It’s no secret that I had a meltdown at the end this season, which was finished filming the night before the Season 3 reunion. What I am trying to give you are my honest thoughts about what was going on in my mind through the series of events throughout the season that lead to that. What isn’t revealed during the season may be revealed in our reunion show. I will say that there is no one episode that led to my meltdown. It was a series of events, pressures, and circumstances that just happened to come to a head right before the reunion. I was overwhelmed by many things. Petty things just didn’t seem very important to me, and I was growing tired of having to constantly be brought into these repetitive conversations that I was having with Teresa.
Daily Teresa would put me in the middle of her issues, whether it was to complain, gossip, ask me for advice, or to tell me what I should be doing and saying to her family (if I was her “real” friend). Very rarely would Teresa actually listen to what I was going through. I had things going on in my own life that also needed my focus and attention.
I have been asked to be on the cover of magazines. I said no because they were articles that would have been negative about me and my daughter or about why I didn’t attend the reunion. I also turned down talk shows for the same reasons. I also shot a magazine cover with Teresa where we got paid pretty well. We controlled what went inside. If more than one person is on the cover, at least one of those people is controlling the article. I know how the magazines work. Teresa told me about her cover deals. She went and strategically posed for these covers. They asked her questions and she answered them, just like she said. They wrote the articles based on her interviews. Whatever she wanted quoted they put in quotes. When she wanted to say something sneaky and untraceable, they put it in the article as a “source.” The sun shines on everyone, not just Teresa. I know Teresa is under the assumption that everyone is jealous of her, but I can’t blame her, that is how all narcissists think. The reality is I’d choose my life and who I am as a person over her life and who she is any day.
If I looked perplexed when Teresa told me about her “renewal of vows” cover to put to rest all of the rumors she started about herself in her previous covers, it’s because I was. She knew I was asked to do the same thing, and I was told it would be made into a big deal by the tabloids. I turned it down. It’s just not me. I’m a simple girl.
Every other week I was reading new sob stories put out by Teresa that didn’t seem to mesh with her lifestyle. I never saw her struggling and afraid of being poor. Everything was FINE! Her lifestyle never really changed. It actually got more extravagant.
Teresa announced that her book made the best sellers list. As happy as I was for her, and I always supported her on all of her accomplishments, it kind of pissed me off that she would mention that to Caroline and the family knowing full well that it was a sensitive subject between them. I just found it insensitive and not necessary. She knew exactly what she was doing.
I started seeing a different side to Teresa that I didn’t respect. She was doing and saying some pretty ugly things. I really wanted my friend back. I missed her. I needed her. I wanted the fun loving Teresa that wasn’t self-absorbed or consumed with “keeping up with the Gorgas” and trying to surpass them at all costs.
Next week’s episode was the turning point in my friendship with Teresa. It was something that I hurt over for a long time. While it may be entertaining for you, it is heartbreaking for me.
Remember, when these episodes were shot last summer, I was trying to move on from the horrible place Teresa and I had been in a couple years back. I see the In Touch magazine covers Teresa does, and yes, I don’t like that they mention me in a negative way, but I think the viewers are smart enough to realize that you can’t believe everything you read. I guess in her mind, there is a difference between what she is willing to share with the tabloids for money and what she will share with her friends and family. Please take note, if there are constantly stories in the tabloids, the show is going to address it. If you don’t want these issues to be brought up on the show, then don’t address them in the tabloids.
Coming on the show was a decision Joe and I made. I’ve been on the show for almost two years now, and I think it’s time for her to let it go. I didn’t come on to ruin her. Are you seeing me do anything to ruin her?
I’ve had multiple chances to talk about her personal issues, the bankruptcy, the marriage rumors, etc. and I don’t. How can she not see that? I’m sorry Teresa has such an issue with me, but it’s time she moves on and gets over it like she said she has.
I think Teresa needs to realize that this is not her show, it’s Bravo’s. The name of the show isThe Real Housewives of New Jersey, not The Teresa Show.
There is a reason for everything. She is on the show because Jacqueline recommended her to be on. Does Jacqueline torture her every day for it? NO. I think it’s safe to say that if I was on the first season and the show came to her to invite her on as well she would NOT have said no. It’s easy for her to say she wouldn’t have signed on, because that’s all she can point to when she’s trying to turn people against me.
Teresa’s financial issues were already out in the open and the tabloid covers and “posed pictures” were already happening well before we joined the show. Teresa’s thing is her cookbooks, I would never dream of writing one or trying to take that from her. I know some people try to say we are similar, but we are VERY different people and I’m not trying to live her life.
Regardless of what Teresa says about our relationship before RHONJ, there was a time that BOTH of us were being very vindictive to each other. I won’t deny that, but since joining the show, I haven’t taken opportunities to throw her troubles in her face, and that’s not how I want to be, even now when things are awful between us.
Teresa constantly brings up the fact that I joined the show “behind her back” and that Danielle and I were in contact. I said this last year and will say it again: When I was pregnant with Joey, Danielle reached out to me on Facebook after I posted about the Christmas cookie incident. Yes, I did talk to her. For some reason I felt sorry for her watching how Teresa went after her, and I did vent to her about my issues with Teresa. This was all addressed already at the Season 3 reunion. It was well over three years ago and since then I thought that we were working to get to a better place, but I guess I have moved on and she has not. Teresa holds grudges like no other, and I can’t control that. She has to decide her family is important enough to her and let it go.
What you will see if you pay attention is that Teresa is trying to take me down every chance she gets. She is attacking my character, my marriage, my looks. What she is claiming is happening to her is quite the opposite. There goes that projection again. Thankfully most of you can see that, and all we can do is pray for her and hope she opens her eyes and takes a look at what’s really important.
I know the other Housewives keep making comments about how I must have a ghostwriter do everything for me. It’s either a sign of jealousy that their own stuff isn’t that good, or an insult that they think I’m stupid. Maybe it’s both. Sorry that I can write well and have done so since my very first blog — but I’m not perfect, I’m not an English teacher, I know I say “me and Joe” instead of “Joe and I,” but I write how I talk. I do have a college degree, and yes Microsoft Word does have spell check, so I don’t see how it’s really all that hard. And if I did have someone else do it all for me, why am I able to go on pressure-filled live appearances like QVC and big speeches at libraries and stuff and manage to sound OK? I usually ignore all the little comments and insults, but this is one I’m pretty sick of, so I just want to put it to rest once and for all. I don’t have a ghostwriter do everything for me.
NOTE: Tree denying the notion that she writes everything herself… based on her personal appearances… is laughable! When Tree started out, she could BARELY string together two words, let alone two sentences! As she mentions in this blog, Tree has the best PR people working for her now… and everyone can clearly see that she has been taking lessons from media coaches. Tree’s “college” degree? A two-year degree from the Berkeley School… in Fashion Merchandising… is an accomplishment; however, those credits received from Berkeley do not transfer to an accredited four-year college. Tree does NOT have a “college” degree from an accredited four-year school of higher education… well, obviously in her mind, she does…
July 25, 2011…
I have a co-author on my books, Heather Maclean, and her name is clearly on the cover. No mystery. She lives in the Midwest, has three kids of her own, and just wrote her 12th book. Believe me, she doesn’t live in my kitchen and type all my stuff for me. She doesn’t have the time, and you know I like to do things myself anyway. I don’t even have a personal assistant or nanny. Remember when Melissa and her sisters were laughing last season about how I couldn’t afford one? I’ll take all the accusations as a compliment that I’m doing a pretty good job on my own. NOTE: Tree may NOT have a nanny, but Tree does have her parents who take care of Tree’s kids. So, technically, Tree does not have a nanny; however, having parents to take care of your kids at a moments notice, 24/7 is a much better deal than having a nanny!
So let’s talk about the In Touch magazine cover that had everyone’s panties in a bunch. Before I talk about the one they all conveniently couldn’t stop reading though, I want to tell you about my history with magazines and how the whole thing works. NOTE: If you are aware of “how the whole thing works”… which the majority of SH readers are fully aware of, you can ignore the next few paragraphs!
When I joined RHONJ, I didn’t know anyone on TV. I had no one to tell me how it worked, I had to learn on my own. The first time I was ever on a magazine cover was for US Weekly in 2009. Our show was taking off in the ratings, and US Weekly contacted Bravo to have me, Dina, and Danielle pose for a story. (PS: No one ever knows which story in the magazine is going to be the cover because if bigger news comes along, it gets priority. I’d hoped to be the cover ofPeople in May last year for that “Teresa Fights Back” story of me with the boxing gloves, but the day before Arnold Schwarzenegger’s love child was exposed. Guess what was on the cover.)
The three of us had a fun photo shoot in N.Y.C. — they glammed us up and put us all in blue dresses. I was already pregnant with Audriana (which wasn’t part of the show yet) so I had to stand sideways and they cut my belly off! The whole thing was just like a dream and so fun. Like pretending you’re a movie star. When the magazine came out and we were on the cover, it was shocking. First because no Housewife, not even the ‘New York’ ladies or Bethenny, had ever been on the cover of a national magazine before. It was exciting to see it in the grocery store aisles. It was just so weird to see myself. I thought we all looked really pretty. But it wasn’t all wine and roses. Underneath our pretty picture, right on the cover, was a box with my face in it screaming as I flipped the table. Not so pretty. And then there was the cover text: “Real Housewives’ Dirty Secrets.” What? What dirty secrets? I didn’t have any dirty secrets. I was actually embarrassed and was afraid to show the magazine to my mom! That’s when I learned just because you get to take a pretty picture for a magazine doesn’t mean they are going to write pretty things about you. In fact, you can almost guarantee the opposite.
The second time I was asked to possibly be on the cover of a magazine was with Jacqueline and our new babies for In Touch. Someone (maybe another Housewife from another franchise, I forget because I didn’t even have a PR person back then… I knew nothing) told us that you should ask for money to be in the magazine. Great idea, we thought! Why not get paid if you can? They’re making money selling your face, why shouldn’t you get something? I’ll pose for a picture if it means I can put money in my kids’ college fund. Deal.
Here’s the deal though: you’re only ever paid for photographs. The magazine has to pay for photos no matter what: either they do a photo shoot with you, or they pay for shots from a professional photographer who just happened to catch you walking down the street, or god forbid, the paparazzi. Here’s how I feel about that: if the magazine is going to run a story about you anyway and you have no control about what the story will be, what will be on the cover, even how they might twist your own quotes or use ugly pictures of you, why not get paid for a professional photo shoot? I love, love, love photographs… especially of me and my girls. You’ve seen my Christmas cards; I go over the top with photographs. Now suddenly magazines are offering to give me gorgeous photos (that I get to keep) and they’ll pay me. If I say no, they’re going to do the story anyway, but the photos will probably not be pretty, like the recent cover of US Weekly with my arms crossed when I look all mad. Who wants that?
So Jacqueline and I were all excited to have beautiful shots of us and our babies in In Touchand get paid for them! And that one actually was a pretty nice story, no drama or crazy cover tags. But maybe that’s because we never made it to the cover. We got bumped for a story about Brat Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. No need to have a dramatic cover sentence for us because we weren’t the cover.
It’s weird how it works: you don’t always get paid even for photo shoots. People magazine doesn’t pay for instance (unless you’re Brad Pitt I’m guessing). But when I was asked to pose for a photo shoot with my girls in their playroom, for back-to-school clothes with Alex McCord and her boys, and with my girls for Halloween in People magazine, I did them all for free because I love taking pictures! You don’t have any say about the photos of course, and they can still pick a bad one, but I still think taking pictures is fun, especially when I get to keep them for free.
At some point the photos of me and my kids must have been selling well because I started to get asked more often, and started to appear on covers I was never asked about at all. And of course, the stories about me got crazier. To date, I’ve been on the cover of over 25 magazines. That’s just crazy to me; I know actors and models would kill for that much exposure. But I didn’t ask for it. They put me on the cover because apparently magazines sell really well when I’m on them. I’m not sure if that’s flattering or not since the stories aren’t typically very flattering.
The truth is Jacqueline and Caroline aren’t on the covers of magazines every week presumably because it wouldn’t make the magazine sell. They aren’t missing from the magazines because they take some high road and say no. They aren’t wanted. I’m not saying being wanted is better or somehow desirable because in most cases it isn’t, but to say that I have any control over it is false. And they know it.
I did say that Richie and Kathy (mostly Richie) used to jibe me about how many times I went to the mall. Richie would say, “How much gas did you use up today driving to Short Hills to buy more clothes, Teresa?” Maybe it’s because he works at a gas station that he’s so interested in gas, but he was always floored by how often I shopped. He didn’t understand it because his wife wasn’t on TV yet. Now that she is, she shops a lot too. Big deal. I’m not sure how saying that is so super bad like Kathy is making it out to be. Richie did say it all the time and it was annoying, so what. Kathy is all insulted though? I’m not buying it from the woman who said on TV about me: “I guess intelligence is a different language for Teresa,” “It’s not my job to raise her,” and “You better wrap a sweater around that icy heart, because you’re gonna catch a nasty cold.” Wow.
As far as the other ladies, their quotes are from THEM, not me. Those are the things they said themselves on the show. If a writer wants to label them as “insults,” what can I do? Nothing. Just like I could do nothing about the cover headline: “I’m terrified of being poor.” I guess I don’t want to be poor, but I would never say that and I don’t think like that. We grew up immigrants with nothing. No one wants to be poor, but I wouldn’t have written that as my headline. Did I want it to also say I had “shocking debt”? No. Or that my marriage was in “crisis”? No. The editors write that I’m “bullied by my friends for being broke.” Not my quote, not from me.
I am going to briefly address this week’s installment of texts, lies, and videotapes! There’s so much out there that needs to be clear, and I feel I can do that with integrity and without having to hurt anyone in the process. Having said that, I know there will be times I will have to bite my tongue and allow the nonsense to just play out in the tabloids! Jacqueline said it best in her interview (and I couldn’t agree more) when she said, “How they get their money is their business.”
But I need to set the record straight in words that are truly my own. I never asked my cousin how many times she goes to the mall. That is simply untrue. I would never judge a family member, friend, or any other person in that way. The only checkbook I want to balance is my own! End of story! I want to focus on more important things.
More fun times down at the Jersey shore.
Whenever there’s a big group like that we have tons of laughs and we party like rock stars!
Many of you asked me last week about the cocktails we were drinking and if I have any good drink recipes. We were drinking Red Velvet Cosmo of course during my shore house party. I will add some serving suggestions at the end of my blog. Make a note of them so you can try it!
On a similar sweet note, I would also like to acknowledge my husband. I am very proud of him, and I am so glad the viewers all got to see yet another side of Rich. NOTE: No one wants to see that side of Rich… BLEEECH! It’s that exceptional part of him that is a good listener and a great friend who is deeply devoted to family. Communication, that’s a key ingredient in any healthy relationship, and that’s one of the biggest reasons I love Rich so much.
Rich and my cousin Joey share a special brotherhood that is so wonderful to see. If there was any doubt about how fully committed Joey was to reconciling with Teresa just take a look at his face!
It does not get any more real than that. It’s a big step for him and definitely out of his comfort zone. It takes a secure person to admit that he may have contributed to the condition of their relationship.
It would have been wonderful to know that Teresa was just as committed and would agree to go to therapy just because her brother asked her, even if she doesn’t think she needs it herself. What other reason would anyone need? Let’s just hope for the best.
My only regret is that the rest of my family couldn’t attend. As I said earlier, this was an event pulled together in less than a month’s time. Please don’t read too much into why members were missing.
The simple truth is that life gets in the way. Some were working, some were vacationing, some had babysitting issues, so on and so on.
They were missed and there in spirit, not to mention the constant texting of photos and updates kept them in the loop minute by minute.
I’d like to thank Bravo for putting both Jaime and Rosie’s story out there. Sometimes it’s easier to be politically correct and turn your head to hot button issues rather than address them head on. I respect them for showing their individual journeys with the heartfelt dignity and respect they deserve. Thank you, thank you, thank you.