Caroline Manzo…The Next Chapter

Photo: CarolineManzo.com

Photo: CarolineManzo.com

She may no longer hold the title of Real Housewife, but Caroline Manzo is holding her head very high these days. Well rested since completing her final season on RHONJ over a year ago, she has been spending lots of time with her family and being “normal”. Now preparing for her reality television return in a new, self titled series, she’s ready to bring the light hearted laughter back to Bravo. I caught up with Caroline at the annual Spring Sparkle shopping event.

TBB: The Manzo’d With Children pilot is complete and you are about to start production on the real McCoy…

CM: Yes, the real McCoy! Eight episodes which we will start filming in about 2 weeks. I don’t know how long the process will take, maybe 8 or 9 weeks.

TBB: How do you think this will compare to filming Housewives?

CM: It’s a completely different animal. It’s a half hour (show), it’s light hearted. There will be dilemmas and stuff but not the crazy drama that Housewives was. It kind of just spotlights the way we live our life in our house.

TBB: I know your mother, Nettie Laurita, she’s a very creative , very interesting and inspiring woman. Will she be on the show at all?

CM: I don’t know. We only have 8 episodes and they will be following our lives, so I don’t know what’s going to make it on. There’s so much going on with me and Al, and the three kids (Albie, Lauren, and Christopher) and then there’s the extended family, Vito (Scalia), and my sister Fran (Laurita) who’s also on the show. That’s a lot to pack into 8 episodes in a half hour, really only 22 minutes when you count the commercials!

TBB: How are the plans for Lauren and Vito’s wedding coming along?

CM: We’re taking out time. She’s got a year left as she’s getting married next summer. We have the venue, obviously The Brownstone, and we have the church and the band booked. Probably July or August we’ll start wedding gown shopping. Then I’m just going to sit back and relax! The hardest part I don’t even have to worry about. I’m just going to show up at The Brownstone and I’m sure everything will be fine!

TBB: What has it been like knowing the The Real Housewives of New Jersey is taping and you are no longer a part of it, after you were for so many seasons from the very beginning of the series? Do you miss it at all?

CM: It was funny, my husband and my kids said to me, “We got your back,” because it takes a toll on you. I am just happy and relaxed enjoying time with Al and the kids. I’ve been playing tennis, and getting back in the gym, and cooking dinner. I’m just being normal. Not one single second did I think about it, not one moment did I miss it. I wish them all well, obviously. My time was done, I knew when it was time to go and I opted out.

TBB: Have you heard anything about the filming of Season 7?

CM: I know nothing, I know absolutely nothing. If I see any of the ladies I don’t ask about it. When something is in my past, it’s in my past. I had nothing left to give, I didn’t see eye to eye with a lot of the way things were going, so why would I go back and ask questions and wonder how filming was going? I would have stayed on otherwise. So, I left for a reason and I’m happy.

TBB: What was your initial reaction when you found out that your sister Dina (Manzo) was rejoining the cast of Housewives?

CM: It’s her choice and I’m not going to say more than that.

 

The latest Sparkle event was sponsored by Jeff Bailey, Todd Bailey, and Anthony Laurita of United Real Estate NJ. Photographed with Caroline and TBB.

The latest Sparkle event was sponsored by Jeff Bailey, Todd Bailey, and Anthony Laurita of United Real Estate NJ. Photographed with Caroline and TBB.

TBB: Are we going to see a revival of the Ham Game?

CM: I hope not! Those kids you know what, they don’t stop! I love them to death! They keep me young, they keep me laughing all the time, you know, Ham Game, who knows! If it’s not Ham Game, leave it to Christopher to think of something else I’m sure!

TBB: How’s Jacqueline doing?

CM: Jacqueline’s doing great! Nick is in therapy, we’re all hands in on that. It’s 1 step forward, 100 steps back, but I’ve always said, “If love can cure, he’ll be fine.”

TBB: Will we see Chris and Jac on (Manzo’d With Children)?

CM: I hope so, they are a very big part of my life. Again, it’s only 8 episodes and when you’ve got a family as big as mine…My house is like the hub, mine and Chris’s house are where everything all happens. But again, it’s like the Housewives, they film thousands of hours and you just never know what’s going to make it.

TBB: What do you hope viewers get out of Manzo’d With Children?

CM: I want them to smile. I want them to laugh and I want them to smile because that’s what life’s about!

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Reality Roundup: Custody Battles, Cat Fights, and Court Dates!

Tamra Barney (Source: Judy Eddy/WENN)

The Real Housewives of Orange County star Tamra Barney remains entangled in a brutal custody battle with ex-husband Simon Barney.

Tamra’s RHOC co-star star and on-again-off-again BFF, Vicki Gunvalson is shooting down rumors that she’s a neglectful mother.

“When Tamra told us how hard it was for her to share her children 50 percent of the time with Simon, I felt so bad for her,” Vicki wrote in her Bravo blog last week. “Having the void of not having the three kids around when they are at their dad’s I’m sure is huge.”

Last month, Simon filed paperwork seeking modification of his and Tamra’s child custody agreement. In the documents, Simon claimed Tamra was an unfit mother and does not properly feed the children or keep up with their hygiene.

“This has been the most devastating week of my family’s life,” Tamra wrote in her Bravo blog last week. “I want to thank my family, friends, therapist, fans, and complete strangers for their support.”

“My children are my life, and I love and cherish them with all my heart,” Tamra continued. “I believe that divorced children should have both parents in their lives. I have always told the children that it would be great if their dad could live right across the street so they could see us both every day. It’s unfortunate that he doesn’t feel the same way.”

Simon “knew the papers would be made public,” Tamra told In Touch. “It’s sickening that he would do it this way, just to hurt me.”

The jig is up! Apollo Nida, husband of The Real Housewives of Atlanta star Pheadra Parks, was charged with fraud earlier this year. Now, in U.S. District Court Wednesday, Apollo Nida’s co-conspirator Gayla St. Julien has pled guilty to conspiracy to commit mail, wire, and bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Gayla’s plea resulted in a 61-month prison sentence, according to the Atlanta Journal.

Apollo and Gayla worked together from 2009 until 2013. The pair allegedly laundered close to $3 million together through fraudulent bank accounts and companies.

Apollo is still working out a plea deal of his own. According to court records obtained by Radar Online, Nida allegedly created companies “purporting to be collection agencies,” the documents read, “in order to obtain access to the personal [information] of others,” and then used that information to take out loans and purchase checks.

Despite the harsh consequences Apollo may be facing, “we’re still staying positive,” he told Radar. “I feel good about the support I’m getting…All the support’s been needed.”

The sixth season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey may have encountered a production delay!

Bravo doesn’t have an air date for the upcoming season of the Real Housewives of New Jersey because of Teresa Giudice’s prison sentencing hearing,” an insider told Radar Online.

After pleading guilty to multiple fraud and tax evasion charges last month, Teresa Giudice and her husband, Joe Giudice, are currently awaiting their sentencing hearing scheduled for July 8th.

“Obviously, Teresa is going to be a key character in the upcoming season, and Bravo wants to maximize her storyline,” the insider continued. “Having Teresa available to do press interviews and promotions is essential.”

“Teresa’s legal team absolutely won’t let her do any interviews before the sentencing hearing because it could impact her sentence,” the insider added. “If Teresa was out doing press interviews promoting RHONJ before the July 8 sentencing, it would look like she wasn’t taking the process seriously which she definitely is. After the sentence is handed down, it’s expected Bravo will officially give season 6 a premiere date. 

Although Teresa is holding out for house arrest, she and Joe could potentially face years behind bars.

Bravo executives are “hopeful that Joe will be sent to prison first, and will be ordered to serve time before Teresa’s sentence is served. Teresa is contractually obligated to do press for the show, but the network is working with her because of her legal problems.”

Despite the unconventional drama, Teresa “is trying to keep things as normal as possible for her daughters.”

It wasn’t the first time hair was pulled on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, but the brawl that happened on the RHOA Reunion this past Sunday was one for the history books!

The altercation, which happened on March 27th, led to an arrest—Porsha Williams Stewart was charged with simple battery against her co-star Kenya Moore.

The 31-year-old reality star was immediately released after posting $2,000 bond.

Over 4.1 million viewers tuned in this past Sunday to witness Porsha grabbing Kenya’s hair, pulling her to the ground, and dragging her across the floor.

“I’ve sat through many reunion shows, but this one takes the cake for me,” RHOA co-star NeNe Leakes wrote on her personal blog. “My feelings are simple! You TAUNT, you INVADE people’s personal space, you PUSH, you PROVOKE, you LIE and yet you don’t condone violence! Well, what message are you sending?”

“I feel like I’ve been put in provoking situations all season,” NeNe continued. “If I had reacted in a violent manner in any of these situations I would be considered the bad one, the one that is wrong, the one that is mean. But at the same time is all of THIS really okay? When is it ‘okay’ to BULLY someone, then question retaliation?”

Porsha will break her silence when she appears on Tuesday’s edition of The View to discuss the incident.

Part two of The Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion will air tonight, Sunday April 27th at 8pm.

Catch a clip of the brawl below:

Editor’s Note: Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Kathy Wakile‘s daughter Victoria underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor last week. Though friends of the family told us they did not know, the news became public when both Kathy and Victoria tweeted and instagrammed about the surgery which appears to have been successful. This is the second time Victoria has had brain surgery of this kind, the first when she was a child. We wish Victoria a speedy recovery.

Do you have a submission or idea for next week’s Reality Roundup? Email me brent@tbbreality.com . Your identity will remain anonymous and your information will never be shared or sold.

 

A Son’s Tribute

The following was written last week by my twenty year old nephew Adam Goldstein. His father, my brother-in-law Dan is fighting a horrendous battle right now. I am heartbroken for my sister and her family. Please enjoy this beautiful tribute to a man I’ve known for more than half my life… Lesley Rousso

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By Adam Goldstein

My dad is the greatest man I have ever met. He has always been someone I can rely on, trust unconditionally, and make me laugh when I need a cheering up. Being an only child with no brothers and sisters, I was always very lonely while I was growing up. I always wanted a sibling, however was not fortunate enough to get one. I have had to learn to be an independent individual, relying only on myself and the help from my parents. This has shaped my life and my personality more than any experience I can remember even causing issues such as depression and social anxiety at a young age. However, while I was always blessed throughout my life with a great group of friends, my dad has always topped the list. My dad has supported me unconditionally along the way, simultaneously being my best friend, the brother I’ve never had but always wanted, and the best father any person could ask for.

For those of you reading who don’t know, my father and I share the same birthday. He has always told me I was the best birthday gift my mother gave him. We have spent every birthday together for the last 20 years since I was born. However, our most recent birthday in January was fogged down by bad news my family received a week prior. My father of only 52 years old was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (a rare, terminal lung disease with no known cure). My dad is currently going through chemotherapy treatments, on heavy daily medications and has lost 25 lbs in the past month and a half. It is heartbreaking to see the man I have followed and looked up to my entire life go through this awful hardship and uncertainty.

Watching my dad go through what he is going through has paralyzed me. I watch him struggle every day, physically and mentally. I wake up every morning hardly able to keep it together and lacking the motivation to even get myself out of bed. I wouldn’t wish this pain on my worst enemy. I know I need to stand up, dust myself off, and live my life but the fear of losing the person closest to me has had a worse effect than I’ve let show on the outside.

Their isn’t any real reason for me to be writing this now as opposed to 4 months ago when he was diagnosed. I guess what I really mean to say with this post is to cherish the people you love and the happy moments you have in life. Unfortunately, life is extremely short and can be ripped out from underneath you when you least expect it. While that may sound unbelievably cliché, I didn’t fully grasp that meaning until I started living it. I needed something concrete to come back and read and remember how I am feeling in this exact moment when I am having a bad day. My dad has taught me that we all shape our own destinies with our own actions. This humanizing experience has made me want to do anything and everything I can to better myself and the world around me. Don’t waste time. Do the things that you enjoy and make you happy, Don’t sweat the small stuff. Cherish your real friends and family. These short, “Hallmark”-esque quotes may sound cheesy, but they could not be more true. It’s about time i turn over a new leaf and make myself better, stronger, and happier.

We are going to get through all of this shit, pops, and come out the other end of the tunnel as stronger men. Whatever happens, I’m here for you as you have been for me, I love yo unconditionally and I wouldn’t be the man I am today without you. Here’s to spending another birthday together next January. I love you more than you know, popsy.

 

Editor’s Note: Due to the  deep and intensely personal nature of this piece we have decided to publish it in its raw, unedited form. We thank Mr. Goldstein for his bravery in sharing with the world his father’s courageous struggle.