Albie Manzo Defends Mom Caroline Manzo for Writing Letter in Support of Brother-in-Law Thomas
Thomas Manzo is currently awaiting trial for allegedly hiring a hitman with mob ties to attack ex-wife Dina Manzo's current husband
In the latest episode of his podcast, Dear Albie, the 35-year-old reality star discussed his mother's decision to write a letter in support of Dina's ex-husband Thomas "Tommy" Manzo, a choice that appears to have reignited the longstanding rift between the two sisters.
"This is why I respect my mother so much. She made a choice that she knew going in was going to be extraordinarily unpopular - that could've been easily twisted into something that it isn't - but she made it anyway because she felt it was the right thing to do," Albie said on the podcast.
"Put yourself in my mother's shoes," Albie asked. "Knowing full well this is going to happen, do you know how much you got to believe in what you're doing, knowing this is going to be the blowback? That's why I admire my mother and the courage she had, doing what she did. "
Tommy - who is the brother Caroline's husband and Albie's dad Albert Manzo - is currently awaiting trial for allegedly hiring a hitman with mob ties to attack Dina's current husband, David Cantin, back in 2015 in exchange for a discounted wedding rates at The Brownstone, the popular banquet hall Tommy and Albert co-own in Paterson, New Jersey.
The hitman in question, alleged Lucchese crime family soldier John Perna, pleaded guilty to the assault back in December. Tommy, who was arrested with Perna last July, had pleaded not guilty last June.
As he awaits his trial, "dozens" of character letters in support of Tommy were presented in his pre-trial hearing on May 21, Tommy's defense attorney told NJ.com.
One of them was from Caroline, 59, who called Tommy, 57, "kind-hearted and caring."
According to Albie, Caroline was asking for Tommy to be released from holding to await his trail.
"My mother wrote a letter based on the character of my uncle as we know him," Albie explained, on his podcast. "The facts as we've seen them, as we know him in his life. It's about one thing: Is he a threat to society? The answer is no. We believe the answer is no. "
He went on to clarify that his mother's letter wasn't a "betrayal" of her sister, saying that the and his entire family hope the person who orchestrated the attack is arrested.
"Whoever's involved in this should go to jail, period," Albie said, adding that he wants Tommy to "have his day in court" and that his uncle "more than anybody wants to see this play out."
"This isn't about family drama. This isn't about 'Who in the family are you more loyal to.' This is a right and wrong situation," Albie said. "You know who's side we're on? The truth. Let the process play out. Whatever it is, let it land, and you go from there."
"If for some reason this whole thing plays out and the facts suggest differently, we will be the most shocked of everybody. We will be the most upset of everybody," Albie said. "I can't fathom a world where that's a real thing, but it's not the guy we know."
Albie first teased last week that he would be discussing the situation on his podcast. The news motivated Dina to take a shot at her nephew, criticizing him for trying to cash in on the drama.
"Ohhhh shocking… going to speak about it on his podcast for the downloads," Dina commented, according to screenshots of the conversation obtained by a fan. "Unfortunately this will just be a 'storyline' to profit from. What a shame."
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But Albie barked back at those claims, saying "this isn't about a storyline."
"None of you even know what you are talking about," he said. "Zero. That's how many of you read the letter my mother wrote. Quite literally, none of you know what it says."
He also made it clear he wasn't against his estranged aunt.
"There's such a thing about being not close with somebody but still feeling for them when something horrible happens," Albie said. "When something happens, you still have compassion, you still have a heart."
RELATED VIDEO: RHONJ's Caroline Manzo Speaks Out After Sister Dina's Ex-Husband's Arrest: 'We Are Heartbroken'
Dina split from Tommy in 2012 after seven years of marriage and wed Cantin in 2017. She is mom to 25-year-old daughter Lexi, from a previous relationship,
"This is family on both sides," Caroline said. "I want to know the truth and my allegiance will lie with the truth."