On the latest episode of her Radio.com podcast The LookOver Ladies, the Real Housewives of New Jersey alumna, 49, responded to Teresa Giudice‘s headline-making claims that Manzo had ratted out her and her husband, Joe Giudice, out to the federal government.
“She’s putting the blame on everyone else still,” Laurita said, alleging, “If she wouldn’t have lied about her assets, if she would have given up her financial information, she wouldn’t have gone to prison. Her husband set it up so she wouldn’t go to jail. He did everything he could to keep her out of jail. But she lied under oath.”
“That was her lie. That was her assets she hid,” Laurita claimed. “She has no accountability. … She’s a narcissist. She really believes that she’s famous for being infamous. I would never want to be famous for flipping tables, acting classless, being dumb and being a felon.”
Teresa and Joe’s legal troubles came to a head in July 2013, when they were charged in a 39-count indictment that included conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications and bankruptcy fraud.
The reality TV stars submitted fraudulent mortgage and other loan applications from 2001 through 2008, a year before their show debuted on Bravo, making phony claims about their employment status and salaries, according to the indictment.
Then, in their petition for bankruptcy protection initiated in October 2009, the couple concealed businesses they owned, rental income they received, and Teresa’s true income from her RHONJ role, her website sales and her personal appearances, the indictment said.
Joe, 49, also failed to file tax returns for the years 2004 through 2008, when he was alleged to have earned nearly $1 million, the government said. When Teresa, 47, filed for a mortgage loan of $121,000 in 2001, she falsely claimed she worked as an executive assistant, submitting fake W-2 forms and fake paystubs.
Prosecutors said at the time that Joe and Teresa also hid their anticipated increase in income from the then-upcoming second year of the show.
“I don’t honestly believe that you understand or respect the law,” the judge told Teresa during her sentencing. “I I need to send a message. In the eyes of the law, it doesn’t matter who you are. There are consequences to pay.”
Teresa served a little over 11 months in prison after pleading guilty for mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud, and was released on Dec. 23, 2015. Joe began his 41-month sentence for the same crimes in March 2016 and was released this March. He was detained in ICE custody until last month, when he moved to Italy to await the final ruling in his deportation appeal.
Since getting out of prison, Teresa has repeatedly suggested that Laurita and Manzo were behind her legal troubles.
She first brought up the theory in the season 7 reunion, and again in late October, during her and Joe’s bombshell sit-down with Andy Cohen.
Both Laurita and Manzo have vehemently denied Teresa’s accusation.
“[Teresa] and I were friends at the star of this investigation of hers,” Laurita said on The LookOver Ladies, before giving her theory of how the Giudice’s legal troubles began. “She was on national TV, flashing cash like crazy. Everyone saw it. And then they filed bankruptcy — which I didn’t even know because she lied to me about all that — and then when they knew they were getting over their heads because they lied about a lot of stuff on their bankruptcy, they tried to withdraw the bankruptcy, which drew a ton of red flags to the district attorney. …. So that’s why they were getting investigated.”
Manzo, 58, spoke out about Teresa’s claim on her son’s podcast, Dear Albie.
“I think she’s grasping at straws and I think she’s delusional and I think she’s trying to throw mud and hoping it sticks on any which wall that will catch it, but it’s not gonna work,” she said.
“I had no knowledge of anything they’ve ever done in their life, you know?” Manzo continued, referencing an eerie prediction she made about Teresa on the show that’s since nearly come true. “Teresa had had an abundance of legal issues and it was all over the press, and the writing was on the wall that something was going to happen because the indictment was so big. So you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure it out.”
As for the idea of there being a rat, Jacqueline’s husband Chris Laurita had claimed on the RHONJ season 7 reunion that a former business partner of Joe’s likely reported them to the government.
“This was already an ongoing investigation from way back,” Jacqueline claimed on her podcast. “What added to it was Joe’s business partner, who he screwed over, he owed him a lot of money. The guy went to a mutual friend of ours and said that he was going to go to the feds if Joe didn���t pay him the money. The mutual friend went to my husband and said, ‘Hey, do you think you can get Joe to sit down with his ex partner and work a deal with him where he pays the money? Or else he’s going to go to the feds.’ And Joe’s response was, ‘He can go f– himself.’ “
“The friend went back and told the ex-partner that Joe didn’t want to sit down with him, didn’t want to work a deal,” Jacqueline said. “And one can assume he went to the feds, and that’s what happened.”
Teresa and Jacqueline were both original stars on RHONJ when the show premiered in 2009. Though they began as close friends, their friendship fell apart throughout the years.
“When I first met her, she was very light-hearted. Ditsy. So funny, because she was so stupid, I think,” Jacqueline said on her podcast. “I always had laughs with her. It was fun, it was light-hearted. … Teresa likes yes friends and people who always agree with her. She likes fans, not friends. I didn’t see the ugly side to her until [later].”
Despite their differences, Jacqueline did say she wished all — including Joe and their four daughters — the best.
“It’s a very sad situation for the kids,” she said. “I hope Joe moves on and finds something great for him. I wish Joe a great future. I hope he learned from his mistakes and he’s going to be more successful than ever.”