If you’re a big Caroline Manzo fan, then you may want to brace yourself because the OG Real Housewives of New Jersey star, 57, just admitted that producers of the series recently asked her to return for Season 10, but she turned them down. On the April 2 episode of the Dear Albie podcast, which is hosted by her two sons Chris and Albie Manzo, Caroline revealed that producers wanted to test her out with the show’s current cast members before fully agreeing to let her return.
“They wanted me back to see how I blend with the women — that’s an insult,” she said. “I helped build that show. I wasn’t the cause of that success, I was part of that puzzle. A very, very important puzzle. Point is, you don’t insult me like that. You don’t insult me like that by saying, ‘Let’s see how you do.’ You know how I’m going to do. You know how I’m going to blend, and you know what I’m going to bring.”
Caroline, who appeared on the show’s first five seasons from 2009 to 2013, felt her time on the show should have been enough for the producers to know she’d produce great TV again and bring all sorts of drama to the forefront. “I don’t want to sound like a bitch, but I suppose I have to,” she said on the podcast. “You’re not going to figure me out after five years being able to see, ‘Well, gee, does she blend?’ Whether I blend or I don’t blend, I’ll always be Caroline. And that’s something I swore to my family and I swore to my viewers over the years. You’ll always get me. So if me is not good enough for you — or maybe the paycheck is something you didn’t want to write at this point, which is my guess — that’s the bottom line. I’m not thirsty.”
“Pay me what I’m worth, OK?” she continued. “You got an OG here, and I’m going to be arrogant … It’s just a matter of respect! I was one of the original women who built the show. I’m one of the original women they still talk about, OK? Don’t come back to me like a newbie and [expect] I’m going to fall for your bulls**t because I’m not. You come back to me and give me a reasonable compensation and a reasonable position where I feel I belong, OK, then I’ll come back.”
“I’m nobody’s ‘Friend,’” Caroline concluded, referring to what Bravo calls their guest-starring roles in the Real Housewives franchise. “I’m not ‘Friend of.’ I’m not ‘Housewife, maybe.’ I’m Housewife!”
And after Caroline revealed this scoop, her sister-in-law, Jacqueline Laurita — another one of RHONJ‘s original stars — defended her on Instagram. “OMG that is EXACTLY what I told them when they came to me 8th season!” the 48-year-old wrote in a comment on Caroline’s post teasing the podcast episode. “They need you back! That would be epic! You’re the real queen of that show and Teresa [Giudice] knows it! That’s why she doesn’t want you back and is always talking bad about you publicly. She’s scared of you!”
Season 10 of RHONJ, which is currently filming, will star Teresa, Melissa Gorga, Jennifer Aydin, Jackie Goldschneider, Dolores Catania and Margaret Josephs. A premiere date has not been announced yet.