Ch-ch-changes! When Danielle Staub signed on to Season 1 of The Real Housewives of New Jersey in 2009, her two adorable daughters, Christine and Jillian Staub, came along for the ride. It’s been eight years since the sweet sisters made their television debut — and, boy, have they changed.
As some fans may recall, Christine and Jillian entered RHONJ with dreams of being big stars. Christine was an aspiring model, who was once signed with IMG Models, and Jillian was hell-bent on becoming a pop star. (Remember her iconic original song “We Are Sisters”? If not, please Google it.)
Jillian (left) and Christine (right) on RHONJ‘s first season in 2009. (Photo Credit: Bravo TV)
But, these days, Christine and Jillian have shifted their focus from fame to academics. Danielle, 55, offered an update about her children — whom she shares with ex-husband Tom Staub — during a recent interview with Bravo TV’s The Daily Dish. According to the proud mom-of-two, her girls are doing better than ever.
“Christine and Jillian are the loves of my life,” the reality star, who has since made a triumphant return to RHONJ after a five-season hiatus, said. “I’m a solo parent, now going into my 18th year of solo parenting.”
First, Danielle opened up about youngest daughter Jillian’s new life as a college student. “Jillian, she’s at Monmouth University. She’s shifting gears. She was starting to do pre-law and she joined a sorority. And the sorority is attached to the foundation Autism Speaks. So she went and she was apart of one of their open houses at the school and she just saw these children just as beautifully as can be,” she explained. “Jillian’s heart is so warm and welcoming, and they all kind of came to her and gravitated toward her energy.”
Danielle then said that Jillian’s touching experience inspired her to pursue a career in special eduction. “She shifted gears and she took her Praxis [a series of American teacher certification exams written and administered by the Educational Testing Service] and she passed with flying colors. That’s my Jillian,” she gushed. “And she nailed it. And now she’s going to be a teacher for autistic children.”
When it comes to her daughter’s love life, Danielle definitely approves of Jillian’s boyfriend, Dan Kaufman. “She met a beautiful young man. And he’s made it very clear to me that he intends on spending his life with Jillian,” she said. “That is falling into place, and beautifully.”
Christine is also winning at life, Danielle said. “She graduated from Seton Hall University with a double major in sociology and psychology. She graduated summa cum laude, the top one percent in her class. She’s going to Columbia for [grad school]…She’s very, very bright,” the Bravolebrity said, adding that her eldest child is also in a flourishing romance with a Latin stud named Ivan Maggi.
“She’s in a really great relationship with a beautiful Argentinian man. And Ivan’s 6-foot-7, so Christine the supermodel gets to be short around him…They’ve been together for two years now,” Danielle — who is engaged to businessman Marty Caffrey — said. “And, actually, we just had ‘em over for pasta Sunday yesterday.”
The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs on Bravo Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST.