I FOUND FAME ON REALITY TV BUT … She’s a well-known “Bravolebrity,” but the Manzo’d With Children star has made it her mission to stay grounded
Caroline Manzo tells In Touch why she doesn’t miss RHONJ.
She starred on The Real Housewives of New Jersey for seven years before landing her own Bravo spin-off, Manzo’d With Children, but straight-shooting Caroline Manzo has never gotten caught up in the trappings of fame. “The reality TV thing is my job, nothing more,” insists the 55-year-old mom of three (Albie, 30, Lauren, 28, and Chris, 27) with her husband of 32 years, Al, 56. “You can’t let fame go to your head, and you can never forget where you came from.” The Jersey girl talks to In Touch’s Jaclyn Roth about becoming a grandma (Lauren is expecting her first child in early 2017), the health scare that changed her life and why she doesn’t miss Housewives.
What’s the secret to a lasting marriage on reality TV? CM: I prioritize. My priority has always been my husband and my children. In TV, everything has a shelf life, but family is there until the end.
Do you think some Housewives let fame get in the way of their marriage? CM: Yes, but fame is nonsense. The minute it starts affecting your life in a negative way, you have to walk away.
Are you happier post- RHONJ? CM: I am very happy now. I love doing Manzo’d. It’s a completely different animal. It’s a lighter feeling.
Do you have a relationship with Teresa Giudice at this point? CM: There is no relationship, and we are both fine with it. We are just completely different people.
Are you in touch with anyone from the show? CM: I see Jacqueline [Laurita] and I talk to Dolores [Catania], who I adore.
A lot of Housewives get Botox and fillers. Are they overdoing it? CM: If it makes you happy, do it. But I am very comfortable with my face. Your face is your face! I would never touch mine.
You had a recent health scare after finding a lump in your breast — how are you doing? CM: It turned out to be some sort of crazy infection. But it was a three-, four-month scare.
What a relief! CM: Oh, yes. And a wake-up call. I started to zone in on my health — I exercise more and eat mostly lean turkey, chicken, unprocessed vegetables and fruit. I’m down 15 pounds and feel a million percent better.
You’ll need the energy now that you’re going to be a grandmother! CM: I’m so excited! I’ll certainly be spoiling her in many ways. … There will always be candy and cupcakes at Grandma’s house!
What makes you happiest in life? CM: Oh my God — my husband and my children. Without them, my heart would stop beating. ◼
KEEPING IT REAL “The person you see on television is the person you’re going to meet face to face,” says Caroline. “I’m just a regular mom from New Jersey,” says Caroline (with her husband and kids in the early ’90s).
CLOSE FAMILY “It’s a fun season,” says Caroline, filming Manzo’d With Children
with (from left) Albie, Lauren, Lauren’s hubby, Vito Scalia, Christopher and Al. MOVING ON Caroline with her former RHONJ castmates (from left: Melissa Gorga, Jacqueline Laurita, Kathy Wakile and Teresa Giudice) in 2013