We’ve all been promised an “epic” and “explosive” finale of Real Housewives of New Jersey, but here’s one thing we didn’t see coming: It’s the return of the notorious Danielle Staub! Those of us who have been watching RHONJ since the beginning remember when Danielle left the series after the first two seasons. Since then, she’s been on the show as a “friend” of the RHONJ stars in Seasons 8, 9, and 10.
Like all of the RHONJ stars, Danielle has been at the center of plenty of drama on the show. But long before the hair-pulling incident that’s been blowing up recently, she was involved in another feud, this one with OG castmate Dina Manzo. Here’s what happened between the two of them.
What did Danielle Staub do to Dina Manzo?
As with so many other RHONJ stars, it all boils down to a simple feud. Danielle and Dina’s feud was seemingly never-ending and was actually the reason Dina left RHONJ. In 2010, Dina said that Danielle had actually tried to have her daughter taken away.
During the show’s first season in 2008, Dina’s daughter Lexi, who was 12 years old at the time, had to have parental permission to be in the show. Both Dina and her ex-husband gave that permission, but after Dina’s ex saw some of the footage, he reportedly changed his mind about allowing Lexi to perform on the show. According to Dina, that’s when Danielle stepped in and tried to ruin her life.
“She told my ex's family that I'd actually forged his signature on the contracts, which I did not," Dina said. "She knew she could work on his emotions, so she supplied him with every phone number of everybody he'd need to follow through with a lawsuit — contacts at Bravo, our production crew and her attorneys. [...] She thought more would come of it, like I could lose custody. She just wanted to hurt me."
In the end, her ex believed her, but her cast mate's meddling convinced Dina to leave the show. In an interview with E! News, she said that leaving the show was really her only option. “The only way I can truly get Danielle out my life is to not be in contact filming with her,” she said. “That way I don't have to talk about her, and I don't have to be around her.”
Although Dina eventually returned to the show for its sixth season, she left again in 2015 after relocating to California. As for Danielle, she’s been a “friend” of the show for a while, but she also just announced she’s leaving for good. Something tells us that not too many people will miss her.
Dina Manzo recently revealed that she had a secret wedding.
In May 2019, Dina shared a photo of herself with her boyfriend Dave Cantin — and revealed that he is actually her husband! In fact, at the time she posted the photo, the two had apparently already been married for nearly two years!
“The bride wore a dress from her closet, an orange blossom in her hair and carried a Calla Lily from her Malibu Garden,” Dine wrote in the caption. “In front of the gorgeous Pacific, surrounded by nature and puppies, they promised to be there in good times and bad.” She then added their wedding date: June 28, 2017. Quite the grand reveal!
These days, Dina and Dave have even more to celebrate. For Dave’s 40th birthday (back in Oct. 2019), Dina posted a picture of the two of them with the hashtag “#40andLeukemiaFREE.” According to Asbury Park Press, Dave was first diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia in 2011. His doctor said, “You’ll be back to work in a month. You’re not going to run the Boston Marathon, but you’re going to live.” Dave returned to work in seven days. A few weeks after that, he did run the Boston Marathon.
Catch new episodes of The Real Housewives of New Jersey — including Danielle’s behavior at the finale — on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on Bravo.