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Rachel Fuda: Teresa Giudice Came After Me for ‘Relevancy’ and a ‘Paycheck’

May 16, 2024

Two episodes in, it’s clear that season 14 of The Real Housewives of New Jersey is Teresa Giudice vs the Fudas — and Rachel Fuda told Us Weekly that she’s “not scared” of calling out the OG.

“I think that she has been on this show for so long and it just solidifies her relevancy and her paycheck — you’re welcome,” Rachel, 33, told Us in an exclusive interview on Wednesday, May 15, when asked why Teresa, 51, targeted her and husband John Fuda. “Who else does she have, right? Melissa‘s off. Margaret‘s off. She’s not going to fight with Dolores. Jen‘s so far up her butt, she can’t even see her eyeballs. And then who else do we have? I mean, Jen Fessler is not going to. … I was the last resort.”

At the season 13 reunion, things ended on a tense note between Teresa and several costars, namely Rachel and Margaret amid claims that Teresa’s husband, Louie, hired a private investigator to look into the cast. (Teresa also remains on the outs with sister-in-law Melissa as always.) In the premiere, which aired earlier this month, Teresa alleged at “friend of” Jen Fessler’s birthday party that John, 37, was the “biggest drug dealer in Bergen County.”

“Literally the day before Jen Fessler’s surprise party, there were all of these things leaking all over the other side’s social media accounts. We know the game,” Rachel told Us. “So going into it, I’m like, ‘Oh, OK, here we go. So that was really my heads-up.’”

Rachel Fuda.

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She later added: “They couldn’t find anything on me. So they went after him.”

Rachel said on the show that John was arrested for pot possession when he was 17.

“It’s such a joke because we’ve all made mistakes as kids, and if I were to pull anyone from anyone’s past — we’ve all done things that someone would say are bad or try to weaponize,” Rachel told Us. “John is not ashamed of anything that he has done or has been through. It’s just unfortunate that that opportunity for him to tell and share his own story was completely taken from him and manipulated into something that it’s not and weaponized against him.”

During the second episode, Teresa attempted to downplay the accusations, telling Fessler that she was referring to the past and she now thinks John is a good father. (Rachel and John share daughters Giannella, 4, and Giuliana, 2, and she adopted his son Jaiden, 17, from his first marriage.)

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“He is an amazing father. He is an amazing husband. He is a successful businessman. He is all of those things,” Rachel told Us. “But this is manipulation and gaslighting at its peak. This is what she does is we manipulate our fans, our stories.”

Rachel noted that she once considered Fessler her closest friend on the show: “I threw Jen Fessler a surprise party. … I was closest with her tenfold. I mean, 14 times a day we were on the phone.”

That “changes” during the season, and Rachel hints that she and Margaret are both struggling with Fessler befriending Teresa as she and Louie continue to deny claims about the P.I., including that he contacted Maraget’s son, who has never been featured on the show.

Rachel Fuda, Teresa Giudice. Andrew Eccles/Bravo; Art Streiber/E! Entertainment

“I don’t have a relationship with her right now. We haven’t spoken in probably over five months,” Rachel told Us of Fessler. “And right now, there’s no bad blood between us. But I can just say that my relationship with her is so disappointing. What has transpired, what’s taken place — it’s really sad to see someone that was brought into this group of women by Margaret to not back up their friends when they’re asked, ‘Do you believe that Louis called Margaret’s son?’ And you say, ‘She swore on her four kids.’ She’s a pathological liar. What are you talking about? You think Margaret is faking that? She was in hysteria that day. She called me. I spoke to her.”

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Rachel continued: “So in saying that, my real issue is — and this is not even just for Jen Fessler — it’s across the board. We can be friends, you can be friends with anybody, but don’t sit here and tell me what you think I want to hear and then go be friends with somebody. That’s not how this works. If you like her, tell me, grow a pair and tell me, ‘I like her. I want to be friends with her,’ and then we’re good. But if you’re not going to do that and you’re going to sit here and be like, ‘I don’t want to be in the same room as them. I don’t want to associate, I don’t want to be part of this group of women if that’s going to happen.’ … It is not connecting.”

The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs on Bravo Sundays at 8 p.m. ET.

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