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Caroline Manzo on ‘RHONJ’ Producers: ‘It’s Never Scripted, But They Try to Push You’ (Exclusive)

Behind-the-scenes at the Brownstone! While the Real Housewives of New Jersey certainly showcases reality, Caroline Manzo told Us Weekly exclusively that the producers make sure things stay interesting.

Related: Biggest ‘Real Housewives’ Feuds Ever — And Where the Relationships Stand Today

“It’s never scripted, but they try to push you. ‘Hey, by the way, did you hear this?’ and if you’re dumb enough to believe it, you’re going to give them what they want,” the former reality star, 59, said. “It’s like playing in the schoolyard and you see the bully grabbing the quarter out of the kid’s pocket. It’s [up to] you to decide whether or not you’re going to help the bully or the kid.”

Still, Manzo doesn’t think producers can be blamed for the show’s drama. Housewives should be held accountable for their own words and actions.

Caroline Manzo on ‘RHONJ’ Producers: ‘It’s Not Scripted, But they Try to Push You’
Caroline Manzo attends Ringling Brothers with Barnum and Bailey presents ‘Legends’ in New York on February 20, 2014. Picture Perfect/Shutterstock

“What comes out of our mouths, comes out of mouths,” she said. “We’re adults, nobody makes you say anything. We have minds of our own. Never blame producers for anything.”

The Manzo’d with Children alum was an original cast member of The Real Housewives of New Jersey when it premiered in 2009. Though she left the show following season 5 in 2013, she still knows the tricks of the trade.

Related: Former 'RHONJ' Stars: Where Are They Now?

“It’s part of [the producers’] job to create — I don’t want to say drama — interaction between people,” the Let Me Tell You Something author said. “Positive and negative. It’s their job to create a good show. They’re doing their job.”

According to the mother of three, she was fed plenty of rumors that she decided not to mention during her RHONJ tenure.

“You also have the option to say no. Plenty of times producers said ‘A’ to me and I said ‘B,’” she recalled. “Stand up for yourself and stand up for your values and what’s right and what’s wrong.”

Though she knows her way when it comes to producer and cast relationships, there’s no telling if the Bravolebrity will return to the reality TV world. These days she’s happy assisting her sons Albie, 34, and Chris, 31, with all aspects of food and beverage at The Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

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“I get a lot of people saying we need you back to put [Teresa Giudice] in her place,” Caroline said. “But who the heck knows. So much time has passed. We’re all different people. Who could even say that I would fit in that equation or blend in that equation. It’s just a big ‘what if,’ and that’s fine.”

With reporting by Diana Cooper

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