The new girl of the Garden State! Rachel Fuda is one of the newest cast members on The Real Housewives of New Jersey — and she hit the ground running when filming began last year.
The New Jersey native, 31, gave birth to daughter Giuliana just seven weeks before production on season 13 began in 2022. “It was tough. You don’t feel like yourself,” the Bravo personality exclusively told Us Weekly ahead of the premiere. “You’re uncomfortable. Your body isn’t really yours yet. It was definitely tough. It was mentally very trying, but I feel like I handled it really well.”
The entrepreneur added that viewers may not realize how difficult those early days of filming were because she had such “an amazing support system” in her family. “I’m so grateful for that,” she gushed to Us. “Without my parents, my husband, my brother and sister-in-law, I would not be able to have done any of this.”
Though she was parenting a newborn during filming, Rachel still managed to go toe-to-toe with her RHONJ castmates. In the first trailer for the new season, she seemingly has confrontations with both Teresa Giudice and Jennifer Aydin. In one scene, Margaret Josephs offered this summation of Rachel’s personality: “You know what you remind me of? A glamorous Tim Burton character.”
The newly minted reality star is connected to the New Jersey Housewives through Melissa Gorga, whose son Gino is close with Rachel’s stepson, Jaiden. Like Melissa, 43, Rachel wasn’t in attendance at what promises to be the biggest RHONJ event of the season: Teresa’s wedding to Luis “Louie” Ruelas.
“I wasn’t at the wedding, but we’ll have to see how that plays out — if I was invited or not,” Rachel teased, adding that she thinks Teresa, 50, should have asked her sister-in-law to be a bridesmaid. “I think a lot of it could have been avoided, but that’s not what she felt at the time, so she didn’t ask her and it led to a lot of issues, unfortunately.”
Teresa, for her part, recently told Us that she doesn’t hold a grudge against her brother, Joe Gorga, and Melissa after the drama of last year. “I wish them well. I swear I wish them all the best,” she explained. “I need to heal myself. I’ve been through a lot the past 10 years with them. I’m happy for them. I wish them well and I wish they wished me the same back.”
Season 13 of The Real Housewives of New Jersey premieres on Bravo Tuesday, February 7, at 9 p.m. ET.
Keep scrolling for five things to know about Rachel: