The “Real Housewives of New Jersey” season 13 reunion began Tuesday, May 30, and with it came fights, secrets, and bombshell revelations. One such bomb was dropped by main cast member Dolores Catania, who shared her new relationship with Paul “Paulie” Connell with viewers this season.
Catania and Connell are currently living together after first announcing their relationship on Valentine’s Day 2022, and during the first part of the RHONJ reunion, host Andy Cohen asked if the two had any plans to tie the knot in the future and how long Connell has been divorced from his previous wife, to which Catania responded, “He’s not. […] He’s been separated for 14 years.”
Cohen was visibly shocked and asked her to clarify, “Why is he not legally divorced?” to which Catania said, “I think there was never a call for it, I think that he never thought about getting married again,” though she did suggest that Connell was planning on finalizing this process now that the two are planning a future together.
Dolores Catania Also Revealed Shocking Information About Her Ex-Husband Frank Catania
Claims of Connell’s marital status popped up among Catania’s RHONJ castmates, with Margaret Josephs claiming he was still married in a May 9th RHONJ After Show, when she said, “I guess it’s hard to get married if you’re not divorced. You can give rings, I guess. That’s why you can’t get married — if you’re not divorced.”
Connell responded to Josephs’ statement with AllAboutTRH, where he shared, “I am not divorced yet, but obviously I [have been] separated for many years. A document to finalize the past or set the present is not preventing myself and Dolores from planning our future together in any way or form.”
In addition to opening up about her current relationship, Catania shared an update about two of her exes, confirming that her ex-husband Frank Catania is still living in the house he built for her ex-boyfriend David Principe, saying she doesn’t know much about their arrangement, but “to each his own”.
When Cohen read a fan question asking why Dolores went from being very close with Frank to now having “little to no interest” in him since she began seeing Connell, Dolores defended herself and reminded the viewer that there’s more to her life than what is shown on screen.
“It’s not little or no interest, I just think that the dynamics had to change for me to be in a relationship like this,” Dolores said, “I’ll always be there for Frank, and Frank and I will always be family, but Frank also has a life that’s separate from mine, he always had, and this part of my life doesn’t call for such closeness. You can’t have two number 1’s in your life.”
Dolores Catania Explains Why She Isn’t Close With Dina Manzo
Beyond her romantic relationships, Dolores has been shown to be very protective of her friendships during her time on RHONJ as well, which is why many fans were left wondering what happened to spark a feud between her and former RHONJ cast member Dina Manzo after Dolores bluntly told RHONJ producers “I’m not talking about Dina. Ever.” this season.
Dolores explained in an April 4 appearance on “Watch What Happens Live” that “there are no issues we just kind of separated ways, and our friendship just dissipated. She stayed on the show, I wasn’t on the show [at the time], and she had moved. […] I haven’t seen her or talked to her in 10 years, maybe once at Teresa’s mom’s funeral.”