Tensions have been high between the former lawyer, 44, and the Standing Strong author, 48, since season 11 of the Bravo series debuted in February. During the premiere episode, Giudice alleged that Jackie’s husband, Evan Goldschneider, was unfaithful with someone at his gym. Jackie later came under fire for comparing the unverified rumors about her marriage to telling people that Teresa’s eldest daughter, Gia Giudice, “does coke in the bathroom” at parties.
Since the heated confrontation aired, plenty of RHONJ personalities have weighed in on the fight, debating over which star was in the wrong. Manzo, 59, thinks both women have something to apologize for.
“I don’t know what would possess [Teresa] to say something like that. I don’t care how much you dislike someone,” the Let Me Tell You Something author, who left RHONJ after season 5 aired in 2013, told Us Weekly exclusively.
While Manzo said the argument was “possibly” encouraged by producers, she also noted that Teresa still should have known “what’s right and what’s wrong.” However, she doesn’t think Jackie is in the clear, either.
“Guess what? Two wrongs don’t make a right,” the former Manzo’d With Children star added. “There are plenty of analogies you could have chosen without bringing Gia into it. Gia — from what I’ve seen and what I have known from that kid, historically — is a great kid. She is wise beyond her years. … Why would you come back with something like that to someone that’s not there to defend herself, to someone who’s not involved in anything, and to someone who’s only 20 years old.”
Shortly after the drama played out on TV, Jackie told Us that she doesn’t regret what she said about the college student. “I wasn’t starting a rumor about Gia. I was giving an analogy,” the journalist argued in February.
Viewers later saw Gia encourage her mother to apologize to Jackie for making claims about her marriage — but the Rutgers student still doesn’t think Jackie’s behavior is “excusable.” Gia took to Twitter to defend herself in February, writing, “My name was used to make a point. No one should be used in that way, I am suffering the consequences for such an outlandish and untrue statement.”
Even if it wasn’t her intention, Jackie’s words left a lasting impact. “This is a kid that’s in college, that’s going out into the workforce, and that lives forever. You’ll Google ‘Gia Giudice’ and that comment will come up,” Manzo told Us. “Whether she’s guilty or not of it, she becomes suspect of it.”
No matter how upset Teresa or Jackie were, Manzo wished they didn’t abandon their “dignity” or “integrity” in their fight.
“They both have to be responsible for what they said and did,” the mother of three, who has been helping sons Albie and Chris with food and beverage service at New Jersey’s Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel, explained. “Shame on both of them!”
With reporting by Diana Cooper