'RHONJ's Jackie Goldschneider Defends Friendship With Teresa Giudice (2024)

Jackie Goldschneider came into season 14 ofThe Real Housewives of New Jerseywith a self-directed mission: leave the past in the past.

"I just came into the season being really open to be friends with everyone," the longtimeRHONJstar tells ET over video chat. "I mistakenly thought that we could all come back together and be a cohesive group."

However, for the rest of the ensemble -- or at least a lot of it -- lines were drawn; Teresa Giudice and Melissa Gorga made it clear they wanted nothing to do with the other after the events of season 13, which ended with Melissa under the belief that Teresa and Jennifer Aydin set up newcomer Danielle Cabral to spread a cheating rumor about her on the show in an attempt to take down her and her husband, Teresa's brother, Joe Gorga. Things got worse at the reunion, where Melissa, Margaret Josephs and Rachel Fuda confronted Teresa's husband, Louie Ruelas, over his since-walked-back claim that a private investigator dug up dirt on all of them for Louie.

Stepping into season 14, Margaret declared she was avoiding Louie and Teresa at all costs; it was assumed that Jackie would take her lead, but Jackie says she had an "aha moment" of sorts about their friendship just as cameras went up.

"Before the season started is when our breakdown began," she shares. "There were issues before the season even started, and so I think that things just escalated on camera, and I think that Margaret expects and demands a lot of loyalty and that translated into not being able to move forward with other parts of my life."

"I don't think friendships should be that difficult," Jackie says. "I think they should be easy, because life is hard and I think friendship should be easy, and it was not an easy friendship anymore; and so, I started taking some distance from it, and I think that Margaret found that very, very insulting and disloyal, and I think things just escalated from there."

The cracks started showing at Jenn Fessler's birthday party, featured in the season 14 premiere, during which Margaret confronted Jackie over not receiving an advanced copy of her memoir, The Weight of Beautiful, which other cast members had received by that point.

"Margaret absolutely, 1,000 percent got an advanced copy of my book," Jackie clarifies. "She just did not get the soft-cover, unfinished press copy that went to people who asked me to do press with them. Melissa asked me to do press, she asked me to do her podcast. So, my publisher -- who had those books -- sent her one, so she could be prepared for the podcast."

"Jenn Fessler is like my sister-- well, not my actual sister, 'cause I don't speak to her -- but she is like, we could be sisters," she continues. "We have a very close bond, and she read chapters before my publisher. I would print them out of my computer ... and send them to Jenn Fessler, and those are the only two people on our cast that had the book before Margaret. I sent the entire cast an advanced copy of the book before it came out. Jenn Fessler's birthday party was literally two months before my book came out. There's no reason why Margaret needed the book at that point."

Margaret brought back up her annoyance over the book a few weeks later, when the cast gathered for a charity softball game, while also confronting Jackie over not reaching out to Margaret on the one-year anniversary of her ex-husband's death.

"For me to be held to a standard where, on the one-year anniversary of her ex-husband's death, who she divorced over a decade ago and has since been remarried, that's a really high standard to hold somebody to," Jackie says, noting she was more than there for Margaret when her ex, Jan Josephs, died.

"I was on the phone with her all the time," she shares. "I cried more at the funeral than anybody. I was at her house for the shiva. I was a very good friend to her. I didn't remember the one-year anniversary, and I don't even feel that bad about that. Margaret, over the course of that year, I am sure that she was hurt. I am not taking that away from her. I'm sure that she was sad, and she experienced a lot of emotions around it, but when we would talk, it was not about her grieving process over Jan, Like, Jan would never even come up."

For Jackie, she was trapped in a game she couldn't win, because the rules weren't fair, and suspects Margaret went after her largely for being open to reconciling with Teresa. Jackie says she and Teresa wiped their slate clean at Jenn's birthday party, but their conversation didn't make air. She credits that chat with opening the door for her to attend Jennifer's dog-themed party, which struck some of the cast as odd, given that Jackie has never been close (or really even gotten along with) Jennifer and Teresa.

"I do think that [Margaret] was really pissed that I went to the dog party, and that I was getting friendly with Jenn and Teresa," she says. For what it's worth, Margaret turned down Jennifer's invite to attend the event.

"I think Margaret was really upset that I was moving forward with a friendship with somebody that she disliked so much," she adds, "and I think the other part of it was that she really expected to come first in all aspects of my life, and how dare I send somebody else the book before she gets it?"

Jackie doesn't shy away from saying she once shared "a very beautiful, special friendship" with Margaret -- and they could get there again -- but right now, more is expected of Jackie than Margaret gives back.

"I never expected it to turn into what it turned into," she admits, sharing her confusion over Melissa pulling away from Jackie as she pulled away from Margaret.

"I never had a fight with Melissa," she declares. "We had some words, but Melissa and I were fine. I don't really understand what happened there. All of a sudden, one day I wake up and we're in a fight. So I think that was another loyalty demand on Margaret's part, and I think there was a lot of games going on this season with, choose a side. Pick a team, you know? One's gonna stay, one's gonna go, and I think it turned into, like, a game show, like a competition show instead of a friend group."

Both Margaret and Melissa have questioned Jackie's newfound friendship with Teresa, speculating it was a calculated move to secure screen time on the show after becoming a "friend of" last season, when she had been a full-time cast member the four previous seasons.

"First of all, I know my place on this show: I am a friend," Jackie hits back. "I am so happy being a friend. [My husband] Evan Goldschneider is happy with me being a friend. My four teenagers are happy with me being a friend. It works, OK? I'm not fighting for screen time. I'm not engaging in ridiculous antics, and anybody who watches the show can see I did not start that fight [at the softball game] with Margaret. I didn't do anything outrageous. I was just responding to her."

Jackie teases that her feud with Margaret picks up in the coming weeks, with one instance making her feel as if "I can never be friends with this woman again." It might be the moment previewed in the season trailer, with Jackie storming away from Margaret and finding comfort in Teresa and Jennifer, who offer to show her what "true friends" are like.

"I know that there might have been some strategy on Teresa's part -- I haven't seen the episodes, so I don't know if this behind the scenes she's saying, 'Oh, Jackie hates Margaret now, let me get in there...' you know?" she muses. "I don't know if that happened, but even if that happened, it has been a very long time since filming, and Teresa and I are super close. Our friendship continues to grow. We celebrate birthdays together. We talk on the phone multiple times a week. We don't even talk about the show. ... We really like each other. So, no matter what it started as, what it turned into was a really nice friendship."

For years, Jackie seemed to be at an impasse with Teresa, especially after the events of season 11, during which Teresa spread (or simply repeated, if you ask her) an untrue rumor about Evan cheating on Jackie. It led to back and forth digs between the women, and an explosive, expletive-laden confrontation at Margaret's house after Jackie used an analogy invoking Teresa's daughter's name to prove how damaging repeating unfounded information can be to someone.

"Yes, there was a ton of hurt, and I will not sugarcoat that," Jackie acknowledges. "I mean, I was devastated. [But now], I have moved past it. I just don't know what to say. I did a lot of intensive therapy to get over my eating disorder. Like, twice a week, intensive, and a lot of that had to do with letting go of the past. I don't want this to sound like therapy mumbo jumbo, but I had to let go of a lot of my past, because it was holding me back and keeping me sick -- and part of the stuff that I let go of was this whole cheating rumor. It impacted me then. It has not impacted my life since."

Teresa's claimed that Margaret was the original source of the rumor and that Jackie has now seen that; Jackie won't go so far as to say that, though, saying there's no firm proof.

"Before I became friends with Teresa, when I saw that we were starting, I took Evan aside, and I said, 'Listen, how do you feel about me being friends with Teresa?'" she recalls. "And he was like, 'Fine. I'm over it.' If Evan had said, 'I can't stand her. Stay away.' I would have respected that, but he's over it. I'm over it. I don't know what else to say. Like, there was nothing there that I still felt like anger or pain in my heart. I let go of a lot of toxicity. I don't want that in my life anymore and I'm so glad that I did, and I'm not apologizing for it."

Jackie also points to the personal growth both she and Teresa have had individually since that season.

"I think she was bitter about her life, and rightly so," Jackie says of Teresa in 2020. "She had her husband [Joe Giudice] being deported. Her kids had to watch that. She was single. She was lonely. She was sad. There were money issues, and I think that she was in a bad place -- and I was still very sick [with anorexia], and I was very vulnerable, and I couldn't control my emotions."

"It was just a devastating fight for both of us, and I think that we both really grew up and became stronger women since then," she adds. "A friendship back then would not have worked for us. We were two very, very different people, and now it works."

Jackie thinks Margaret is, once again, holding her to a different standard, shining a light on what she sees as hypocrisy within the group.

"Everyone on this cast has fought," she says. "No one else is getting s**t for making up with each other, except for me and Teresa I mean, Danielle spread a cheating rumor about Melissa last year. They're thick as thieves right now. Nobody's giving them any stress about it, so I don't know why I'm held to a different standard."

Just ahead ofRHONJ's season premiere, a fan account started sharing "receipts" online, posting alleged communication between themselves, Jennifer and Teresa, which appear to show the women asking the account to post negative information about some of the cast (namely Margaret, Melissa, Rachel and their spouses) in order to bring up the intel on the show. Teresa's denied taking part in the supposed plot, while Jennifer's yet to speak out on the allegations; meanwhile, Margaret and Melissa have both slammed the behavior as "disgusting." Jackie says, even if the claims are true, it doesn't change how she feels about Teresa or Jennifer.

"It's stuff that took place before I was friends with them," she explains. "I don't know what they did. I don't know what proof there is, so I'm kinda gonna stay out of all of it. Stay out of the judgment zone, too."

"I am so thrilled to say that I have no part in any single bit of anything going on on social media right now," she says. "I'm not saying that people didn't do bad things, certainly there's, you know, we all know that right now, but I think these accounts also are looking for their 15 minutes, too, and just saying whatever they can. I think a lot of cast members have engaged in not-so-great social media practices, and I'm staying out of all of it."

As for where the cast goes from here, Jackie's not sure.

"I think there's no coming back for Melissa and Teresa [having a friendship], that's clear," she surmises. "I don't even hope that they make up, because I think it's just a disaster waiting to happen."

"I don't necessarily think that this entire group goes anywhere," she continues. "I think that some people just shouldn't be a part of the group anymore, and I'm not gonna name it any names -- that's not my decision to make -- but I don't think that this group can be together anymore, and I think we saw what happens when we try. So, I think that the people who played the most games and said, 'You can't film with this one...' and, 'You can't film with that one...' I think that's a problem. We can't have a group like that, where people are told they can't film with other people. So I think if you take a few of them, you can build strong friendships among them. Watch reconciliations, watch resolution -- which is what we all want -- and you can build a group from there, but this entire group going forward I don't think there's a path forward."

The season premiere hinted at as much, with a flash-forward to a finale showdown at Rails Steakhouse, which was left in shambles when the cast left, glass broken on the floor. Jackie says Danielle is most to blame for the "chaos" that ensued at that table.

"Everybody really took part in it," she clarifies, "but I would say chaos-wise? Danielle [is most responsible]."

At the end of the day, Jackie wishes there was more levity to come in what viewers are about to watch.

"Unfortunately, it doesn't come to mind that many light, happy times, not this season," she laments. "I mean, there were times I laughed, but usually I was laughing at someone else fighting, you know?"

She is finding some good in watching back the season, though, getting to see herself on screen at the happiest and healthiest she's ever been since committing to her ED recovery.

"I'm really proud of myself," she declares. "I'm proud of this book. I'm so happy that the book is being shown on the show. I mean, my book sales have spiked after every episode ... which is the greatest thing in the world to me. This book is my greatest professional achievement, and I know that certain people have said that nobody does anything alone. I wrote this book alone. I got my book deal by myself. I took the traditional route. I wrote every word of it myself, so I'm really, really proud of it."

"It's great watching myself back," she reiterates. "[But] it's hard watching myself grow while other people shrink. Even though I'm so proud of my body ... lot of the cast being on diet drugs threw me a curveball. I'll be honest."

The Real Housewives of New Jerseyairs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo, with episodes streaming next day on Peaco*ck.

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FAQs

Did Jackie Goldschneider go to Teresa's wedding? ›

Jackie Goldschneider enjoyed her time at Luis Ruelas and Teresa Giudice's grand wedding a few days ago, but she's not shocked about the absence of two notable cast members. The Real Housewives of New Jersey star teased what's to come in Season 13 amid the fallout between Teresa and Melissa and Joe Gorga.

Why are Teresa Giudice and Danielle Staub not friends? ›

Giudice, 47, and Staub, 57, were two of the fiercest rivals in RHONJ history, their feud famously giving the hit Bravo series its most iconic moment involving Giudice flipping a table at Staub and calling her a “prostitution whor*” in the season 1 finale. Things got so bad that Staub left the show after season 2.

Does Jackie Goldschneider work? ›

Jackie Goldschneider is a star of the Bravo hit TV show The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Before joining the show in 2018, Jackie was an attorney and freelance journalist. Her writing has appeared in Good Housekeeping, HuffPost, and Scary Mommy, among others.

Is Jackie Goldschneider a lawyer? ›

She is an American T.V. personality known for her role in season 11 of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” which premiered on February 17. She also works professionally as a blogger, writer, and lawyer.

Why did Jackie Goldschneider leave Real Housewives of New Jersey? ›

I had gained a bunch of weight and I had only been in recovery for a few months. "I was still mentally struggling and I think everyone knew that so adding on the stress of all the fighting or the drama on the show would not have been good for me.

How much does Teresa get paid for RHONJ? ›

Teresa is an original cast member of RHONJ, which debuted on Bravo in ​May 2009. She's been with the show every season except for when she served 11 months in prison for fraud in 2015. Today, Teresa reportedly earns $1.1 million per season and is one of the highest paid Housewives in the franchise.

Are Jackie and Melissa Gorga friends? ›

Now, in an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, Melissa, 45, says she was "shocked" by Jackie's reaction and confirms the two's friendship is currently nonexistent.

Are Caroline Manzo and Teresa Giudice friends? ›

Caroline Manzo and Teresa started out as close friends when The Real Housewives of New Jersey began filming. These friends quickly became enemies thanks to interpersonal issues within the cast.

Are Kyle and Melissa Gorga friends? ›

As it turns out all is fine between The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Kyle Richards and The Real Housewives of New Jersey's Melissa Gorga after some recent headlines involving the two of them.

Does Jackie Goldschneider have family money? ›

And while Jackie definitely has family money, she shares she and Evan do not live off of it and they don't touch it at all. She shares that when she has received money from her trust fund, she's taken it and invested in real estate, which includes her Hamptons home as well as properties in Manhattan.

Is Jackie Goldschneider demoted to friend? ›

Jackie Goldschneider: It Was an 'Ego Punch' Being Demoted to a 'Friend' on 'The Real Housewives of New Jersey' From Housewife to friend. Real Housewives of New Jersey star Jackie Goldschneider joined the Bravo series in season 9 but returned to season 13 in a new role: “friend.”

Does Jackie Goldschneider talk to her sister? ›

"It's not like I was best friends with my sister and then I stained her favorite shirt and now we don't talk to each other or know each other's kids... We've never known each other. We've had fight after fight and, eventually, as adults, we just cut each other out."

Which RHONJ attended Teresa's wedding? ›

Teresa's wedding guests included many familiar faces within the Bravo universe, such as RHONJ's Jennifer Aydin, Dolores Catania, Margaret Josephs, and Jackie Goldschneider; The Real Housewives of New York City's Dorinda Medley and Jill Zarin; The Real Housewives of Atlanta's Kenya Moore, Phaedra Parks, and Cynthia ...

Is Jackie Goldschneider still with her husband? ›

“It feels so good,” she enthused. “It's hot!” In case it's not clear, the state of Evan and Jackie's marriage is strong — and the couple is feeling strong too. Strong enough to go hiking!

How much did Teresa from RHONJ sell her house for? ›

RHONJ's Teresa Giudice finally sells NJ mansion for $1.9M after struggling to offload home she shared with ex Joe. REAL Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice has finally sold the $1.9million New Jersey mansion she shared with her ex-husband Joe after buying a $3million home with her fiance Luis Ruelas.

How many kids does Jackie Goldschneider have? ›

The former attorney, journalist and twin mom times two (Jonas and Adin are 15 and Hudson and Alexis are 13!) reveals in her new book, that for decades, her life wasn't reality star glamorous—in fact, she battled a severe eating disorder for decades.

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