When Jackie caught wind of what Teresa was saying, she called a meeting at Margaret Josephs' house… a meeting that took a south turn almost as quickly as it began. Teresa stormed out of Margaret's house after Jackie offered up a hurtful analogy, saying Teresa gossiping about Evan's alleged cheating without any proof to back it up would be the same as Jackie going around and telling people, "I heard Gia snorts coke in the bathroom at parties. I mean, I heard it! I don’t know where I heard it from…" Gia is, of course, Teresa's 20-year-old daughter, and Teresa denies the allegation against her (even though it was never a real allegation to begin with).
"She tries to act like she's this person you could speak to, and she's a lawyer and all this…" Teresa tells ET, over video chat. "A lawyer and being so smart, that was the worst analogy possible. And being a mom of four? Very bad move."
At the tail end of the pair's brief chat, Jackie implored Teresa to "admit [the Evan rumor] was a lie," something Teresa refused to do. Then, Jackie alleged Teresa was jealous of her life and proclaimed, "I win." As Teresa exited Margaret's house, she exclaimed the f-word and c-word over and over again, surprising herself. “I never use that word!” she insists. "That's not a word that is in my vocabulary, but yeah, I was really upset."
"I think anybody -- anybody -- that would say something like that about someone else's child is disgraceful. It is," Teresa adds. "As a lawyer, not smart. Just saying! Not smart at all."
Teresa says viewers will have to tune in to see what happens next, but Jackie already revealed she took a step back from the group after the altercation, choosing not to film for a period of time. Teresa says the move didn't surprise her (she also wasn't surprised when Jackie returned to filming), but notes she "obviously" prefers when Jackie is not around.
"After what she said? Yeah," she states, while also taking ownership for the things she said. Teresa stands by questioning Evan'a fidelity so publicly, noting she faced similar interrogation around rumors about her now-ex-husband Joe's extramarital activities. Joe and Teresa always denied any cheating transpired, and Teresa claims she was simply giving Jackie the space to do the same.
"Listen, I was fine with the rumors being brought up. I stood up for myself," Teresa explains of past seasons. "If it's not going on, you stand up for yourself. I just wanted her to know. I didn't ruin the birthday party. I just wanted her to know to stand up for herself and defend herself so the rumor would stop."
In confessionals, Margaret, Teresa's sister-in-law Melissa Gorga and co-star Jennifer Aydin all took issue with how Teresa spoke about Jackie and Evan's marriage at the party, with Melissa lamenting, "What the f**k is she doing right now? You don't just blurt things out like that. How do we erase that? Someone needs to press rewind, 'cause that is not OK."
"Listen, the rumor was out there," Teresa reiterates. "It's not like I made it up. It was out there. I'm not saying it's true, I’m not saying it’s not true. I just wanted her to know -- from a girl's girl -- that it was out there, and she should do something about it."
Teresa admits her inclination to ask around at Evan’s birthday party was alcohol-induced, stating, "I was drinking a lot of tequila and then, I don’t know, I was looking at her, and this is how I work … I’m very spontaneous, something just clicked in my brain and I was telling my girlfriends. It’s not like I was telling strangers. We’re all in the same circle."
The 48-year-old acknowledges, yes, she could've privately informed Jackie about the gossip at a different time, but the tequila was flowing and before she knew it, she was asking around. At the end of the day, Teresa says she was being true to herself and it’s how she would've handled the same rumor with a girlfriend off-camera. Teresa claims she didn't just do this because it was being filmed, and that it wasn’t a premeditated attack. As fans know, Teresa and Jackie have a contentious history.
"I think, you know, you guys have been with me how long? What you see is what you get," she says. "I am very true, I think as transparent as they come. So, yeah, I am being true to myself."
At the party, Teresa maintained she couldn't remember who told her about Evan's alleged infidelities, which she says she first learned of a year before. Later, though, Teresa told Jackie that she's not at liberty to reveal the person’s name. She says to stay tuned, because apparently more comes to light in the coming weeks.
"It's not just me and Jackie, there's so much more,"she teases. "It's an amazing season. I can't wait for everyone to watch."