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Former "Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Caroline Manzo is speaking out after her former brother-in-law was charged with planning an assault on her sister's boyfriend with the help of an alleged mobster.
On Monday, Dina Manzo’s ex-husband Thomas Manzo was charged with “planning and carrying out an assault” on Dave Cantin – who's now Dina's husband – in 2015. He even enlisted John Perna, a "made man" in the Lucchese crime family to carry out the deed, federal officials alleged.
"In the spring of 2015, Manzo, one of the owners of the Brownstone Restaurant in Paterson, New Jersey, allegedly hired Perna to assault his ex-wife’s then-boyfriend in exchange for a deeply discounted wedding reception for Perna held at the upscale venue," a Department of Justice press release stated.
Caroline Manzo told Extra TV her family was "heartbroken."
"This is family on both sides. I want to know the truth and my allegiance will lie with the truth. We don’t run from things like this, we address them, and I feel comfortable with that because we are being painted with a brush that does not reflect who we are as people," she said.
She is currently married to Thomas' brother, Albert.
Dina Manzo has not commented publicly on her ex's arrest.
"In exchange for committing the assault, Perna held a lavish wedding reception at Manzo’s restaurant for a fraction of the price, which was paid by another Lucchese associate and close friend of Manzo’s. The wedding and reception, held in August 2015, were attended by approximately 330 people, and included many members of the Lucchese Crime Family," federal officials alleged.
“The allegations more resemble a fictional plot of a reality TV show and will be proven to be absolutely and totally false as it relates to Thomas Manzo,” Manzo's attorney Michael Critchley told NJ.com.
Perna's attorney did not respond to a request for comment from the outlet.
Thomas and Dina Manzo separated in 2012 and officially divorced in 2016, according to NJ.com. Dina married Cantin a year later.
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