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Dina Manzo lasted just one and a half seasons on The Real Housewives of New Jersey before leaving the show to escape "all of the toxic behavior." Following last night's explosive season 3 reunion, Manzo -- who did not appear on the show, but was a topic of conversation among the Housewives -- took to her blog this morning to weigh in on "the truth" about why she left in the middle of season 2 and about her relationship with her sister and RHONJ matriarch Caroline Manzo. She also mentioned that this would be her last on the topic of her former show.
"It's a shame this TV show used to be about our lives, and now some lives are just about a TV show," wrote Dina. "That's not how it should be."
Since departing RHONJ, Dina has switched her focus to her own show, the event-planning series, Dina's Party (Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET, on HGTV). Even off-camera, she's distanced herself from her former costars, including her older sister Caroline. If you caught the latest Housewives bicker-fest -- er, reunion -- it's easy to see why she ditched them. They're still fighting about her, a season and a half later.
"(Dina) was led to believe a lot of things that are not true," said Caroline during the second part of the reunion. "She has a good friend that likes to talk and she says things to her that aren't true against me and Jacqueline [Laurita]…I'm looking at you, Teresa [Giudice]." Naturally, Giudice denied this, and Caroline dug in. "She claims I never supported her, and Teresa's a big part of it," Caroline said. "When you get into this world, the fame, your mind isn't right. You drink the Kool-Aid."
In her blog post, Dina commented on her estrangement from Caroline: "I feel bad that my relationship with my sister and her family is strained, but I can assure you that one day it will be back to the way it was." She also gave her own view on the issue that ignited the feud between Caroline and Giudice: "If this is all about a joke in a book (and [Teresa] assured me it was), that's not enough for me to hate the mother of my God daughter [Audriana, 2] and a friend of 15 years."
During both the first and second installments of the Housewives reunion, the other women more or less ganged up on Giudice. They attacked her parenting skills, her harsh comments about her sister-in-law, Melissa Gorga; and even her husband's gay slurs.
But in her blog post, Dina expressed her support for Giudice and admitted that they had more or less reconciled. "It wasn’t until VERY recently that Teresa showed up at my doorstep in tears…apparently Caroline & Jacqueline had a sit down with her on camera (for season 4) and she felt attacked," she wrote. "All I did was console a friend who was obviously shaken. I felt bad for her..even though I had distanced myself from her a bit, I was still her friend and she needed me."
A cynical viewer might say that Dina has entered this fray again simply to stir up support for her show, which launched last month. But Dina saw that insult coming. "Just so you know, I've been offered a SERIOUS amount of money to sell this to many outlets BUT I chose to do it for free here [on my blog]," she wrote. "So all of you who have something to say can shove it."