Well, Dina Manzo certainly did a total one-eighty, didn't she? After leaving Real Housewives of New Jersey citing she was over the drama and negativity, Dina is making a triumphant return…as estranged sister (and, oddly enough, sister-in-law) Caroline Manzo makes her grand exit. In a recent interview with NorthJersey.com, Dina talks about the Bravo show, her alliance with Teresa Giudice, and, of course her charity work with Project Ladybug.
The site explains that Dina realized the interview would touch on some of the ickiness that is RHONJ, she agreed because it would inevitably help publicize her Goddess Night Out event for Project Ladybug which she is hosting November 11th. Dina shares, "It's our sixth annual Ladies Night Out. I've grown a lot spiritually in the past four or five years, and what I have learned has helped me. I want to share that with as many people. … So, instead of making it just Ladies Night Out, and a great fun party, I'm making it Goddess Night Out. And it's all about inspiring women to embrace the goddess within and being beautiful inside and out."
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The fundraiser has something for everyone, and Dina tells the site, "If you're not really into or ready to dive into spirituality too much, there's a lot of mainstream things also that you can get into. And of course, the Housewives will be there."
Well…not all of them. Teresa has donated autographed cookbook and Kathy Wakile will be on hand to mingle with
guests fans. The event will be held at The Venetian, although Dina swears it isn't because of bad blood between she and estranged husband Tommy Manzo. Dina explains,"[The choice of venue is] for no other reason other than The Brownstone did not have a date for me. I'm not leaving The Brownstone for any other reason."
Of their separation, Dina reveals, "We still live together. I announced my separation a year ago, but Tommy and I have a very special love for each other that will never go away. So, we live in the same house. We love each other. We respect each other. And that's the way it's gonna stay whether we get divorced or whether we stay together. I think it's a really nice place to be with each other," adding, "We're just seeing how things go right now. But there's always love and respect between us."
When questioned about her estrangement from Caroline, Dina is evasive, saying, "All I could say is that everybody's on their journey in life, and it doesn't mean anyone is any better than anybody else, but we're in different places. So, sometimes it's better to keep your distance while you're working through some stuff."
Dina continues, "I'm not gonna lie. I think this world of, I don't want to call it entertainment, but the fame of it all has affected both of us in different ways. So, I'm thinking, 15 minutes come and go. And I understand we may be stretching it here and there. She just did her own pilot and I may be going back [to RHONJ]. But at the end of the day, after all that is done, we're gonna see through it all.…I love my family. I always will. There's distance right now, and we'll fix that off camera."
She is equally cautious when discussing the details of her return to RHONJ. Dina admits, "I can say that I was asked back. I was told who was coming back and who was not, and I'm considering it. I never wanted to come back to Housewives and air my family's drama. I love my parents way too much to get involved with that, and I see the pain that Teresa has endured."
Dina shares, "I know it won't be all smooth sailing. But the timing just feels right. [Daughter Lexi, now a high school senior] is not that 12-year-old that was heavily influenced. … I didn't want her to feel that that was a normal life at that point. Now, she's going off on her own. And she's excited about being on [RHONJ], too, because she feels she has a message for her peers as well."
Concluding, Dina opines, "I think it's a really strong message for young girls to say that you don't have to be all just Kim Kardashian glamour and you don't have to be just all Gandhi. There is an in-between." If she can find that balance on a housewives franchise, more power to her!
TELL US-WHAT DO YOU THINK OF DINA'S INTERVIEW? ARE YOU GLAD SHE'LL BE BACK ON RHONJ?
[Photo Credit: Dina Manzo's website]