Caroline Manzo of Real Housewives Threatens New Times and Co-Star

Even by Real Housewives of New Jersey standards, this claim is outrageous. "Your father-in-law was murdered and chopped up and placed in front of the Brownstone."

This one is rather whacked out, too. "Your father did time in prison leaving 11 kids behind."

And then there's: Your sister is "miserable [and] has no husband."

The popular reality show's bad girl, Danielle Staub last week made the allegations about hated co-star Caroline Manzo to New Times freelancer Stacey Russell.

But Manzo called us yesterday and responded in that unmistakable Mid-Atlantic twang: "It's all wrong...I'm going after Danielle Staub."

Then she mentioned a lawyer and added as a clear threat: "I don't want your paper to be the sacrificial lamb."

Indeed it seems Danielle Staub is full of, um, whatever they call shit in New Jersey. When we looked for newspaper stories on the chopped up father-in law, we couldn't find 'em. Ditto on the jail time and 11 kids left behind. And you guessed it, Manzo's sister Dina seems to be married.

Staub's New York publicist, Jo Mignano, didn't respond to the specific concerns about her client's veracity, but in truly catty fashion, she said, "It's true [Manzo's] father was found in a trunk. Finding anyone in the back of a car is peculiar." Then she added: "The others on the show do cover stories in US Magazine bashing [Danielle]. When things like that happen, people's skeletons come back to haunt them."

For the uninitiated, the women battled it out for months on the popular reality show, tossing furniture and verbal barbs at one another. They became famous doing so, and Staub is coming to Miami on a book tour.

Manzo contends that she has been "inundated" by Tweets and Facebook communications referring to Staub's statements. "She's gotta be stopped," comments the fiery redhead. Then, just because she can't resist, she takes her own shot at Staub, claiming the dark haired one also lied about the end of her tenure with the show: "She was fired, it doesn't matter what she says."

Weirdly, when a reporter called Manzo to follow-up on the claim, she wouldn't speak on the record. Said she didn't want to turn it into a big public bruhaha.


Meanwhile, our writer, Stacey Russell, is horrified by the dispute. "I love Caroline," she says. "She is my favorite housewife."

Will it never end?

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Chuck Strouse is the former editor in chief of Miami New Times. He has shared two Pulitzer Prizes and won dozens of other awards. He is an honors graduate of Brown University and has worked at newspapers including the Miami Herald and Los Angeles Times.
Contact: Chuck Strouse