Dolores Catania’s boyfriend reveals where ‘RHONJ’ cast stands with Luis Ruelas after explosive reunion

Teresa Giudice’s husband, Luis Ruelas, is still not in a great place with members of the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” cast after combative Season 13 reunion.

“The energy is a little different at this moment,” Dolores Catania’s boyfriend, Paul Connell, told Page Six exclusively at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, Tuesday night.

However, the optimistic Irishman added, “I think it’s going to make itself work around,” noting that he personally is a “fan” of everybody.

While Connell does not have any beef with Ruelas, other “Housewives”‘s husbands may feel differently.

Several cast members accused the father of two of hiring private investigator Bo Dietl to investigate them — although the retired police detective later denied the claims.

Giudice’s own brother, Joe Giudice, also blasted Ruelas at the explosive “RHONJ” Season 13 reunion, calling him a “woman abuser” and saying that’s why he doesn’t “respect” him.

Paul Connell being interviewed by Page Six at the VMAs 2023.
Paul Connell told Page Six at the 2023 VMAs that the “energy is different” around Luis Ruelas while filming Season 14 of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.”
Page Six

During an earlier episode, the two men nearly came to blows over Ruelas not inviting Gorga’s mother-in-law to his August 2022 wedding to Giudice.

They also had growing tensions about a business deal gone wrong with a family pizza oven concept.

Connell admitted that although he enjoys remaining low-key, when filming a reality show, it can be tough to remain above the fray.

Teresa and Luis Ruelas on the
Several cast members called out Ruelas at the Season 13 reunion.

Luis Ruelas yelling.
He also nearly got into a physical fight with his brother-in-law, Joe Gorga.

“It’s kind of hard not to be involved in the drama because it’s a lot of drama, but I think I do pretty good to stay away from that,” the Eco Electrical Services owner told us.

These days, however, Connell is more focused on the next steps of his relationship with Catania.

The Jersey-based businessman confirmed he still has to “wait for the divorce [from his ex-wife]” to be finalized before he can tie the knot, but he noted, “I think we have a plan that’s in effect that we believe is going to be within our time schedule. She’s happy about that, so am I, so I think everybody else will be.”

Dolores Catania and Paul Connell at the VMAs 2023 red carpet.
Connell and Dolores Catania, seen here together on Tuesday’s red carpet, “have a plan” for when they want to wed.
Getty Images

When it comes to whether Connell and Catania, 52, will marry on TV like Giudice, 51, and Ruelas, 48, did, the former said his girlfriend can decide.

“That’s all up to her,” he said. “I’m, like, new to this whole thing, so whatever she wants goes.”

For more Page Six reality TV update

Connell and Catania have been dating since late 2021 and have had a smooth road so far — except with the Bravolebrity’s ex-husband, Frank Catania, who wasn’t so keen on a blended family at first.

The former lawyer would throw digs at the Dublin native, calling him names like Buzz Lightyear.

A selfie of Paul Connell and Dolores Catania.
Connell and Catania have been dating since late 2021.
Instagram/ Dolores Catania

However, Connell clarified to Page Six that the men were just “finding ground” with the new family dynamic.

“I like Frank. Frank likes me. I think we’re good. I think it’s a good blend right now at the moment, so hopefully it stays that way,” he said before joking that when he and Dolores do wed, he wouldn’t be surprised if her ex pulls one last joke on him.

“He’ll probably be the guy that stands up [at the wedding] and says, ‘Does anyone have a problem?,’ ‘Yes, I do,’” Connell quipped. “But yeah, he’ll probably be at the wedding, for sure.”

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