Dina Manzo Talks Life Post-RHONJ: It's Hard to Watch Family in the Middle of Crazy, I Wish It Didn't Get to ThisMara Siegler
It has to be hard for Dina Manzo now that she has left The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Her friends and family are on the show and many events in their life are filmed. Dina has the choice to either stay away entirely or chance winding up on film. She took the second option in the case of her goddaughter Audriana Giudice’s baptism and ended up on last night’s episode.
“I did it because I am her godmother, and what am I supposed to do? Not show up? But I was against the church being filmed and I lost that battle big time,” Dina tells EW. “I just felt that something so sacred as a baptism shouldn’t be in the same episode as some crazy stuff that goes down in the show…there’s a fight between Kim G. and Danielle that’s [pretty crazy], and then we’re baptizing beautiful Audriana. So for me, I’m super sensitive to that sort of thing because I take it super seriously. So maybe the world may not see a problem with that but I was kind of against the church being filmed.”
And while she showed up last night, at other times she has had to stay home. “During the filming it was a little difficult, because there were certain places that I usually would’ve been that I wasn’t. You know, if they went out to lunch. Obviously there’s a trip to Italy coming up that I was invited to and stuff like that where I probably would’ve gone. It would have been difficult for me to go and stay off-camera. So here and there, yes it was difficult.”
Dina left the show due to Danielle, but even while she was a cast member she was guarded. She did not allow her daughter to be on film and her husband never appeared. That doesn’t mean he was upset she chose to be on reality TV. “He was where I went to get away from it all. It actually made our marriage even better. You know, I don’t regret it at all. It was the best thing ever. He never told me, “I want you to leave.” I knew he wasn’t thrilled I was doing it, and he’d see how upset I was getting, [but] he’s not one to tell me what to do. But when I left, he was thrilled.”
Dina still watches old episodes and claims that they are like viewing a “home video,” but seeing what has happened this season can be hard. “Obviously, like everyone else, I think it’s completely crazy, and it’s hard for me. Because that’s my family, my friends that are in the middle of this. But I get it, like, when people lose it — you know when Ashley lost it and pulled [Danielle’s] hair out — because I’ve been there,” she says. “When somebody just pushes your buttons and pokes and pokes and pokes and finally you snap. So do I think it’s okay? No, but I get it. There are definitely points where I’m like, “Oh my god, how are we going to walk out our front doors anymore?” but at the end of the day it’s entertainment. Obviously America loves it, the ratings are going up and up, so it is what it is. There’s not much that we can change. I just wish that it didn’t get to all this. We could have had a really funny show on our hands if we just kept to our crazy family.”