While Real Housewives of New Jersey fans were (mostly) hyped to see the surprise reunion between Teresa Giudice and Jacqueline Laurita, not everyone was thrilled. Ashlee Malleo, Jacqueline’s daughter who regularly appeared on the series, was less excited.
Ashlee told Page Six of the reunion, “I saw her reconnect with Teresa, and I was like, ‘Teresa? Really?’” She added that she immediately “texted” her mom and “called her out.” Said Ashlee, “I’m very blunt. My mom and I have that sister relationship. I was like, ‘You know, I wish you guys well.’”
Ashlee explained that her initial apprehension about Jacqueline and Tre’s meeting was due to “the timing.” Jacqueline had recently come for Tre’s nemesis/sister-in-law/castmate, Melissa Gorga. And she did so publicly, which Jacqueline doesn’t do very often.
Said Ashlee, “I was saying to my mom, I was like, ‘You know, there might be ulterior motives.'” The former RHONJ regular confessed that she “wasn’t as accepting of it in the beginning.” So much so that Ashlee copped to sarcastically writing “congrats” in the comments under the photo her mom posted on Instagram.
Ashlee has since deleted the comment and has accepted Jacqueline and Teresa’s rekindled friendship. “My mom kind of explained the whole situation to me and how it went down. And honestly, like, it makes sense,” Ashlee explained.
She went on to say that Teresa and her husband Luis “Louie” Ruelas had already made plans to be in Jacqueline’s neck of the woods when they met up. Jacqueline and her husband Chris Laurita currently reside in Las Vegas.
But despite the 5-hour-long lunch date, Ashlee wants to make it clear that her mom “isn’t coming back” to RHONJ. So the theory that Tre was “trying to make up with her to recruit her to be a little ally on the show” or “talk s–t about Melissa on camera” doesn’t add up.
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“When they met, they honestly didn’t even talk about Melissa or the show or anything like that. It was just kind of recapping [that] they were both going through really stressful times in their lives when they had that fallout,” Ashlee revealed.
Longtime fans of RHONJ remember the epic fallout between Teresa and Jacqueline, who were friends for years before appearing on the show together. When Tre’s then-husband Joe Giudice was facing federal financial crimes, Jacqueline was dealing with her son’s autism diagnosis. Which turned out to be one of the things that “connected and bonded” Jacqueline to Louie. He also has an autistic son who shares the name Nicholas.
As for Ashlee’s perspective on reality TV, she noted that it “isn’t the environment to heal in” because co-stars are “constantly having to rehash old fights.” Now that Jacqueline is “separated from that show,” she and Teresa were “able to kind of do that.”
Ashlee also gave props to Tre for “going to therapy” and to Louie for “helping [her] work on herself.” She also shared, “Ever since [their meet-up], I’ve been on the phone with my mom, and she’ll be like, ‘Oh, hold on, Teresa’s calling. Let me call you right back.'” According to Ashlee, the two have been “talking all the time.”
She added, “I believe in growth. I believe people can change and grow. Otherwise, what’s the point? As you get older, it gets harder to change, but I do believe it’s possible.”
Speaking of growth, Ashlee even said that Tre had tried multiple times “in the past” to get in contact with her mom. But Jacqueline likely wasn’t ready and “just didn’t pick up the phone.” Said Ashlee, “So I think they were both at a place where they were ready to reconnect.”
The makeup artist and RHONJ legend concluded, “It gets tricky for me, though, because I’m really close with my Aunt Caroline [Manzo]. I just want everyone to get along!”
TELL US – DO YOU THINK THE REUNION BETWEEN TRE AND JACQUELINE WAS SUSPECT? WAS ASHLEE RIGHT TO BE CONCERNED? DID YOU ENJOY ASHLEE ON RHONJ? SHOULD JACQUELINE CONSIDER COMING BACK?
[Photo Credit: Paul Zimmerman/WireImage]