The war rages on in the Garden State. Season five of The Real Housewives of New Jersey premiered on Sunday, June 2 -- and, star Melissa Gorga says, taping began last fall, shortly after the utterly explosive season four reunion. Visiting Us Weekly's NYC headquarters last week with costar (and cousin-in-law) Kathy Wakile, Gorga admits she was "very frustrated" as season five began -- particularly with frenemy/sister-in-law Teresa Giudice.
"I was fed up with trying. I was fed up of being set up," admits mom of four Gorga, 34. (Giudice's most infamous "set-up" of Gorga was the so-called Strippergate incident, in which she tried to expose Gorga's alleged stripper past in an elaborate scheme. Giudice consistently denied the setup.) "I was fed up of giving my heart and trying with family . . . and getting mud thrown in my face." During Sunday night's premiere, Gorga and Giudice, 41, half-heartedly attempted a reconciliation for the sake of their daughters, meeting for an awkward play date with their little girls Antonia Gorga and Melania Giudice.
As Gorga explains her decision to keep Teresa and her family at bay, cousin Wakile, 47, insists that it's not all "drama and tears" on the Bravo smash.
"There's no shortage of laughter! Through it all, we can find some light moments and laugh at ourselves," says Wakile. (Gorga recalls one family/cast vacation with the men dangling from a high-wire with "bellies hanging out.")
"It's fun to egg each other on and laugh at each other during those vulnerable moments," Wakile adds.
Watch our sit-down with Gorga and Wakile now!