By Eileen Reslen
(MAINNEWS) – Dolores Catania says she was close to getting into a physical altercation with Jennifer Aydin during their heated fight on the Season 13 premiere of “Real Housewives of New Jersey.”
However, the reality star, 52, explained Friday during a live taping of news’s “Virtual Reali-Tea” podcast how her boyfriend, Paul “Paulie” Connell, helped her remain calm.
“In that scene, [Connell] stands behind me and he puts his hand down my back, and I wanted to throw things, I wanted to run out the door after her and I wanted to get ahold of her,” Catania told hosts Danny Murphy and Evan Real.
She added, “It might have saved Jennifer’s life this season that I had somebody.”
Connell agreed, “I think I actually did save Jennifer’s life.”
Aydin, 45, called Catania a “f–king c–t” in last Thursday’s episode because she thought the former corrections officer had been a bad friend to her the previous year.
The stay-at-home mom thought Catania was guilty of “jump[ing] ship” when their “RHONJ” co-star Margaret Josephs brought up her husband Bill Aydin’s infidelity on Season 12.
“You know what? You and I don’t agree on what a good friend is,” Catania said in her defense Thursday. “I’m nice. You’re not.”
Jennifer, meanwhile, continued to shout expletives on her way out of the gathering, saying, “F–k her, f–k her, she looks like an old f–king handbag.”
Catania explained further on “Virtual Reali-Tea” why having a good partner has helped her keep her cool since she no longer has the “weight of the world” on her shoulders.
“I’ve been divorced [for] 25 years and I’ve raised two kids by myself, and I’ve had a lot of responsibilities on my plate, and sometimes there was a lack of patience for things because of everything that I had on top of me,” the Bravolebrity shared.
“I have somebody in my life that off-camera takes a lot of heat off [of] me on things.”
Catania began dating Connell in late 2021, and she previously gushed to us about her Irish beau, “He’s a voice of reason, he’s very logical, he makes a lot of sense. He puts a lot of wit into it. He’s very, very funny and he’s very smart.”
Catania was previously married to Frank Catania, with whom she shares a son, Frankie Catania, 24, and daughter, Gabrielle Catania, 27.
She then dated her longtime boyfriend Dr. David Principe, and the ups and downs of their relationship were featured on “RHONJ.” They ultimately split in the summer of 2021.
“Real Housewives of New Jersey” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo. New episodes of news’s “Virtual Reali-Tea” podcast are released Thursdays.