“It’s just so sad, I guess, like she’s led that crooked life,” said Teresa, 47. “Like, I’ve never led that crooked life. I guess she has and who she comes from and where she came from. Right back at her.”
“How could she predict that?” Teresa asked of her former Real Housewives of New Jersey costar. “Could she have anything to do with what happened to Joe and I? Is she a rat? With her saying that? Those words would never come out of my mouth, regarding anybody. Maybe [she called the feds]! Those words would never come out of my mouth.”
As fans recall, Teresa served a little over 11 months in prison for mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud and was released on Dec. 23, 2015. Joe began his 41-month sentence for the same crimes in March 2016.
On Tuesday, Manzo, 58, responded to Teresa’s allegations on her son’s podcast, Dear Albie.
“I left [Housewives] five years ago. Within those five years, my name has come up numerous times, in positive ways and negative ways as well. I don’t respond to any of it, ’cause that was then and this is now. I live a very quiet life, as my Instagram will show, and I’m a normal person, a normal housewife. I don’t live by what people think of me. However, there comes a point in everyone’s life when enough is enough,” she said. “I’m at that point with her because I have heard over the years that she has slandered me numerous times on her live shows, numerous times to people that just go up to her on the street, in the press, on reunions. This is not the first time she’s made this claim. Those are big words. Those are very big words. So once in a while, you gotta take the bully, pull ’em up by the shirt, pull ’em up to your face and say, ‘This is the reality. This is life. I am going to clear things up for you.’ And that’s what I’m doing.”
As for Teresa’s claims? Manzo called them “just ridiculous.”
“She has a narcissistic personality … I get it. I see through her,” she said, explaining how she was able to predict the Giudices’ fate all those years ago. “She has no moral compass. She really doesn’t. She has said things to people that are completely fabricated.”
She also detailed her reaction to “crooked life” dig.
“My initial thing was, ‘What the F is she … what?’ ” Manzo said. “And then you have to laugh at somebody like that, because she is clearly grasping at straws. What’s my crooked life? I have a husband that has been busting his ass for the past 40 years, working 16-hour days six days at week at almost 60 years old. We just paid off our mortgage, congratulations to us. And guess what? We did it the old-fashion way, with a 20-year loan, and by blood, sweat and tears we paid it off. … She’s right. We couldn’t be more opposite. And that pleases me. So the irony of that statement is not lost on me, and I think she’s grasping at straws, and I think she’s delusional, and I think she’s trying to throw mud and hoping it sticks on any which wall that will catch it, but it’s not gonna work.”
As for the “rat” label? “Did I miss a Godfather script somewhere? Who speaks like that?” Manzo joked.
“It’s not even worth me responding to, of course not,” she said. “First of all, I had no knowledge of anything they’ve ever done in their life, you know? At the time, Teresa had had an abundance of legal issues and it was all over the press, and the writing was on the wall that something was going to happen because the indictment was so big. So you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure it out.”
Also on Tuesday, Manzo told Extra, “I haven’t seen nor spoke with Teresa in over five and a half years,” before responding to Teresa’s allegations of being “a rat.”
“That term is so archaic it’s just laughable … I don’t know why, I think it’s just a matter to have to deflect in her life that she is incapable of laying blame on herself or anybody around her, so she has to deflect,” Manzo said. “I think I am, in her mind, the easiest target, so go for it — whatever.”
Manzo also explained how she correctly predicated that the couple would one day have to serve jail time.
“Yeah, but you don’t have to be a genius to predict that,” she said. “The writing was on the wall. You just have to look at the personality and, you know, look at the actions and everything.”
“I don’t have any special powers. I wish I did. I’d play the lottery,” Manzo joked.
The day after Teresa and Joe’s interview, Manzo, who has not appeared on the Bravo series since season 5, teased her fans that she would be speaking out soon about the accusations. The family matriarch shared a series of three photos and videos on Instagram. In the first, she posed with a podcast microphone, tagging her son Albie Manzo’s podcast account, Dear Albie.
The next slide showed a video of Manzo set up with the podcasting equipment as the Whitney Houston song “If You Say my Eyes Are Beautiful” played — a reference to Joe’s awkward compliment about his wife’s eyes during the interview.
In the last slide of her Instagram, Manzo spoke directly to her followers in her kitchen, making fun of Joe’s grammatical error. “I don’t typically dance and sing this early in the morning, but I have to laugh. I couldn’t find the word ‘beautifulest’ anywhere, I’m sorry,” she said. “But you’ll be hearing from me soon.”
On Monday, Cohen was asked by a caller on his SiriusXM Radio Andy show about Manzo’s potential response to Teresa’s accusations against her.
“Umm, the answer is … we did speak the other day. I would say that she is not pleased and I would say that you will probably be hearing from her in some capacity. Soon,” he said on Andy Cohen Live.
When the caller asked if the RHONJ OG would come onto Watch What Happens Live to discuss, Cohen suggested she’d be speaking out in another forum.
“Umm, I don’t know about that,” he said. “If she wanted to come on she is always welcome. But, I think … I can’t imagine she wouldn’t respond in some way to this.”
Teresa had previously accused Manzo and their RHONJ costar Jacqueline Laurita (also Manzo’s sister-in-law) of being behind the government’s investigation into her family’s finances. Both have denied those claims.