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Dina Manzo: 'Real Housewives' was no longer what I signed up for


By Christopher Rocchio, 06/15/2010 

Dina Manzo says she decided to leave The Real Housewives of New Jersey because it wasn't what she initially anticipated.

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"It's not what I signed up for. I thought it was going to be a happy show with my family, we're going to have fun," Manzo said during a Monday night appearance on Bravo's Watch What Happens: Live.

"It wasn't the direction that I thought the show was gonna go into originally."

Manzo said there was also "a lot going on" off-camera between her and fellow The Real Housewives of New Jersey star Danielle Staub.

"It's just poison," said Manzo. "I didn't expect for this to be this kind of experience, to have this toxic person in my life that I really couldn't get rid of because we're under contract with her. So the only way I felt to get rid of her..."

"But you weren't shooting with her," interrupted Watch What Happens: Live host Andy Cohen.

"It doesn't matter. It was the texts, it was the calls, it was being involved. It was her making up her lies," replied Manzo.

"It just never ended. So I felt the only way I could really cut her out was to leave the show. So that's what I did."

Monday night's The Real Housewives of New Jersey episode began where last week's had left off, with Manzo and Staub meeting at a restaurant lounge to discuss their problems. The two bickered about who was at fault for their fallout and what caused it.

"I'm done," Manzo told Staub.

"If you're leaving for the right reasons than I bid you ado and wish you well," responded Staub.

"I wish to cut you out of my life," said Manzo.

"It's not about me," replied Staub, who then taunted Manzo by imploring her to "run away."

"I'm allowed to say I don't want you in my life," said Manzo in an interview afterwards. "You bet your ass I'm running because I don't need to put up with you."

The two continued to argue and Staub took exception when Manzo called her "crazy."

"Don't you ever call me crazy!" yelled Staub. "You're know better than me, you really aren't. I forbid you to cross my boundaries and ever speak to me like that again."

"Okay, no problem," replied Manzo. "Don't you ever mistake my kindness for weakness again."

"Honey, you don't have kindness to be mistaken," said Staub. "You are as fake as that hair on your head."

Manzo then left the restaurant and called Staub a "crazy bitch." At the end of the broadcast, Manzo said the "most important thing" in her life right now is to "live peacefully and be happy."

"Right now, everything in my life except for this Danielle situation is happy. From Day 1, Danielle has brought nothing good into my life. It's been chaos since the second I met that girl," said Manzo.

"I tried. I'm done. I'm out. The only advice I can give the other girls is just to stay as far away from her as you possibly can because Danielle is dangerous -- especially to those that she has believing that she's a changed person. I'm not even sure what she's capable of doing. But I'm not going to be here to find out."

The episode concluded with an on-screen message announcing Manzo's departure.

"Dina chose to stop filming and avoid further contact with Danielle," read the statement. "She desires to spend more time with her husband and daughter, focus on her charity, and be a supportive godmother to [Teresa Giudice's] baby. Her cats fully support her decision."

During her subsequent Watch What Happens: Live appearance, which aired immediately after The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Manzo said the confrontation in the restaurant lounge last approximately 10 minutes.

"It was so loud. Everybody in the restaurant was looking. I was mortified," she told Cohen. "I was trying to remain calm."

Manzo added that she's still glad she hadn't listened to her sister Caroline Manzo, who had advised her against confronting Staub.

"I have no regrets. I'm glad I went," said Manzo. "It wasn't full closure because she wouldn't let me talk. But I would have always wondered what would have happened, so I'm glad I went."

Manzo -- who said she did not know Staub personally before The Real Housewives of New Jersey began -- also stated she has no regrets about participating in the reality series due to the "exposure" it gave Project Ladybug, her charity for children with life-threatening diseases.

"We're a national foundation now, so I don't regret it at all," she explained. "Even though it was crazy, crazy, crazy -- something wonderful came out of it."

While she's glad to be leaving the show, Manzo did express sorrow for her fans.

"I feel bad because I love the fans so much," she told Cohen. "They're so awesome and I feel like I disappointed some, but if they only knew."

Manzo was also asked if she'd ever consider returning to The Real Housewives of New Jersey if Staub left.

"I'm not going to be the one to say it's either her or me, because I said [if I did then] Season 3 would open with my funeral," she joked. "So we'll see."

(Photo credit Bravo)


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