Caroline Manzo’s past found its way to the internet thanks to long time Manzo family friend, Greg Bennett.
The picture was shared to Bennett’s Instagram page as part of his “happy birthday” message to Lauren. “Sharing this never-before-seen photo of us in a Dominican jail in honor of @laurenmanzo’s birthday. The way we posed for our lives in the face of a lengthy prison sentence at the hands of a corrupt local government? Iconic,” Bennett captioned the pic.
“Ain’t that the truth. Never forget,” Caroline commented on the photo.
“And right after you’d just recovered from your debilitating migraine,” Bennett replied.
“Dead. Those were the days!!!” fellow RHONJ star Melissa Gorga added.
“The saddest part about the whole thing is you never got to premiere On Display at the spring break club in the cave,” Bennett responded.
It sounds like everyone can laugh about the incident now (and maybe even then, given the big smile that were flashed in the jail pic). So, what actually happened?
Here’s what you need to know:
A Fight Broke Out During a Trip to the Dominican Republic & a Lawsuit Followed
The former “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star ended up in jail in the Dominican Republic along with her two sons, Albie Manzo, and Chris Manzo, her daughter, Lauren Manzo, and, of course, Bennett.
It all went down in 2011 when the family was staying at the Hard Rock Hotel in Punta Cana along with Teresa Giudice, her then-husband, Joe Giudice, her brother, Joe Gorga, and his wife, Melissa Gorga. According to E! News, Jacqueline Laurita and her husband Chris were also on the trip.
According to TMZ, a bar fight broke out involving several members of the RHONJ cast.
“We’re told someone involved in the argument grabbed a drinking glass and smashed it over the man’s head … and the guy was hurt so badly, he needed immediate medical attention,” TMZ reported at the time. While initial details were sparse, a lawsuit kept them from discussing what went down.
“‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’ was NOT taping at the time the incident occurred. We believe that the settlement agreements both the plaintiffs and their lawyers previously negotiated and signed will be enforced and these claims are completely without merit,” the network said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
Manzo Said She Will Never Visit the Dominican Republic Again
During their interviews with Dave Quinn for his book, “Not All Diamonds and Rosé,” both Caroline and Melissa were asked about the unforgettable trip to the Caribbean. Quinn even talked to Bennett about the ordeal.
“All hell broke loose,” Gorga explained, according to E! News.
“Albie and Chris are arguing with the guy dropping the N-word, I’ve got the guys calling me homophobic slurs, then the Joes are dealing with another dude. It was like, these different scenes all around,” Bennett said.
Flash forward a decade and Caroline still hasn’t fully recovered.
“The Manzo family will never set foot on Dominican Republic soil again,” she told Quinn.