‘RHONJ’ Star Jennifer Fessler Says THIS Legendary Actor Was “the One That Got Away”

Elizabeth Randolph - Author

Apr. 11 2023, Published 10:00 p.m. ET

(l-r): Jennifer Fessler and James Gandolfini
Source: Bravo/Getty Images

Although she’s the latest “friend” of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Jennifer Fessler has many things Bravoholics look for in a Housewives star: a fashion business, a loving husband and children, an audacious sense of humor, and, in a recent update, an A-lister ex.

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In Tuesday’s episode, “The Italian Invasion,” Jennifer spilled the tea about her personal life during the group’s Ireland trip. The 50-something Jersey girl shared with the group that she dated the late actor James Gandolfini in a former life. Yes, you read that right, The Sopranos star and Emmy winner James Gandolfini!

Let’s dive into Jennifer Fessler and James Gandolfini’s relationship.

Jennifer Fessler 'RHONJ'
Source: Bravo
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Jennifer Fessler and James Gandolfini dated “before ‘The Sopranos.’”

Jennifer and James’ relationship likely would’ve been ancient history had it not been for Jenn’s time on RHONJ. Fortunately for us, Jenn is in the cast and was able to share her past at Teresa Giudice’s bachelorette trip in Ireland.

On their way to the Ballinlough Castle, where the ladies stayed during the trip, Jennifer shared some of her background in the group’s van. The University of Texas at Austin grad said she went to acting school “for like two minutes” before deciding to become a talent agent.

When Margaret asked Jennifer, “How many people did you sleep with?” during her talent agent career era, she said she and James had a fling.

Unsurprisingly, Jenn’s news shocked her castmates. Danielle Cabral, who looked less involved in the conversation beforehand, jumped up and dropped her mouth in disbelief. Melissa Gorga, who asked Jenn about it a second time in the same scene, was incredibly impressed.

“Who gets to say they f---ed Tony Soprano? Melissa asks later in a confessional.

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James Gandolfini at 'The Sopranos' premiere
Source: Getty Images

After being bombarded with questions about James’ rumored “big d energy” and if the experience was “worth it,” Jennifer explained how she and James came to be in a separate interview.

Jenn says she and James's relationship began before his Sopranos fame. She said in the confessional she was “obsessed with him” from the jump, telling the group he oozed “sex appeal.”

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The F Major Shoes CEO also shared that she and James’ first date was at an S&M bar, which she admitted was “crazy.” After multiple drinks, she said she and James returned to his apartment and made love, or, in Jenn’s words, “f---ed.”

Jenn never said how long she and James’s relationship lasted, but she noted it happened “before The Sopranos.” She admittedly took the actor’s 2013 death hard due to their apparent connection.

“He was so the one that got away, Jenn admitted of James. “But [he] was also the one that was never really there. But he definitely was inside me. That is a fact.”

The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. EST.

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