The Bravo star, 43, told Us Weekly exclusively that she doesn’t have a drinking problem. In fact, Jennifer said she wasn’t drinking any more than she usually does in season 11 of RHONJ.
“It’s not even that I was drinking more. You have to understand, I’m a social drinker. I hadn’t been socializing in months, so [my] tolerance was non-existent before — like, it’s below zero,” she explained to Us. “I don’t know how many drinks it takes to get to the center of a lollipop, OK? I don’t, so excuse me if I get a little excessive and get turned up because I don’t know what my limits are.”
Jennifer discussed a portion of the RHONJ season 11 trailer, which seemingly showed her under the influence during a party with the cast. Speaking about her mindset at the time, she told Us, “I haven’t been out in a long time. I’m extremely stressed out with everything that’s going on. I’m at a party and I’m about to get drunk.”
She noted, “I’m not an alcoholic, I just like to have a good time.”
Despite the controversy and concern the clip has caused, Jennifer is looking forward to seeing the moment play out during the upcoming season of RHONJ for one very specific reason: “Those clips that you saw from that pool party that I don’t even remember — It’s all in fragments to me,” she said. “So, I’m actually excited to see that episode to see what other people saw.”
In addition to focusing on Jennifer’s drinking, this season of RHONJ will explore her relationship with costar Melissa Gorga. The pair didn’t leave off on good terms in season 10, but Jennifer told Us she approached the upcoming season with a new attitude. “We have this new high on life and I was hopeful that I could start a friendship with her. You guys will see how that pans out,” she teased.
Relationships will be a hot topic in season 11 as infidelity accusations fly. Jennifer’s relationship with husband Bill Aydin, it seems, will be spared, but Melissa and costar Jackie Goldschneider won’t be so lucky. The trailer for the upcoming season, released in January, teases major drama to come as a result. So much, in fact, that Jackie nearly walked away from the show altogether.
“My family will always come first and when something threatens that, I take the time I need to make sure that it is something that is for me,” Jackie told Us earlier this month. “I don’t want to be just another Housewife who ended up divorced.”
She continued: “I mean, my family and my marriage is beautiful and it’s wonderful and it’s built on a lot of respect and love and nothing is going to get in the way of that. So, I had to really see if there was a way for the show to be a part of my life and still maintain the integrity of my family and my relationship. And you’ll see us figure that out.”
The Real Housewives of New Jersey returns to Bravo Wednesday, February 17, at 9 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi.