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Dina Manzo says she was asked back to 'RHONJ' every year; came in last-minute

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Dina Manzo is the first housewife, not just on "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" but all of the other "Real Housewives" shows, to return after leaving for several seasons. Dina stopped being a New Jersey housewife after the second season but returned for season six, which premieres on Sunday, July 13. In an interview with E! News, posted on Friday, May 16, Dina talked about why she decided to return after being away for three seasons.

She revealed that she was actually asked to return to the show every year that she was gone but always refused because "it never felt right." As to why she finally said yes, she credited the decision to "the changes going on in [her] life" and a renewed friendship with Teresa Giudice, with whom she has gotten closer to while helping her deal with her legal issues. Dina also revealed that her return almost didn't happen. She said that the show's producers asked her last-minute.

Dina's "changes" in her life likely involves her separation from husband, Tommy Manzo, and her daughter's graduation from high school. She may have felt that without Tommy and Lexi around as much, she might as well kick start her new life by throwing herself back into being a New Jersey housewife. Dina's return may have also been influenced by the departures of her sister, Caroline Manzo, and sister-in-law, Jacqueline Laurita, from the show.

Dina and Caroline became estranged after the second season, the exact cause of which they still have not revealed. Caroline will now star in her own spin-off, "Manzo'd With Children," which premieres on Bravo later this fall. Jacqueline will also be seen on that show on a part-time basis.

Jacqueline has publicly stated that she knows that Dina does not want to film with her and Caroline "because it brings unnecessary drama and causes problems." It seems that Dina Manzo, wisely, saw what happened with Teresa Giudice when her sister-in-law, Melissa Gorga, and cousin, Kathy Wakile, joined "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" and wanted to avoid the same fate.

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