Teresa Giudice Teresa Giudice

If there's one thing The Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion host Andy Cohen has learned from playing referee to the ladies of the Garden State, it's that nothing can hold back Teresa Giudice when something sets her off.

During the first part of the show's explosive reunion special Monday, the mother of four effortlessly tossed Cohen aside as he tried to extract her from a heated exchange with co-star Danielle Staub. But why did she fly off the handle? TVGuide.com caught up with Teresa to find out why the mere mention of her nephew got her so out of control, and what she really said to Danielle when she got in her face.

Real Housewives of NJ reunion gets physical

TVGuide.com: Why did Danielle mentioning your nephew set you off so much?
Teresa Giudice: First of all, she's all about lies. And it's kind of perfect in a way because she always sticks her foot in her mouth. The night my nephew was born, I had to live-blog and tweet a New York episode, and I even tweeted that I was sorry I was late because I was at the hospital visiting my nephew. That's why when she said that to me, I was confused why she brought that up. And when I got in her face, people thought I said, "Don't break up my family." I said, "Don't bring up my family." We were talking about the show. For her to bring up my nephew who's not even on it? I mean, are you kidding me?

TVGuide.com: Do you regret getting in her face?
Teresa: No. She needs to not bring up my nephew. That has nothing to do with the show. All I was saying was: Do not bring up my family. I'm very protective of my family. I'm on the show, not my family. I don't regret anything, and I think I handled myself very well. That part just got me heated again, and she knows how to push my buttons. When I'm attacked, I attack. The things that come out of her mouth are very malicious, mean things. I'm not going to just sit there and take whatever she's going to say to me.

TVGuide.com: Do you think things could have gotten physical if Andy didn't intervene?
Teresa: No, not at all. I love Andy and think he's such a gentleman, but I think anyone's reaction is to hold someone back. But I would have never given her that satisfaction because that's what she wanted — for me to put my hands on her. I would have never done that. I was in her face and if I wanted to do it, I could have done it then and there.

TVGuide.com: What was it like watching clips of Danielle talking about your daughters?
Teresa: I just have to laugh at her. Look at her and look and me and compare the two. Have I ever talked about her children? I'm a mother of four. I would just never go there. I'll let everyone else make the judgment on her. I don't need to say it. I think just by watching the show, the answers are there. I think it speaks for itself.

TVGuide.com: You also mentioned that you've been working a lot now. What have you been up to?
Teresa: My book signing. My book [Skinny Italian] is on the New York Times best-sellers list and I'm working on my second book, so I'm really excited. I'm also working on a makeup line with my makeup artist.

TVGuide.com: What can you tell us about Part 2 of the reunion?
Teresa: You're just not going to believe your eyes again. You won't be disappointed.