The former matriarch of RHONJ almost returned for season 10 but turned the offer after producers refused to make her a full-time Housewife.
Caroline recently opened up about “insulting” offer on the April 2nd episode of her son Albie Manzo’s podcast Dear Albie.
According to Caroline, Sirens Media, who produces RHONJ, reached out to her about returning for season 10 “two, three weeks ago.”
Sirens Media has approached Caroline about possibly returning to RHONJ after every season since she left following season 5. But this time around Sirens approached Caroline with a game plan in place. For season 10, Sirens wanted Caroline to return as a friend of the Housewives to see how she meshed with the current cast. From there, they would talk about extending her role into something bigger for season 11.
However, Caroline wasn’t happy with the offer. And considering that Caroline was one of the original NJ Housewives and went on to have a pretty successful spinoff show on Bravo you can understand why she would find the offer “insulting.”
“It’s very insulting,’ she said on Dear Albie. “It just makes me angry that you picked up and call me like I’m a fool. Ten years I’m playing this game, there’s no fool. You are talking to no fool. … I’m nobody’s ‘Friend.’ I’m not ‘Friend of’. I’m not ‘Housewife, maybe.’ I’m Housewife!”
“Pay me what I’m worth; You got an OG here,” Caroline added. “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. Don’t come back to me like a newbie and I’m going to fall for your bulls— because I’m not. You come back to me and give me a reasonable compensation and a reasonable position where I feel I belong.”
She continued: “They wanted me back to see how I blend with the women — that’s an insult. I helped build that show. I wasn’t the cause of that success, I was part of that puzzle. A very, very important puzzle. You don’t insult me like that by saying, ‘Let’s see how you’re 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.”
“I helped build this show,” Caroline said. “I don’t want to sound like a bitch, but I supposed I have to. 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. We live a very happy, comfortable life. We’ve gotten used to being off television. So for you to ask me to come back under those terms, there’s no terms here. So either I come back full-blown Caroline Manzo, Real Housewife of New Jersey and you pay me, or I stay home and I watch you.”
Caroline also stressed that Real Housewives executive producer Andy Cohen was NOT involved in the discussion.
“Andy never reached out to me, because it has to go up the food chain and it didn’t reach up to that level,” Caroline said. “I did speak to him last year about it and I voiced my concerns, so I guess he figured, ‘Okay, she’s not an option anymore.’ And he’s always got wonderful things to say. Whenever they ask ‘What Housewife you’d like back?’, he always says ‘Caroline Manzo,’ and I respect him and appreciate him for that.”
“I was down to do it,” Caroline said. “I was going to come back, guys. They called me, I did not reach out to them.”
“I am your truth and they can’t handle that. I am your truth, and that’s their problem,” Caroline said. “So this truth has no problem going back to tell her truth, but you’re going to treat me the way I deserve to be treated. And if you don’t, I live my life happily ever after. There’s no thirst here. My house is paid for. Life is good.”
Meanwhile, Caroline’s sister-in-law Jacqueline Laurita recently accused Teresa of being “scared” of Caroline’s possible return to RHONJ.
“They need you back!” Jacqueline commented under Caroline’s Instagram post about her “Dear Albie” episode. “That would be epic.”
“You are the REAL queen of that show and Teresa knows it! That’s why she doesn’t want you back and is always talking bad about you publicly. She’s scared of you,” Jacqueline added.
As for Teresa, in January 2018 she told E! that Caroline is a “money-hungry bitch” and that she could “give two s–ts” if Caroline or Jacqueline return to RHONJ.
Adding, “They’re both evil people.”
The Real Housewives of New Jersey is currently in the middle of filming season 10.
I think Sirens really effed this one up big time. Caroline’s return would have made season 10 epic. While I’m not a big fan of Jacqueline, I’ve always enjoyed Caroline and her family. And honestly, I’d love to see them back on RHONJ. Plus, Caroline vs Danielle would be AMAZING!
Albie recently chatted with AllAboutTRH – check out our exclusive interview with him HERE.