Real Housewives of New Jersey star Jackie Goldschneider first joined the hit Bravo series in season 9, but why didn’t she appear as a full-time RHONJ cast member for season 13? After the reality TV star previously revealed her nearly 20-year eating disorder, fans grew concerned and want to know why she is only appearing as a “friend” of the cast. 

Keep reading to learn everything we know about Jackie’s absence from the show. 

Why Isn’t Jackie Goldschneider on Season 13 of ‘RHONJ’? 

In December 2022, Jackie explained that she needed to take a step back from filming longer hours in order to prioritize her health. However, fans were happy to see her appear during the March 28, 2023, episode.  

“When Bravo approached me about casting for season 13, I obviously was very excited to be a part of the show again because I love the show,” the Staten Island native told People at the time. “But my recovery was not in the place that I expected it to be. It was moving very slowly. I was still being triggered by stress, and I still needed a lot of intense therapy.”

The freelance journalist then added that her “recovery [was her] priority” above anything else, noting, that she “just wasn’t sure how to balance the time commitment for the show with [her] recovery.” 

Why Is Jackie Goldschneider Not on ‘RHONJ'? Absence Reason
Andrew Eccles/Bravo

“The show is very, very busy when you’re full-time,” Jackie told the outlet. “And that pressure … you have to understand, I went through years and years of mental struggles before I came to terms with the fact that I used food to self-soothe. I starved myself so that I felt like I had control over things in my life when things felt out of control, to simplify it. And stress, that brings it all up again.”

Although it was a difficult decision, Jackie emphasized that Bravo was “so supportive” of her and ultimately offered her a “friend” role. 

“And even though that was a really tough pill to swallow, and it was hard for me to step back a little bit after having been such a big part of the show for so many years, I really knew that that was probably the best solution,” the real estate manager concluded. 

What Happened to RHONJ’s Jackie Goldschneider? 

In March 2022, fans learned more about Jackie’s health struggles during an episode of RHONJ, which she followed up on in an Instagram post

“Tonight’s episode marked the beginning of my recovery from an 18-year-long eating disorder that took over my mind, my body and my life,” the former lawyer wrote. “[Eighteen] years of dangerous habits, secretive behaviors and obsessive eating and exercise patterns that I was terrified to let go of, because I wrapped so much of my identity around being thin. I was ashamed of my behavior around food and scared that people wouldn’t understand why or how I could do this to myself.”

Jackie also noted that she “didn’t know how to get help” for her condition “as a middle-aged woman.”  

“There’s so much shame around [eating disorders] and so many things that people don’t know about them, and because of that, millions of us struggle in silence,” the Bravolebrity continued. “When I ultimately decided to acknowledge and recover from this, I wanted to be that person for as many other people as I could. Having these conversations on camera was terrifying at times and heartbreaking to watch back, but I am so thankful that I’m finally on this road, and I’m grateful to Bravo for allowing me to break my silence so publicly so that people know there is no shame in having an eating disorder or in asking for help, and that help is available for anyone at any stage of life.” 

Updates on Jackie Goldschneider’s Eating Disorder Recovery

Although she struggled for nearly two decades with her eating disorder, Jackie told People in December 2022 that she is now “really, really healthy.” 

“I’d say I turned a corner in my recovery early on in the summer,” she explained. “I mean, I still have room to grow; I am still in a lot of therapy just to make sure I keep moving forward. But I have a really good relationship with food. Stress just has no effect on my eating. And I don’t allow my emotions and food to interact with each other at all. I feel great.” 

Is Jackie Goldschneider Still Friends With ‘RHONJ’ Cast?

She’s still a part of the gang! Jackie reunited with costars Melissa Gorga and Margaret Josephs to celebrate Melissa’s birthday on March 17, 2023.

If you or someone you know struggles with an eating disorder, visit the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa & Associated Disorders (ANAD) website or call their hotline at (888)-375-7767 to get help.