Fraud. Fights. Facelifts. Infidelity. And that was just part one of The Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion on Sunday night.
Host Andy Cohen kicked things off by asking Teresa Giudice, 41, if the other housewives – Caroline Manzo, Melissa Gorga, Jacqueline Laurita and Kathy Wakile – had been supportive since learning that she and husband, Giuseppe “Joe” Giudice, 43, could face 50 years in prison after being charged in a 39-count fraud indictment.
“They all reached out to me,” the mother of four revealed. “It’s touching.”
Infidelity was a hot topic at the reunion, and included a surprising admission from Manzo, who said that although she doesn’t believe her husband, Albert, ever cheated on her, “I’ve always said that if you are that wife or husband that said, ‘Never my wife or never my husband,’ you’re a fool!”
Cohen then asked Giudice if she thought her husband of 12 years had ever been unfaithful.
“No,” she stated firmly. “The one girl [who Laurita believed was having an affair with Joe last season] was our babysitter and secretary the poor girl was frazzled.”
“I don’t even want to go there this time,” Laurita said. “I crossed the line.”
And the simmering feud between Giudice and her brother, Joe Gorga (sporting a newly shaved head), continued to simmer, especially when talk turned to cheating rumors about his wife, Melissa, which the couple seemed to imply were escalated by Giudice when she wrote on her blog, “[Melissa is] very lucky that I’m keeping quiet about things that I do know.”
“What was the threat?” Melissa asked. “Do you have something on me?”
“No,” Giudice responded.
“So you lied?” asked her sister-in-law.
The tone softened when the focus shifted to Laurita, who not only underwent multiple plastic surgeries – including a tummy tuck and nose job – but whose son Nicholas’s struggle with autism was featured prominently this season.
“It’s a joy and a challenge every single day,” a teary-eyed Laurita said about her son’s progress. “He’s starting to spell words he works so hard for those accomplishments.”
The reunion ended with the return of Dr. V (Dr. Venus Nicolino from the Bravo show LA Shrinks), who refereed the cast’s emotional retreat at Lake George earlier in the season and tried to keep the Band-Aid firmly in place between Giudice and her brother.
“Do we love each other, yes,” Joe said. “Is [Teresa] lost somewhere in outer space, yes.”
“I’m done defending myself,” she later declared. “I’m mentally exhausted.”
But even Dr. V had trouble managing the sudden outburst that erupted after Manzo called out Giudice for hurtful things she wrote on her blog about her and her husband.
“Who makes Caroline the boss?” asked Giudice.
“Stop talking!” Manzo snapped. “You decide to bam me with a lie?”
“You attack at the jugular,” Melissa Gorga added in Manzo’s defense, setting the stage for the reunion finale – which will delve into the Giudices’s legal problems – airing Oct. 13 at 8 p.m. E.T. on Bravo.