• Priscilla Kavanaugh

The Manzo Family Drama: Everything You Need To Know

Last week, the Bravo Universe was once again shaken to its core when the news broke that Dina Manzo's ex-husband was charged with ordering a 2015 attack that left her now husband permanently scarred.

So WTF happened? Let’s break it down.


We first met Dina in 2009 on the inaugural season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Her time on the Bravo series was a family affair - her sister Caroline was also an original cast member; both women were married to brothers Tommy and Albert Manzo, owners of The Brownstone, an iconic event venue in Paterson, New Jersey. Dina quickly became a fan favorite - her calm demeanor and love of crystals and hairless cats was a refreshing contrast to the typical housewife Bravo fans were used to.


By the end of Dina’s first two seasons on RHONJ, things had soured between the sisters, and it seems the rift has lasted. In addition to her estrangement from Caroline, Dina and Tommy separated in 2012. Their divorce was finalized in 2016, by which time Dina had found love with now husband David Cantin. Dina popped up on a few more seasons of housewives, but has remained mostly out of the spotlight after a three year run on HGTV (2011-2014).

That changed in May of 2017, when news broke that Dina and David Cantin were attacked and burglarized by two intruders in their New Jersey home. Two years later, one of the suspects was finally charged with the robbery, and it seemed closure was on the horizon.


But last week’s twist shocked Bravo fans: according to a statement released by the New Jersey District Attorney’s Office, Tommy Manzo ordered John Perna to carry out an earlier attack on David in exchange for a lavish wedding at The Brownstone.


Here’s where the story gets extra cray - Perna is a known member of the Lucchese Crime Family. The Lucchese Family is a known ally to the Genovese Family. Tommy Manzo’s father, Albert “Tiny” Manzo, Sr., was a suspected enforcer for the Genovese Family (the Manzo’s have denied these ties for years, despite Tiny’s execution-style murder in 1983).


Are the 2015 attack on Cantin and 2017 burglary connected? The jury’s still out, but the Manzo family denies any involvement in either crime.

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