Dina Manzo is making the leap from reality to scripted.
The former castmember on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New Jersey and star of HGTV’s Dina’s Party has landed a role on a new series that portrays the behind-the-scenes on daily soap operas called Tainted Dreams.
Created by Emmy-winning director and soap opera veteran Sonia Blangiardo (General Hospital, As the World Turns, All My Children, One Life to Live), the new dramedy casts Manzo as Allessandra DiGiacomo.
Her character is described as a “smart and successful New York City corporate CEO whose younger gay brother [played by My Big Gay Italian Wedding’s Anthony Wilkinson] will face unexpected circumstances due to his sexuality.”
“Coming from a large Italian family, I was immediately drawn to the character of Alessandra’s family dynamic,” Manzo says in a statement.
Regarding the casting, Blangiardo says, “I created the role of Alessandra with Dina Manzo in mind, and we are thrilled to have her join our cast. Her constant support of the gay community and her talent makes her the perfect choice for this series.”
The director created Tainted Dreams after the last of the NYC-based soap operas, One Life to Live, shut down production in November of last year.
“I was struck by the loss of this unique art form that had been such an integral part of NYC for decades. I wanted to somehow capture my own two decades working behind the scenes of three different NYC-based soaps,” Blangiardo explains.
“As a long-time fan of One Life to Live, I am excited to be part of a project centered around the rich, proud heritage of NYC-based daytime drama,” Manzo adds.
If anyone knows luxury, it’s the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Every Monday, fans tune in to the popular Bravo series to watch the cast casually flaunt their riches as juicy drama inevitably unfolds. While the original group of gals never cease to entertain, every so often a welcomed newbie comes along to shake things up. Enter Marisa Zanuck.
Married to Hollywood movie producer Dean Zanuck, the outspoken Hilton & Hyland real estate agent met fellow housewife Kyle Richards 11 years ago when the brunette’s husband Mauricio was working at the same firm. Racked sat down with the rising star to talk reality TV, shopping weaknesses and the famed French fashion house that she can’t get enough of.
Are you enjoying your time on Real Housewives?
“I love it! It’s a lot of fun, but it can also be very stressful. Most of the time I don’t think before I speak and can end up hurting someone, which is never my intention. I’m close with Kyle and Mauricio, as well as Brandi and Camille. I’m looking forward to getting to know Lisa and Yolanda more.”
What do you enjoy most (and least) about being a real estate agent?
“I absolutely love being a real estate agent in Beverly Hills—I’ve been doing this for 14 years. It gives me the freedom to be a great mom, and I get to work with some amazing people. Plus, I get a high when I’m working on a deal. The part I like least is the fact that I can go a month or two without a deal, and I’m the kind of person who needs to keep busy!”
Your family is filled with Hollywood players. Do you have any fun movie premiere stories?
“Yes, I did marry into the Zanuck family who is Hollywood royalty. [My husband] Dean and I have been together for 17 years, and in this time we have gone to our share of Hollywood events and premieres. The most recent one I went to was for my father-in-law’s [Oscar-winning producer Richard Zanuck] film, Dark Shadows, which was amazing. Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp performed. It was like being at a concert!”
What’s your weakness when it comes to shopping?
“My weakness is definitely jewelry and purses. I can never have enough jewelry in my life, and I’ve been really into collecting Hermès Birkin bags lately. These two items will always hold their value. I don’t spend big money on clothing because clothes get old and go out of style whereas jewelry and classic bags never do.”
What are some of your latest big shopping splurges?
“I recently purchased a couple of David Webb pieces—I’m such a fan! And when I went to Paris last month I bought a beautiful Hermès Birkin for myself. Oh, and I just got a new Porsche!”
If you can do more reality TV, what shows would you like to try?
“The only other reality show that I would consider doing would be my own show with my family and sisters. We’re all so funny together since none of us have any boundaries. I’d also really love to be on Dancing with the Stars!
Melissa Gorga recently revealed that she has been able to film scenes with Teresa Giudice for Season 5 of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, but when Teresa’s brother, Joe Gorga, recently tried to approach her at an event, things didn’t go as smoothly.
According to All About the Real Housewives, the siblings both attended an event for Kim D.’s jewelry line (natch) and things got ugly when Joe tried to have a conversation with his sis. An insider reveals that Joe — who attended the event with Melissa — headed straight for Tre.
“He immediately started a fight with her causing a scene and she wasn’t having it. She walked away from the situation wanting to go home but producers asked her to stick it out,” the insider dished. “Joe Gorga and Teresa haven’t even spoken and everyone finds it odd that Joe only will talk to Teresa on camera!” And unfortunately for Teresa, Joe wasn’t even the only relative who had beef with her!
The source continues, “Kathy showed up after Teresa and didn’t even say hi to her. Teresa congratulated Kathy on Twitter about her Cannoli set and assumed everything was fine but Kathy still obviously has a problem with her.”
Less than a year ago, Jill Zarin said she wouldn’t return to “The Real Housewives Of New York” for “a million dollars,” but now, the former Bravo star is changing her tune.
Zarin, who recently released a line of jewelry, stopped by HuffPost Live on Tuesday, January 29 and admitted that for a million dollars, she could be persuaded to make an appearance. “I’m a businesswoman,” she said with a laugh. Besides, Zarin added, “I don’t think they’re writing a check tomorrow.”
As for the fate of Bravo’s “Real Housewives” franchise itself, Zarin said she think’s “there’s too many ‘Housewives,'” noting that there are about 37 cast members total. “There’s no more room … I think that ‘Housewives,’ I think it’s over.”
The daughter of “Real Housewives of Orange County” star Tammy Knickerbocker is behind the craziest DUI arrest of recent memory — after she allegedly rammed several parked cars while super duper drunk … and then PUNCHED A COP.
According to cops, 23-year-old Lindsey Knickerbocker was popped on December 14 after witnesses told police she had smashed into two parked cars on Balboa Island in O.C.. Witnesses said Lindsey then fled to a friend’s house nearby.
When police followed Lindsey to the house, cops say Lindsey punched one of the arresting officers in the stomach. Lindsey was promptly placed under arrest.
Now the insane part — according to court docs, Lindsey is accused of having a blood alcohol content of .32% at the time of her arrest … FOUR TIMES the legal limit in California.
Lindsey has since been charged with four crimes — DUI, driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher, hit-and-run, and battery on an officer.
She’s due in court next month. Attempts to reach Lindsey were unsuccessful.
Hey, while I in no way support adultery, women who think just their good looks and great sex will keep a man from straying are just lying to themselves. Brandi has admitted that Eddie Cibrian cheated on her with several women during their marriage, so clearly there was a problem in the marriage that had nothing to do with LeAnn Rimes. All this hate and vitriol, solely directed towards Rimes, is not only misdirected anger and bad for the kids, but just shows how messed up in the head and depressed Brandi still is:
“She can go f–k herself!” Brandi Glanville fired back tonight when ex-husband Eddie Cibrian‘s new wife, LeAnn Rimes, was brought up during a Q&A session during her book-signing for Drinking and Tweeting: And Other Brandi Blunders at Palihouse in West Hollywood hosted by Gilt City Los Angeles.
“Well, she has to, because who would want to?” the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star added naughtily.
That obviously proved to be a rhetorical question, and Glanville did admit that, sometimes, she says things and “then I go home and think about them. I have a conscience. I definitely feel bad about certain things and when I’m wrong I say sorry.”
But when someone goes after her (as seen on RHOBH), “I go 10 times harder,” she said. “Especially when it comes to my family and my children—bitch, it’s on!”
“Heartbreak is universal,” she said, noting one of the revelations she had while writing Drinking and Tweeting. “I think for women to hear me complain about what happened to me, it makes them feel better about what they’ve gone through.”
As for her marriage to Cibrian, which produced two sons before ending in the summer of 2009, Glanville maintains she tried her best to make it work.
“I did everything right,” she recalled. “I loved so hard. I loved my children and my family was perfect. I did everything I could do for him and the boys and to make him not want to stray. So, when it happened, especially with someone as attractive as her…”
The audience laughed as Glanville trailed off purposely.
“When a man cheats on you its not about you,” she concluded. “It’s about notoriety. They want to be with you but they want their cake and eat it too.”
But, she added, she hopes Cibrian and Rimes make it work—if only “because I don’t want my kids to go through a divorce again.”
With seven series in the U.S. and 67 Housewives in all, Andy Cohen’s Botox-fueled franchise has been an undeniable hit for the Bravo network. But “The Real Housewives” shows have also yielded some serious consequences for his gals, judging from the trends we’ve witnessed over the past seven years. How serious? One out of four cast mates ends up divorcing their husbands during or after filming the show, according to our research, and almost one in five ends up filing for bankruptcy. So why do it? Business, business, business.
Bankruptcies. While cast mates can pull in six-digit paychecks per season, their newfound fame creates its own set of problems for the girls, judging from the number of bankruptcies filed on the show. At a reported $600,000 per season, “Jersey” Housewife Teresa Giudice is the franchise’s top-earner, even though she and husband Joe filed for an $11 million bankruptcy in 2009.
Divorces. Here’s a question: How many Housewives does it take to realize that reality TV is probably not good for your marriage? Before Camille Grammer joined the cast of “Beverly Hills,” husband Kelsey Grammer consented as a last “parting gift” to his soon-to-be ex-wife. The former “Frasier” star said of Camille and the show: “It was a very difficult marriage and a very difficult decade. I thought, ‘So long, here’s a present for you.'”
Businesses. Whether they arrive business owners or just become one, 42 percent of Housewives end up hawking a product on the show. It appears they’ve taken careful notes from the original Bravo entrepreneur, Bethenny Frankel. First, Frankel peddled her line of low-calorie drinks endlessly on “New York,” using the TV time to boost her brand image. Then she finagled her own spinoff show, got hitched and sold her Skinnygirl company shortly thereafter, for an estimated $100 million.
The former beauty pageant queen made a daring entrance to a party for the launch of NeNe Leakes’ shoes, which she designed for ShoeDazzle.com.
Kenya, 42, arrives at the glitzy party wearing nothing but a black mesh see-through dress topped with a white hat that appears more suitable for a day at the Kentucky Derby.
Showing her virtually naked bottom and with black strips of material that barely preserve her modesty the former Miss USA made an elaborate entrance that leaves other partygoers and her fellow housewives slack-jawed.
It is Kenya’s blatant attempt to mock Phaedra who wore a similar outfit earlier in the season during their trip to Anguilla.
In the episode, Kenya tells her friend exactly what she plans to do as they drive to the party.
She says: “It’s going to be live and in living color. You wanna call me crazy?”
Speaking in a fake Southern accent she mimics Phaedra, saying: “That Kenya girl she must need some medication huh?
“’Cause after she didn’t do what I wanted her to do I’m…gonna say anything in the world to just make other people not like her.
“I do know what defamation of character means honey. And I do know what slander means, because I’ve been doing that to my good ole friend Miss Kenya.”
Talking about her plan to embarrass Phaedra, she goes on to say: “Let me just show you how ridiculous you look.”
Proving there is life after the “Real Housewives of New York,” Kelly Bensimon has been accepted into business school in Boston.
Her rep confirmed she’ll be doing an online MBA in business and finance at Northeastern University.
We’re told Kelly is also working on a new book, and was recently signed to New York Model Management with legendary agent Marion Smith, her original agent at Ford Models more than 20 years ago.
Kelly has said she has no regrets about leaving the Bravo show in 2011.
Is she serious?!? She can’t be serious:
“Real Housewives of Miami” star Lisa Hochstein does NOT have sex for money and she’s suing some random woman on the Internet who said that she did.
Hochstein recently filed a lawsuit against a woman named Jessica Lederman — claiming she suffered “severe emotional distress” after Jessica blasted her in the comment section of an entertainment news website.
According to docs, Jessica wrote “Lisa was an escort who also did soft porn in Vegas” … in response to an article about Lisa joining the “Real Housewives” franchise..
But Hochstein says it’s a bold-faced lie and that she’s never been in the escort business or done soft core porn in Las Vegas. Hochstein claims Jessica’s remark damaged her reputation and threatened both her employment and social life.
Pretty random to go after someone who commented on a web site … but to each their own.
Hochstein is suing for more than $15,000. A judge has yet to rule.
The “Real Housewives of New York City” have turned into a bunch of nail-biting nervous Nellies whose futures on the show are in limbo.
“They are getting the runaround from the Bravo network about the new season,” a show insider tells Confidenti@l. Bravo is always secretive about the drama leading up to filming, but we hear from a source that it’s worse than ever now, and the ladies feel “tortured” by their bosses.
Taping for season six, likely to star Countess LuAnn de Lesseps, Ramona Singer, Aviva Drescher, Carole Radziwill and Heather Thomson, has been pushed back — for the second time — until late February, without a specific start date. It was originally supposed to start next week.
“The entire thing is in disarray,” says our show insider. “They were told one date and it didn’t happen. The last season ended in October and they were told to keep February onwards free. They’ve been waiting weeks to get story lines and plot out the season, but nobody’s called.”
Not only do the ladies not have a start date, they don’t know if everyone is definitely being asked back.
“It’s likely to be the same cast, but they still haven’t been told who’s coming back and who’s not,” says the source. “They are going crazy. They call the network every day demanding answers.”
The countess is especially nervous because she has a pending deal with home shopping network QVC, selling home goods including towels and plates. She fears the deal will fall through if she doesn’t have a show to hawk it on.
Radziwill, who recently landed a six-figure deal to write a novel called “The Widow’s Guide to Sex & Dating,” is worried her book will “tank” if she’s not on the show to promote it, says our source. “Not many people connected with her. The truth is, Jill Zarin brought the ratings and she’s gone and no one is as good.”
Meanwhile, “Real Housewives of New Jersey” is in full swing, with Bravo hiring Teresa Giudice’s real-life friends, Noelle Brescia and Priscilla DiStasio to be “unofficial Housewives” who hang out with Giudice. “Teresa is crazier than ever,” says our insider.
“A few of the women are comparing this situation with the disagreement between Russell and Camille,” Adrienne writes in her Bravo blog. “For me, there is one key difference and that is the direct involvement of my innocent loved ones who were NEVER supposed to be part of the drama.”
“With Russell and Camille, all parties involved were adults and capable of defending themselves,” Adrienne continues. “Any mother would agree that protecting young children is of the utmost importance.”
And what about Adrienne’s “friends don’t sue friends” mantra from last season? “I still believe that friends don’t sue friends, but Brandi has made it abundantly clear that she is not my friend,” she explains.
Adrienne goes on to thank a few of her fellow cast members. “I want to sincerely thank my dear friends Faye, Camille, Kyle, Kim, and of course Mauricio for being so supportive through these difficult times,” she writes.
Let’s hope that Adrienne’s difficult times get a little less difficult in the near future.
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It’s been several months since we’ve heard a new track from the wonderfully talented Kandi Burruss, but after seeing this snap of The Real Housewives of Atlanta star hard at work in the studio, we knew it couldn’t be long ‘til she dropped a new song. And as fate would have it, now we have the privilege of bringing you her latest tune, “Baby I’m Good.”
The upbeat tune is a departure from one of her more recent hits, “Fly Above,” but it’s clearly a reflection of her current loved-up state — all thanks to fiancé Todd Tucker, we bet.
Some of the “aww-worthy” lyrics include, “I just wanna sit back, relax / Baby why don’t you rub my back / Spend the love time with my man / Baby oh yeah, like that / I just wanna stay home, make love, I’m longing for your touch / Watch a flick and cuddle up, doing nothing is enough.”
Clearly, Kandi is more than satisfied with her new boo, and considering all that she’s been through over the past few years, we’re overjoyed to see her lovin’ life again.
Bethenny Frankel‘s estranged husband has made it clear … he’s not going down without a fight in divorce court, because he’s gunning for exactly the same spoils Bethenny wants from him.
TMZ has learned Jason Hoppy has filed his response to Bethenny’s divorce petition, in which he’s requesting PRIMARY CUSTODY of the couple’s 2-year-old daughter. We broke the story, Bethenny also wants primary custody.
Jason also wants child support from Bethenny — she wants the same from him.
Jason is asking for Bethenny to foot the bill for medical and dental insurance as well as related expenses for himself and daughter Bryn. In Bethenny’s legal docs she asks that Jason pay for her medical and dental bills, as well as Bryn’s.
Jason wants Bethenny to maintain life insurance on herself, making both Bryn and him beneficiaries. She wants him to maintain a life insurance policy for her benefit as well as Bryn’s.
And last but not least … Jason wants “exclusive use and occupancy of the marital residence.” Surprise — Bethenny wants that too.
Ah, one last thing. He wants her to pay for his lawyer, accountant, etc.
This one’s not gonna end nicely.
Huge TMI here, but you know what? Good for them. After all, say what you want about the Real Housewives of New Jersey, but they’re all still married:
Teresa Giudice is FAR from bashful about spilling on her very active sex life with husband Joe! The Real Housewives of New Jersey star opened up about her sex life and revealed how she and her husband have maintained their marriage for twelve years in a new interview with Star magazine, and RadarOnline.com has the details.
“My secret to a great marriage is to make sure you give it to him every night,” the 40-year-old dishes.
“My husband is always poking me in bed, and I think, ‘Can’t I have a night off?’” Luckily, the reality TV star gets a little easy to obtain help to get her in the mood, Fabellini sparkling wine!
“It gets me in the mood, and Joe just shows up!” Teresa says.
For more of Teresa’s tips for a happy marriage and to read all about her relationship with Joe, pick up the latest issue of Star magazine — on newsstands Thursday.