Fans uncover RHONJ newbie Danielle Cabral’s reality TV past

Danielle Cabral selfie
Danielle Cabral appeared on MTV’s True Life back in 2006. Pic credit: @daniellecabralofficial/Instagram

Season 13 newcomer Danielle Cabral is already making waves on The Real Housewives of New Jersey.

Since joining the RHONJ lineup, the self-proclaimed “boujie mama” has repeatedly clashed with fellow newbie Rachel Fuda, butted heads with “friend of” the Housewives Jackie Goldschneider, and even waded into the long-running feud between Melissa Gorga and Teresa Giudice.

So far, Danielle seems like a natural – but it turns out this isn’t her first time on reality TV.

In 2006, the then 21-year-old New York native appeared in a Season 8 episode of MTV’s hit documentary series True Life.

The episode, titled “True Life: I’m a Staten Island Girl,” followed Danielle’s journey to becoming a movie star as she took acting classes and went out on auditions.

In an effort to hopefully land better roles, the future Boujie Kidz founder – then still going by her maiden name, Danielle DiPietro – even enlisted the help of a dialect coach to ditch her distinctive Staten Island twang.

In February of 2023, the Bravo star’s Eliza Doolittle-esque past resurfaced when a fan posted a clip from her True Life episode to TikTok.

In the 30-second clip, Danielle is described as “an aspiring actress whose big personality was amplified by her thick Staten Island accent.”


Watching old MTV episodes and I saw this familiar face #realhousewives #rhonj #bravo #andycohen

♬ original sound – Claire

Bravo fans react to Danielle Cabral’s 2006 MTV cameo

When the clip was shared to TikTok, Bravo fans were thrilled by the revelation of Danielle’s MTV star past.  

“I knew I recognized her [from] something,” one commenter wrote.

A Bravo fan's comment on TikTok
Pic credit: @clairewallac3/TikTok

“OMG!!” another added, “I couldn’t place her, but knew I’ve seen her before.”

A Bravo fan's comment on TikTok
Pic credit: @clairewallac3/TikTok

Another added that while they “vividly remember” Danielle’s True Life episode, they “still didn’t realize that was her until now.”

A Bravo fan's comment on TikTok
Pic credit: @clairewallac3/TikTok

RHONJ’s Danielle Cabral opens up about True Life appearance

The Real Housewives of New Jersey newcomer discussed her time on True Life during a March 2023 appearance on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live.

“I got a lot of heat for that show. A ton,” she told host Andy Cohen, adding that her family was initially “embarrassed” by her appearance on the MTV show.

“It wasn’t so much of what I did, it was the kind of rep we gave Staten Island,” the Bravo star explained. “Because it was before Jersey Shore, it was before shows came out, and people were like, ‘Oh my god, Staten Island, who are these people?!’”

While the fallout from her MTV cameo made Danielle feel “afraid” and “nervous” to join RHONJ, the star said she’s been enjoying her time on the show so far.

“It’s been a roller coaster,” the Bravo star said.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Bravo.

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