Caroline Manzo quits Housewives to avoid being “a hypocrite,” but is working on a new Bravo show

The Real Housewives of New Jersey cast member Caroline Manzo is leaving the Bravo series after five seasons, as has been previously reported, and she has now given a very thoughtful reason as to why–and then totally undermined that reason. On her Bravo blog, she wrote,

“When we started filming Housewives so long ago, Al made me promise him one thing. He said, ‘Just be yourself and have fun with it.’ I’ve always prided myself on giving you the truth of who I really am, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Over the past few years my outlook on the show has changed from something I couldn’t wait to show my future grandchildren to something I hope my future grandchildren never see. I’ve always prided myself on being a good example for my children and my decision to leave is based on advice I’ve always given them: ‘Be true to yourself and be proud of who you are, you are born with a name and you die with a name, don’t dirty it up.’ Going back to film another season of Housewives would only make me a hypocrite. For me, peace and integrity cannot be bought with money or fame. I practice what I preach, and as I said on the reunion, I’m done.”

That’s impressive and really well-stated. And then she turns around and reveals that she’s pursuing more money and fame by having cameras follow her for a new Bravo series that I’m sure will be totally different:

“I may be leaving Housewives, but my relationship with Bravo will continue as we started production on a pilot, Manzo’d with Children, which if goes to series promises to give the viewers a very different look into the world of the Manzo Family.”

Perhaps there’s a very big difference between the old show and the new show, or she’s interacting with people on Housewives that she normally would not and therefore she’s removing herself from that so she doesn’t act badly. But as we saw with Bethenny Frankel, leaving Housewives for one’s own show doesn’t change a person’s character at all, it just shows you them in a different context. I can’t imagine Bravo would order a series based on an entirely different Caroline Manzo than the one who’s helped to draw viewers for five seasons.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.