Could there be some catharsis for the stars of The Real Housewives of New Jersey after all the table-flipping, backstabbing and drama? On Thursday’s reunion special, the second part of an already emotional meet-up, Dina Manzo and Danielle Staub attempted to make peace.
After revisiting the memorable dinner party scene, Danielle’s fraught criminal past (not to mention her traumatic personal history, starting with her apparent abuse as a child) and tearful recriminations (quibbling over who was responsible for flashing the book Cop Without a Badge all over town), Staub seemed to finally believe that it was indeed Dina’s sister Caroline Manzo who exposed everything.
“I stand corrected,” she told the ladies — and host Andy Cohen. But Staub was quick to blame her behavior on misinformation. “I can’t apologize for feeding me things and turning me against Dina,” she said. “What I can say is that I’ve evolved from that. I’m a different person now and I see now that I shouldn’t have done and listened to other .”
Dina’s reaction? “I accept her apology,” she said. “If this is what she learned and this is what came out of this horrific situation, then everything happens for a reason and I’m happy for her and her kids.”
But Caroline wasn’t having it. At all. “Dina’s a better person that me,” an unwavering Caroline said. In fact, earlier she pointblank told Danielle, “I disliked you prior to the book. When I found the book, I disliked you even more and I lost any kind of faith or trust or anything I had in you.”
“I’m looking at it from a different perspective,” Dina responded — proving once in for all that she can think independently from her older, protective sibling. “What she’s saying is that she was broken. As a broken person, she did these things. So I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.”
Then Caroline launched into a halting tirade — railing against Danielle for attempting to commit an unspecified act that was “beyond necessary, beyond reasonable and beyond hurtful” on Dina off-camera. (The act was never named, and Dina begged Caroline not to bring it up at the reunion.) Still, a tearful Caroline forged ahead, telling Daneille, “What you did is so disgraceful. You know what you did and you can make believe that you are just so forgiving and, ‘Gee, I’m sorry.’ I’m not buying it.”
Danielle, who claimed to have no idea what Caroline was carrying on about, stared blankly at the Manzo matriarch who continued. “I love my family and I will protect them with everything I have,” she said, fighting back tears. “But what you did, you are garbage and you are disgraceful. I will never forgive her and you will never be a friend of mine.”
So much for making peace!
As for the other memorable moments from the show, here are our two favorites:
• Dina, explaining how her hairless cat, Grandma Wrinkles, was named after her actual grandmother. “She looks just like our grandmother,” Dina said. “She was the best grandmother in the world. And she tanned and she smoked too much, so she had these big blue eyes and she was all wrinkled like Grandma Wrinkles.”
• Danielle, addressing point by point the allegations about her in Cop Without a Badge. Our favorite? When she fessed up to having an, um, healthy sex drive. After Andy asked her about being a “raging nymphomaniac,” she admitted, “Well, I think I’ve proven that part may be a little bit true.” (Danielle also admitted to hooking up with Don Johnson in the ’80s but not having sex with him.)
Tell us: What did you think of the finale? Do you have sympathy for Danielle after hearing her talk about her life? Did Dina do the right thing by accepting her apology?