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RHONJ's Caroline Manzo: "I’m Not Perfect. I Have My Flaws"

The Real Housewives of New Jersey Season 5

Credit: Nino Munoz/Bravo

Looking back at last October’s explosive reunion show, it’s a wonder that the volatile women of The Real Housewives of New Jersey tolerated each other enough to film a new season. But as perpetual voice of reason Caroline Manzo said during the chaos: “When there’s love, there’s hope” — a level-headed perspective that has made the mother of three the show’s lone voice of sanity. Caroline talks to Star about the wild ride that is season five.

What can you tell us about the upcoming season?
I think the viewers are going to laugh with us and cry with us. You have the lowest of lows and the highest of highs. To me, it’s really a season of finding the truth about who you are and where you fit in everybody’s world.

Will we see you dealing with being an empty nester?
Well, Lauren’s still home. Her life is very busy, but we do try to have at least one meal a day together. Same with the boys. I talk to them every day and see them a few times a week, but there are times I miss them terribly.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey - Season 5

The clips show the whole cast going on a retreat with trust-building exercises and everything…
I’m not going to say a word about that, because no matter what I tell you, you won’t believe it. That was intense!

In a good way or a bad way?
It was all of it. Every emotion you can think of was captured in those couple of days. I think that’s the way you can depict the whole season. There’s hurt, laughter, tears, happiness, sadness — everything in its purest and truest form.

Do you like being known as the sanest Housewife?
Listen, I’m not perfect. I have my flaws. We all do!

The Real Housewives of New Jersey - Season 5

But you do play the peacekeeper on the show. Has that always been in your nature?
You have to understand, I’m a lot older than these ladies. I view the world differently. Is this the role I expected to play? No. It just evolved over the past few years. But if that’s the badge I have to wear, that’s a great badge to wear.

The Real Housewives Of New Jersey premieres Sunday, June 2, at 8PM on Bravo