The star, who has been fighting her second battle with cancer, says she and husband Jim made the decision together.
“Jim and I have been giving Real Housewives or New Jersey a lot of thought and given the current state of affairs regarding our personal lives and the direction of the show, we officially decided to move on,” Marchese says. “The show was not what we expected it to be, and I want to pursue more suitable endeavors.”
Marchese joined the reality series for season 6 last year, and says the show “did not allow the viewers” to know the real her.
“I was picked on a casting call while pursuing acting, and the person that was presented was created for the show. I had little control over content, situations, or what they decide to show the viewers,” she says.
The star says that her onscreen relationship with RHONJ twins Teresa Aprea and Nicole Napolitano – which at times turned ugly – was fabricated.
“Even my relationship with the twins was created. I recruited them for my storyline after I was chosen,” she says. “I only met with Teresa Guidice and Dina Manzo for filming purposes. I never built a friendship with them as we were nothing more than co-workers. I wish them all well and the best of luck, although, my husband does not share my sentiments.”
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Marchese, 38, is mom to Corbin and Isabella and stepmother to Michael and Sebastian. She blogs exclusively for PEOPLE about her journey through her second battle with breast cancer.
“I just want to thank everyone who has supported me and has shown nothing but kindness through my difficult times. It is a dream as an aspiring actress to get a lead role, but as with all careers, as one door closes, God willing, another one will open,” she says. “For anyone following my story, I plan on continuing my blog. God bless to all!”
• Reporting by K.C. BAKER