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“The Real Housewives of New Jersey” is educational after all.
Teresa Giudice learned what sexual harassment entails during the second part of the Bravo reality show’s Season 11 reunion on Wednesday, telling her castmates during a heated discussion that she would never “let” anyone act inappropriately with her.
After Jackie Goldschneider recalled having “bosses who would massage [her] shoulders” when she worked as a lawyer, a surprised Giudice, 49, asked, “You let them?”
“Yeah, because I didn’t want to get fired,” Goldschneider, 44, shot back.
With a laugh, Giudice said, “Oh, my God.”
Reunion host Andy Cohen then asked, “Teresa, have you experienced sexual harassment?”
“No,” she replied, shaking her head. “Nobody would put their hands on me unless I would want them to.”
Cohen, 52, then explained that it’s “not a sign of weakness to experience sexual harassment,” but the mom of four had no interest in being schooled.
“I’m just saying, nobody would touch me unless I want them to,” she reiterated.
Margaret Josephs and Cohen then agreed that the conversation had begun to shift into victim shaming.
“When you have a job that you’ve worked really hard to get and you don’t want to get fired from it, it’s not ‘letting’ them do it,” Goldschneider said as Jennifer Aydin looked on disapprovingly.
Turning the conversation back to Giudice, Josephs, 54, asked her co-star whether she believed that all victims who come forward “let it happen” to them.
“I’m talking about me,” Giudice responded. “There are are women that are intimidated by their bosses. I’m just saying with me, it would not happen.”
Goldschneider quipped that Giudice’s remark was easier said than done, while Josephs argued that Giudice’s reasoning was a prime of example of why many women do not feel comfortable coming forward with their stories.
The topic came up after the women discussed Aydin’s “sloppy” behavior when she was drunk earlier in the season, and she defined “sloppy” as “going home with a stranger.” The conversation then shifted to why Aydin, 44, had called Josephs “sloppy” when the latter revealed that she had been sexually harassed years ago.
“The first time she told us the story about her and her boss, she deemed it as he was a good-looking guy, so I just thought she had buyer’s remorse,” Aydin explained as the women shut her down.
She added that she had spoken to Giudice about it, and the “Standing Strong” author also believed that it was not a case of sexual harassment.
While “RHONJ” Season 11 may be over, perhaps this will be a starting point for next year.
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