‘RHONJ’ fans were shocked when they learned on April 3 that Jacqueline Laurita would not be returning for season 8. However, that’s not even the craziest part! HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY sat down with Jacqueline who gave us the truth behind it all & major scoop about the cast!
Jacqueline, 47, and Chris Laurita, 47, stopped by HollywoodLife.com in New York City to EXCLUSIVELY give us the shocking details behind her Real Housewives of New Jersey exit! If you thought you were blindsided by Jacqueline’s abrupt exit from the show, you were not alone. It turned out that she, herself, only found out just 48 hours after she gave Bravo her season 8 storyline!
“Bravo gave me a start date that we would be filming,” Jacqueline told us. “They had me on the group text with the girls. They got our storylines together and everything was ready to go. Then, two days later, they told me their concerns.” Wow.
As for what the “concerns” were? — The network was worried that Jacqueline’s relationships with some of the housewives were too “severed” to actually make a show. “The show is about an ensemble of women who hang out, it was going to be hard to have that,” she said, adding, “They were worried about how we were going to make that work.”
However, the network did offer her an interesting alternative. “Bravo did offer me a part time spot on the show,” Jacqueline admitted. But, as a cast member who was there from day one, aka for seven years, Jacqueline knew her worth. “They said, seeing how I meshed with the girls, I could be a full time, but they didn’t guarantee it. For me, part time wasn’t worth the aggravation.”
Chris chimed in when he said that what you see is what you get with Jacqueline. And, we all know that’s the truth. The reality is, with Jacqueline, she’s not an actress. “The bottom line is, she’s not going to pretend to get along with someone that she doesn’t get along with,” he said, while he stuck up for his wife. We always loved that about you, Chris!
Season 8 of RHONJ is currently filming, and although Jacqueline won’t have a witty tagline, the network still asked her to join in on the fun! “They’ve asked me to film, but I’m not going to,” she said. “I don’t like the fact that I’d have to try out again, because they can use you all season; you could be their sacrificial lamb and they may not even use the footage. I didn’t feel like that was fair to me to give seven years of my time to then have a lesser everything than the other girls.” Preach, girl.
After the news had spread that Jacqueline would not be returning to the show, there was major speculation that her cast-mates, — two in particular — had something to do with her shocking exit. Fans thought that Teresa Giudice, 44, and Melissa Gorga, 38, were behind the cast shakeup. So, we had to ask Jacqueline her thoughts about the rumors.
“They tried [to influence the decision to have me gone],” Jacqueline said. “But, I don’t think anyone has that kind of power.” Let us be clear — Jacqueline didn’t name anyone in particular. She admitted that although some of her relationships were non-existent, she still would’ve filmed with the girls and shied away from confrontation. However, “I think that maybe the housewives didn’t want to [film with me].”
With Jacqueline’s spot seemingly open on the show, who couple possibly fill her shoes? Perhaps, Danielle Staub, 54? “I know she’s filming,” Jacqueline said. Staub — known for her outspoken nature on the show in 2010 — will be returning with a new alliance between she and Teresa! “But I don’t think it’s been confirmed that she’s a full time,” Jac continued. “From what I’m hearing they’re using her as a friend/part time.” Not to mention, there’s been major speculation that there is a new cast member named Margaret joining the ladies.
When we caught up with Danielle back in Jan. 2017, she was wasn’t shy when she aired her dislike toward Jacqueline. And, Jacqueline gave us her opinion on her rocky past with Danielle. “She’s been harassing me for years,” Jac admitted. “She doesn’t intimidate me at all. I have nothing to apologize to Danielle for. She has contacted people on social media to make up fake accounts to harass me. I have screenshots of it, because these people have turned on her and sent me everything through DMs. She was trying to make up stories and doing anything to defame us.” Yikes.
Although Jacqueline turned down Bravo’s part time gig, both she and Chris didn’t rule the show out completely. “We’ll see what happens… You never know where it’ll go,” Chris said. Jacqueline agreed, when she added, “You never know what the future will hold.” And, speaking of the future, the couple admitted that they’ve been approached by multiple networks! Fingers crossed we’ll see these two on the small screen, very soon!
If you don’t want to wait for Jacqueline and Chris to return to TV, then you can follow them on their journey to create awareness about autism. Their adorable son Nicholas was diagnosed with autism in 2010 and Jacqueline and Chris have made it their mission to do everything they can to make sure that he lives the fullest and most normal life possible. And, Chris told us that their goal is to help as many people as they can through their public speaking engagements and constant efforts.
April was Autism Awareness month, and while the pair were hard at work to create awareness, they stressed that “autism action” takes place 365 days of the year. They teamed up with Generation Rescue, the group that gave them the guidance and resources they needed to help their son. The couple’s first step of action was to provide Nicholas with a healthy, dairy, gluten and GMO-free diet. But, there weren’t a lot of snacks to choose from.
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“That’s how we developed the ‘The Little Kernel,'” Chris said, which is delicious mini popcorn with no artificial ingredients or preservatives. “It’s all about being better for you, and it’s less of a choking hazard for children, because it’s half the size of regular popcorn. We’ve committed ourselves to give back to Generation Rescue and autism. It’s a brand with a purpose.” Amazing!
And, Chris wasn’t lying. Not only is it delicious, but, The Little Kernel will donate 25 cents per case of popcorn to Generation Rescue throughout 2017. You can learn more about The Little Kernel and Generation rescue, right here!
HollywoodLifers, do you think Jacqueline should come back part time?