Before the Break-in: Looking Back at Dina Manzo's Post-Housewives Life
The former Real Housewives of New Jersey star had managed to live quietly until a brutal break-in over the weekend
In 2010, Dina Manzo famously left The Real Housewives of New Jersey, citing the ongoing drama with controversial costar Danielle Staub.
“The most important thing in my life is to live peacefully and be happy and right now everything in my life, except for this Danielle situation, is happy,” Dina said on what was to be her final episode of the show. “There’s no dealing with her in a rational way. She hasn’t changed and she’ll never change. I tried. I’m done, I’m out.”
Though she’d reappear in season 4 and rejoin the cast for season 6, Manzo managed to keep a lower profile post-Housewives — until this week, when she and boyfriend David Cantin were beaten and bound during a home invasion at their New Jersey townhouse.
As she and Cantin recover from the terrifying ordeal — which happened after they attended the First Communion of fellow Housewives star Teresa Giudice’s daughter, Audriana — we’re looking back on what Manzo has been up to since first exiting the show in 2010.
2010, 2011 and Beyond: Rescue Work
A longtime animal lover, Manzo adopted three dogs — one a two-legged puppy mill survivor — in the year following her first departure from Housewives.
Since then, she’s added bulldogs GQ and Gabriel to her brood, which includes hairless cats as well.
2011 to 2012: Dina’s Party
Manzo spun her interior design skills into a party planning career, showcasing her work on the two season HGTV series Dina’s Party. Each episode centered on a big event, often with a room redesign thrown in.
Though her series was short-lived, it also led her to a book, It’s My Party and I’ll Plan If I Want to, released in 2013.
2013: Living Single
In February 2013, Manzo took to Twitter to announce she and her husband of seven years, Tommy Manzo, had split the previous October. “My heart hurts but Tommy and I will always share a very special love,” she wrote. Though Tommy never appeared on Housewives, the couple’s multimillion-dollar wedding was documented on VH1’s My Big Fat Fabulous Wedding.
2014: An Encore Performance
Following her exit from the show — and a few guest appearances here and there in season 4 — Manzo returned to the Real Housewives for season 6, bringing her real-life family drama and friendships back to the small screen. But after one season, she exited again.
“I [live] in L.A.,” Manzo told Fox 411 ahead of the season 7 premiere. “I don’t live in New Jersey anymore. I went through my divorce this year [and] I moved out to California, so it didn’t make sense.”
She also reiterated her love-hate relationship with reality TV. “It wasn’t what I thought I was getting myself into, and I realized that.” Manzo explained. “I’m kind of the person that if it’s not comfortable and it doesn’t fit who I am, I walk. You have to be happy and if it doesn’t sit well with your soul, you have to listen to that.”
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2015: New Beginnings
Living life out of the Bravo spotlight, Manzo continued her relationships with real-life friends like Teresa Giudice, and struck up a romance with David Cantin. The 37-year-old entrepreneur and motivational speaker, a self-made millionaire, started making appearances on Manzo’s Instagram more regularly in 2016.
2016: Getting Glowing
Last year, the former reality star made yet another career change, launching her own skincare line, Glow by Dina.
“I started working with these four amazing dermatologists in California and we came up with a formula that has everything that all the expensive brands have,” she told PEOPLE last year. “And I was excited to bring it to the public for a really reasonable price that really works.”
The products — which come in a five-piece kit — were never tested on animals, are paraben-free and a percentage of all proceeds go to Project Ladybug, Manzo’s charity that supports children suffering from life-threatening illnesses. “It’s a very conscious product that I am proud to stand behind,” she added.
Manzo and Cantin were treated and released for their injuries and this week, flew back to California, where she primarily resides. As of Tuesday, no suspects were in custody in connection with the break-in.