When Manzo’d With Children star, Caroline Manzo, appeared on Watch What Happens Live last week, no one expected social media and a passive aggressive sister to amp the drama.
Real Housewives of New Jersey alum, Dina Manzo, decided to dip her has-been toe into the live Bravo pool, and Caroline confirmed that their family remains fractured — possibly permanently.
Reality television has not been a friendly place for Dina and her relationship with her siblings, Caroline and Chris Laurita. Let’s take a look back, and piece together how a push and pull with Bravo, splintered a family.
Dina, an already spoiled youngest child, joins a Bravo reality show with her brother, sister-in-law, and sister. Allegedly Danielle Staub, the out-of-the-gate villainess, rats to Bravo that Dina forged her ex husband’s name on consent papers, allowing their (minor daughter at the time) Lexi to film. As a result, Dina is left with no family to film with, no storyline, and because Bravo was believed to be peeved about the forgery, Dina is supposedly fired. As a result, Dina demands that her sister-in-law, Jacqueline, and her sister, Caroline, abandon the reality stage with her. They refuse her childish demands, and baby Dina isn’t happy.
Caroline and Jacqueline continue on the show, and Caroline scores a spinoff. Meanwhile, years of family bitterness pass, as we jump to Season 6.
Season Six and Beyond
Dina agrees to return to the show, when promised that neither Caroline nor Jacqueline would be included. Bravo grants her wish, but as an afterthought, decides to bring Jacqueline back, in a “friend of a housewife” status. Dina is a snoozy casting failure, and fans of the show overwhelmingly proclaim her a dud. Dina kisses up to Teresa, playing the sympathetic bestie — hoping that the pre-prison support might pay off. Teresa is a legit newsmaker, and Dina isn’t going to miss her chance to ride her criminal star, until the gates of Danbury slam shut. Dina spends her downtime relentlessly bashing Caroline and Jacqueline on Twitter — contradicting her zen-soaked storyline. She also coldly reveals during the Season 6 reunion, that she has no interest in getting to know her young nephew, Nicholas.
By now, Dina’s divorce begins to heat up, so she is seemingly looking to financially stay in the reality game — even though her comeback stands as a dismal bust. Dina decides that cozying up to her family might be the trick, so she joins the Manzos for the 2014 holidays. Social media photos are posted, revealing Lexi finally interacting with her kin.
Caroline later speaks on her show about a 5-hour come-to-Jesus exchange with Dina, which appears to have been successful. Jacqueline also shares that she had received an encouraging message from Dina. Dina attends Lauren Manzo’s July 2015 wedding, with Lexi standing as a bridesmaid. Teresa continues to weather her year-long prison stint, but her once supportive filming partner does not visit her in clink. Bravo is in limbo, scrambling to nail down Teresa’s dicey return strategy, and despite Dina’s increasingly transparent effort to play nice with her family, Bravo does not ask her back.
Lexi Ioannou in her bridesmaid dress at Lauren’s wedding
By now, the still-married Dina has hooked up with a married man, David Cantin, and begins to live in California with her bicoastal sugar daddy. She announces that she has decided to leave the show — but in reality, after her crash and burn comeback, she was never asked to return. She does appear for a quick kiddie photo, when Teresa is released from the slammer, likely hoping to cross paths with Bravo cameras. No such luck. Dina is now a full-time California girl, well provided for — and again estranged from her family.
Dina Manzo and Dave Cantin
Caroline noted last week that the relationship with her sister is “over,” and Chris and Jacqueline appear to be in the same boat. So why make a public spectacle by snarking during a live Bravo broadcast? Opportunity knocked — and put in the corner Dina, just couldn’t resist.