorry I haven't blogged lately, life has been a little hectic here in New Jersey. I'm actually on my way to Los Angeles right now, so I'm taking the opportunity to write without interruption.

Season 3 was action-packed and filled with every emotion you could think of, sometimes all within the same episode. We were introduced to two new Housewives, Melissa and Kathy, along with their husbands and children. These two came onto the scene in what I believe to be one of the most dramatic moments in Housewives history and were instantly labeled as villains by the viewing audience. I'm embarrassed to admit that I was right there with all of you. Who could blame us? Our very first impressions of them were formed as if they were shot out of a cannon filled with jealousy and hate that rained down on all of us. The irony of it all still baffles me.

Over the past few months I've read numerous comments regarding my attitude this year. Many of you said that I looked frustrated, angry, bitter, bored, and "over it." You were absolutely right; I was all of that and more. Let's take a minute to remember what the "goal" was way back in Episode 1 -- Teresa wanted her family back together, and Jacqueline and I were asked to help mend fences. We were all too happy to help her, that's what friends are for. If only I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't have touched this with a ten-foot pole.

I had minimal interaction with Melissa prior to her joining the show and I was introduced to Kathy the night of the Posche event. The bizarre thing about Kathy is the fact that I didn't even know she existed until she became part of our cast. Over the years I've heard Teresa tell more negative stories about Melissa than I care to remember, and when Kathy came into the picture the stories came out of left field. Again, all negative. I'm ashamed to admit that I had a predisposed opinion of these ladies based on the "history" I was given. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I chose to believe all the bad without giving them a chance to show me the good. That was awful of me, and they didn't deserve it. I've apologized to each of them privately and publicly.It didn't take very long for me to recognize that something was wrong with the picture of Melissa and Kathy that had been painted for us. Their behavior and personalities didn't match up with the stories; red flags were popping up everywhere. This is where my frustration started to come through. One thing I can tell you without reservation is that the camera doesn't lie. You can fake it, but it's going to get you sooner or later. In my case it was sooner.

Teresa asked us to help bring her family together but her actions never matched her words. It became very difficult for me to watch the charade. I hoped that maybe through the process Teresa would somehow recognize how insignificant her issues were and find a true resolution with her brother and Melissa. 

A few episodes in you began to see a shift in my attitude towards Teresa that probably didn't make sense. Many thought I jumped ship and took sides with the "enemy." What enemy? There's not supposed to be an enemy! Jacqueline and I tried to reason with Teresa, and all we got in return was a lecture on friendship. You will like who she likes and dislike whom she doesn't. End of story. That was the end for me, I'm not a child and I won't dislike someone because Teresa Giudice told me to. I didn't care, it was a matter of self-respect at this point. Now do my comments throughout the season make sense? I hate even having to explain all of this, but I feel like you needed a little back-story to understand my position at the reunion.OK, let's talk about the reunion. It was miserable. We're currently shooting Season 4 and the night before the reunion we were all together at an event that should have never ended the way it did. I can't reveal too much, but I can tell you that there was an incident, which led to an ugly confrontation that destroyed a friendship and quite possibly put an irreparable divide between families. Jacqueline was really affected by it, and that's why she didn't attend.

I don't regret anything I said at the reunion to Teresa, because I was telling the truth. All of our emotions were on overdrive from the night before and I couldn't hide my feelings. I didn't see why I should at this point. Wait a minute, correction, I do regret one thing; I will never forget the look on Joe Gorga's face when he saw the clip of me outing Teresa's true feelings about reconciling with him. Many of you think Teresa said this to me in confidence, not true, it was widely known and said to others beside myself. Joe didn't deserve to hear that, and I wish I never said it. He's a great guy with a huge heart, and I hurt him. This is what ugly is, and I don't like the feeling. I texted Joe and Melissa the moment I saw it and apologized. It was wrong and in my anger and frustration I didn't realize how the truth would affect others. Lesson learned.
OK, as for my friendship with Teresa. I have said time and time again that Teresa was Dina's friend first, and had a different relationship with Jacqueline than with me. I knew Teresa casually over the years, but when we started doing the show together, we spent more time with each other. Those times were always in a group setting, never one-on-one. Did I consider Teresa family? Yes, I did, we all were involved in each other's lives, and friendships and relationships were had on many different levels. Having said that, I still stand by what I said. We weren't buddies, but we were still part of a family dynamic.

The cookbook… Oh, the cookbook. I know we were on Rachel Ray, I know we joked about the Olive Garden, but here's the difference -- we didn't joke about my son, Melissa, Kathy, or Richie. Go to Rachel Ray's website and look up the meatball competition. Big difference. Another thing, if she was joking about being one-sixteenth Italian, why did she tell me in Italian at the reunion that she was one hundred percent Italian? What point was she trying to make? Newsflash -- my mother's family is from Naples and my father's family is from Cinzano. Look on a map, they're both in Italy. My grandfather's name is etched in the wall at Ellis Island. Check it out for yourself, Domenico Laurita. I know Teresa says I'm a liar, but I'd have to be pretty good to accomplish that. (Note to self: Go back and repair broken lock on Ellis Island window.)

It was never about the Italian remark, it was about the underhanded sneaky insults towards the rest of us followed by an insincere apology. I referred to her once as a modern day Lucille Ball because of her flighty "innocence" and goofy personality back in the day. To use my words as a defense against your insulting remarks towards my son is unbelievable. Apology not accepted.
I have never hidden or denied anything that was ever asked of me regarding my family. When Andy asked about my father-in-law, I told the truth. When Albie had to discuss his law school issues, we told the truth. When Andy asked about Jacqueline's infamous punch, we told the truth. (As a side note, Teresa even took a shot at me during one of her interviews regarding this too. When did post-partum depression become funny, Teresa?)
I never claimed that my family was perfect. I've said numerous times that we fight like crazy, and sometimes don't speak for a minute, a month, a week, or a year. Bottom line is this -- there will be a time and a place to mend. My fear in having this issue exposed had nothing to do with me at all. It was all about my parents. Teresa claims that the biggest hurt of all is watching her parents deal with the pain of their children fighting while the nation watches. So my question is this -- Teresa knew how important it was to me to keep the Dina issue hidden, but tried numerous times throughout the season and through her blogs and interviews to reveal it. She finally had her moment at the reunion. Did she think I would deny it? Congratulations, Teresa, the only thing you succeeded in doing was hurting my parents. What a fool I've been in my efforts to bring your family together when it was your intent to destroy mine from the start. Shame on you. I've been asked by numerous publications to tell my story regarding Teresa and Dina and have denied them all, because I refuse to glorify an already sad situation.
I also would like to point out that I have never, ever, found anything funny or satisfying regarding the divide between Teresa and her brother. Despite all the rumors circulated about Dina and me, I remained completely silent, making not one single remark. Many of you confuse my silence on Twitter, Facebook, and in the media as guilt. Quite the opposite, it's a matter of self-respect. Why sensationalize the situation? I'm only writing this now, because I believe as viewers you deserve some answers, I will never speak of this again, as it is a private matter that will take time and love to heal, but mark my words, this too shall pass. Promise, mom, PROMISE!

Teresa may think she hurt me, but what she doesn't understand is that she can never hurt me, because I take into account where it's coming from. Unlike you, Teresa, I can look in the mirror and hold my head high knowing that I have always given the best of myself to my family and friends. I live my life with integrity and self-respect.

PS: I hated writing this blog, it wasn't supposed to end this way. But it is what it is.

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