Jacqueline Laurita has had one of the most tumultuous journeys of any Real Housewife from any franchise. But after seven seasons, her time with Real Housewives of New Jersey has come to an end — at least for now. It was officially announced in August that new Housewife Margaret Josephs was joining the cast, former Housewife Danielle Staub was rejoining in a "Friend of the Housewives" capacity, and Jacqueline Laurita, an OG cast member, wouldn't be returning. So why is Jacqueline Laurita leaving Real Housewives of New Jersey? She was remarkably candid about it on Twitter five months before the official announcement was made.
In its cast shakeup post on in-house blog The Daily Dish, Bravo announced that Jacqueline "wishes the Garden State crew well," citing a couple of innocuous tweets where she sent love to fans and let them know how to keep up with the Lauritas on social media. But Bravo didn't publish the two tweets in which Jacqueline explained why she was leaving. Spoiler alert: it had to do with the network, not Jacqueline's waning desire to be a Housewife. It should be noted that, during Season 6, as she was grappling with her son's autism diagnosis, Jacqueline did briefly get knocked down to "Friend of the Housewives" status. But she was back as a full-time cast member for Season 7.
According to Jacqueline's tweets, Bravo wanted to move her to being a part-time cast member again for Season 8, and she just wasn't up for it this time around.
Jacqueline explained that Bravo offered her a contract as a part-time Housewife with an option of bumping her up to a full-time cast member "depending on how [her] story unfolded." She also stated that being a part-time contract "wasn't worth [her] time, the aggravation, and [money]." The Lauritas have been really forthcoming about their money troubles in the time since their youngest son's autism diagnosis. Jacqueline quickly turned her RHONJ platform into passionate autism advocacy, part of which involved revealing that her son's therapy was super expensive. Coupled with the family's once-extravagant lifestyle and her husband's flopped entrepreneurial investments (remember his stake in Chris and Al Manzo's black bottled water business?), the family couldn't sustain itself as it once had.
The Lauritas downsized by moving into a smaller home, and Jacqueline also obliquely referenced living less lavishly in general. It makes sense that with all their careful money moves, Jacqueline wouldn't give up her time filming the show unless she was being paid a rate that felt worth the sacrifice to her. Plus, it's not exactly free to be a Real Housewife. Sure, you get paid as a cast member, but Bravo doesn't provide the blowouts, outfits, or professional makeup that the ladies are wearing on-camera every single day of filming. The Housewives have to pay for that. (It's probably technically a tax write-off, but still!)
Jacqueline also revealed via Twitter that she still talks to former castmates Dolores Catania, Siggy Flicker, and Kathy Wakile "all of the time!" Siggy and Dolores remain part of the Season 8 cast, while Kathy has also left the show following her part-time role last season. Jacqueline is keeping busy spending a lot of time with her new grandson Cameron, whom fans saw announced on Season 7 of RHONJ. From the looks of it, Jacqueline has taken to the role of Glamma well. You can tune in to see if she makes any appearances on Real Housewives of New Jersey when it premieres on Bravo this Wednesday, Oct. 4.
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