"It's easier to keep the peace from a distance," Melissa Gorga tells PEOPLE

By Jodi Guglielmi
February 16, 2021 02:50 PM
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Credit: Theo Wargo/Getty; Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty

There's no love lost between Melissa and Joe Gorga and their former brother-in-law, Joe Giudice.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey star tells PEOPLE that she and her husband Joe have not maintained a relationship with Teresa Giudice's ex after they officially divorced last year.

"We have no relationship with him," she says. "We don't talk."

After years of a tumultuous relationship between the two families, Melissa, 41, says she and her husband have decided to distance themselves from Giudice following his release from prison and move to Italy.

"[Giudice and Gorga] have bumped heads forever, and it's just like, what's the point?" she says. "It's easier to keep the peace from a distance."

"I wish him well, I know his daughters love him so much and I wish him well," she adds. "But we really just don't have a relationship."

But limiting communication hasn't seemed to stop the drama just yet. In the trailer for the upcoming season of RHONJ, Gorga becomes enraged when he learns that Giudice has been talking about him in the press, claiming to "know things" about his business and marriage.

"How dare him say he's got dirt on me?" Gorga demands.

The fight eventually escalates when the issue gets brought up at a dinner, causing Gorga to lose his temper at Teresa.

"You're going to defend him?" shouts Gorga, leaving Teresa speechless. "F--- that piece of s---. He put my mother in a f---ing grave. Do you understand that?"

Credit: Bravo

Looking back on the tense moment, Melissa says she felt like she was trying to fight a losing battle — a mistake she won't make again.

"We are done backing Teresa up and sticking up for her," she says. "We're just going to mind our own business because we are always damned if we do and damned if we don't."

"Even when we're totally team Teresa, we're doing something wrong," she adds. "I'm done. I'm done doing the right thing, getting in trouble, not doing the right thing, getting in trouble. I'm over it."

But Melissa says she will always have love for her sister-in-law, despite any speedbumps they may hit.

"We're fine. It's always been what it's been. We go back and forth with each other," she says. "I think as a family we do a good job of being on reality TV and keeping it together."

Season 11 of The Real Housewives of New Jersey premieres Feb. 17 at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.