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As if the world needed more reasons to keep kids off social media, here’s another one.
“Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Jennifer Aydin didn’t know if she’d ever tell her five kids that their father cheated on her a decade ago. The Bravo star, however, was forced to explain the situation to her nine-year-old daughter Olivia after the pre-teen found out about the incident on TikTok.
“We had a blogger leak this awful storyline and somebody made a TikTok on it,” Aydin told Page Six. “My sweet little Olivia — who threw a beautiful anniversary party for us [on ‘RHONJ’ Season 11] to show how her parents are still in love — saw a TikTok that said ‘the big secret.’”
The Bravo star went on to discuss how the little girl left comments defending her parents, which is how Aydin realized she had to confess to her youngest daughter what happened.
The star said Olivia wrote in the comments, “This is my mommy and daddy and this is not true!”
“She came to me to show me her comment and said, ‘Look, Mommy, I’m defending you from all of these lies,’” the mom of five told Page Six. She asked Olivia to remove her comment because the affair rumors were actually true. Aydin’s husband Bill had an affair with a pharmaceutical rep when she was pregnant with her fourth child.
“I sat her down and I kept my composure because I realized [my kids] will react to however Mommy’s acting,” Aydin said. “I put on a brave face and said, ‘Listen, Daddy did a bad thing. But that doesn’t mean that he’s a bad person. And when we love people, we forgive them when they make mistakes. And I’ve forgiven him and I’m OK.’ She wasn’t upset because I wasn’t upset.”
Her other kids, however, were less forgiving. Some of them reacted strongly to news of their father’s affair.
“My husband told Justin. I was in the room, and Justin kind of was almost irritated, like, ‘I don’t ever want to talk about this ever again.’ He’s not watching this season,” Aydin told the publication.
“My Gabriella, she was more crushed. She felt very betrayed and was angry for a bit but we got through that. And my two [younger] boys, they’re neither here or there,” she continued.
“And Olivia, now that she sees that Mommy’s OK with it, she’ll be like, ‘Mommy, do they know about ‘the secret,’ too?’ And I’ll say, ‘Yeah, but it’s not a secret anymore and we’re OK with talking about it.’ And she’ll say, ‘Oh yeah, that’s right,’” Aydin continued. “So remember, children will learn by example. As long as I’m cool and not breaking down, I think they’ll be OK.”
Aydin is optimistic that her kids will forgive their father like she did and that the affair will not affect their relationship. Prior to the TikTok story, the “Real Housewives” star had not told anyone about the affair and wasn’t planning to.
She ultimately reconciled with her husband and claims to be in “a great space” with him now. He is allegedly “embarrassed” and “uncomfortable” that the story of his affair went public and that his kids know about it now too.