Since her Season 9 debut on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Jackie Goldschneider has tried to stand out from her co-stars several times. She routinely flaunts her “family money” from her mother’s computer software business.
The former lawyer and freelance journalist made a memorable mark on RHONJ. So, many fans were shocked to discover Jackie had been demoted from a full-time housewife to a “friend of” the Bravo hit for Season 13.
Here’s why Jackie said the decision to be a friend of the show changed her life.
Jackie Goldschneider said her ‘RHONJ’ demotion was “hard” to deal with.
In May 2022, RHONJ Obsessed reported that Bravo’s producers reduced her Housewives position to a friend role. When RHONJ aired Season 13 in February 2023, the rumors surrounding her demotion proved true.
Jackie, a full-time Housewife from Seasons 9–12, filmed far fewer scenes in Season 13 than her fans were used to. While she appeared on multiple trips, including Teresa Giudice’s bachelorette party, and managed to get under a few new Housewives’ skin, viewers didn’t get to see much of her family, which includes her husband, Evan Goldschneider, and their kids — twins Alexis and Hudson, and twins Jonas and Adin.
During Part 2 of the three-part Season 13 reunion, host Andy Cohen asked Jackie how she felt about being a friend with newcomer Jennifer Fessler this season.
Jackie admitted that downgrading from a Housewife to a minor position was “hard” initially, though she knew it was best for her health. Several months before taping Season 13, Jackie sought treatment after battling anorexia and other body image issues for years.
"I was only a few months into recovery when we talked about casting. I was not in a very good place. I gained a lot of weight in a very short period of time, and I just didn't feel good, and I didn't want to move backward," she explained.
Jackie said she used her “friend” role to focus on her other goals.
In addition to Jackie being demoted to a “friend,” Bravo brought in two new main cast members for RHONJ Season 13 — Rachel Fuda and Danielle Cabral.
“#RHONJ NEWBIE ALERT!” @bravohousewives wrote in May 2022. “Introducing you to the three women that will be filming with the Jersey crew in a few weeks! Jennifer Fessler is the CEO of a designer shoe company & lives in Upper Saddle River, NJ!”
Many fans believed Danielle, also from Jackie’s hometown of Staten Island, replaced the longtime Bravolebrity. But at the reunion, neither Jackie nor anyone else in the cast addressed the replacement rumors.
Jackie confirmed that stepping down from her Housewives title was exactly what she needed. She was able to focus on her recovery more and shared she used the time away from filming to work on her memoir, The Weight of Beautiful.
“It was the best thing for me,” Jackie declared of becoming a friend. “And I also had a chance to write my book, which was important to me and important for my recovery.”
Jackie also shared she’s embraced her body’s changes since recovery. At the reunion, Andy pointed out that she was “glowing,” which she attributed to the “little extra weight on my face.” Hopefully, we’ll continue seeing her in some capacity in future seasons!
Catch new episodes of The Real Housewives of New Jersey Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. EST on Bravo.