‘RHONJ’: Dina Manzo Says Caroline Manzo Grew Jealous of Her

When The Real Housewives of New Jersey first premiered, Caroline Manzo famously declared to Danielle Staub that her family was “thick as thieves” who “protect each other to the end.” Unfortunately, the once-close relationship between her and her younger sister Dina Manzo unraveled.

Dina Manzo and Caroline Manzo
Dina Manzo and Caroline Manzo | Peter Kramer/NBC

Dina says the show contributed to the breakdown of their sisterhood. But, she’s also alluded to jealousy and backstabbing on Caroline’s part as the reason they remain estranged.

According to Dina Manzo, Caroline Manzo became increasingly jealous

Dina left RHONJ midway through season 2 and reemerged as a full-time housewife in season 6 before leaving the series for good. It’s known that since leaving the show the first time around, she and Caroline have rarely spoken.

Per Dina, she began to notice signs of jealously coming from her older sister as Dina began to rebuild her life after her first divorce. Dina soon began dating Caroline’s brother-in-law Tommy, who is well off.

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A 2018 report from Reality Blurb reveals a conversation between Dina and Jeff Lewis, with Dina detailing her side of the story.

“I think what happened was, you know, there’s always some competition in families, so everyone loved when I was like the poor sister, when I was working my a*s off or whatever,” she said. “Although she encouraged me dating her brother-in-law [Dina’s ex-husband Tommy Manzo], I don’t think she loved it too much when I kinda came to her level, as far as like ‘I have a range rover, I got a house in Franklin Lakes,’ so I think that’s where it started.”

Dina says Caroline revealed Danielle Staub plotted against her daughter 

Despite mini issues between the sisters, they agreed to participate in the show together. Viewers remember a tearful Caroline berating Staub during the season 1 reunion. Caroline implied that Staub was behind a vicious attack on Dina but at the time, she would not say what Staub did.

It was revealed during the season 2 reunion that Staub allegedly tried having Dina’s daughter taken away from her. Staub denied having a role in such. Dina told Juicy Scoop in 2017 that she begged Caroline to not bring the information on camera but Caroline was coerced by producers to do so.

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“Mid-reunion, production pulled us aside and said, ‘This is boring. No one’s gonna watch the show ever again if everybody’s all kumbaya, something needs to happen,’” The Inquisitr reports. “Caroline told them against my will, ‘Guess what Danielle did.’ So now they’re like, ‘You need to bring it up’…In my mind I’m like, ‘She’s not doing this. She’s not going there.’ I was like, I saw red, I saw black… when we left I just looked at her and said, ‘So this [the show] is more important than my daughter?'”

The sisters remain estranged

The sisters reconciled for a brief period before Dina chose again to end contact. In 2017, Dina and her husband David Cantin were the victims of a brutal home invasion.

In a strange twist, Dina’s ex-husband – who is also still the brother-in-law of Caroline – was arrested for allegedly paying a mobster to attack Cantin in 2015 in a separate incident. 

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Caroline spoke out, saying she was “heartbroken” by the arrest but committed to learning the truth. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to bring the sisters back together.

Dina currently lives in California with Cantin, while Caroline remains in New Jersey. Dina told Jeff Lewis in 2018 that she and Caroline hadn’t spoken in two years. She updated fans via Instagram in 2019 that they were still not speaking to each other, Bravo reports.