It didn’t take long for the drama to start on season 13 of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, but the most intense moment in the premiere didn’t come from Teresa Giudice and Melissa Gorga. Dolores Catania and Jennifer Aydin got into a screaming match at the end of the Tuesday, February 7, episode.
“I really wasn’t looking for that,” Dolores, 52, exclusively told Us Weekly about not approaching Jennifer, 45, at the second cast event of the season. “It had been so long since we were in New York [at the season 12 reunion] I thought, maybe, when I saw her at the roller skating party, that we would just at least say hello to each other, but she kept, like, running away from me. I didn’t expect to speak to her at the next [event], but I didn’t want them left out either, so it just wasn’t the time or place when I wanna speak to somebody about what’s going on. I’m not gonna speak to 50 people before I speak to you. That’s just not how I am. I don’t even respond well to that. So that’s where a lot of our miscommunication came.”
Things escalated when Dolores overheard Jennifer talking about her to Melissa, 43, at a party that marked Dolores’ boyfriend Paul “Paulie” Connell’s first event on the show. While disagreeing about whether Dolores was a “good friend” to Jennifer when Margaret Josephs brought up Bill’s past affair on camera during season 12, Jennifer declared her castmate “wasn’t f—king nice.”
“She’s never been my friend. She’s phony, she’s f—king two-faced,” she said in the premiere to their costars.
Speaking about how she stayed calm during the confrontation, Dolores told Us, “When you’re in a good place like I happen to be, bringing my cute boyfriend in and he’s so excited and everybody’s having a good time, if there was ever a time for that to happen, it was then because when you’re really happy, you don’t really get that angry about things.”
She added that she tunes out “when somebody doesn’t let [her] speak,” comparing herself to Snoopy in the Peanuts cartoon.
“It’s like, ‘Wa, wa, wa,’ when the teacher talks, that’s what I hear. I can’t explain it any other way,” she said. “I just tunnel out. Sometimes I get aggressive or angry, but it wasn’t a time that I wanted to do that. I mean, here’s my Paul walking in and everybody’s embracing him, and I love my friends. I really do. … I’ve been more upset about not getting along with Jennifer than I even want to admit to.”
Dolores said she “felt bad” because she did feel like she was a “good friend” to Jennifer.
“It’s OK to disagree about that. It’s really OK. But I thought we spoke about it and moved on from it,” she said. “And then I have a problem when it’s not.”
When asked whether the two women will make amends this season, Dolores played coy, telling Us: “Stay tuned.”
The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs on Bravo Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.