Then and now! Fans may remember Ashlee Holmes Malleo as Jacqueline Laurita‘s daughter on Real Housewives of New Jersey, but she’s made quite a name for herself over the years.
Malleo, who previously appeared on seasons 1 through 5 and season 7 of the Bravo show, stays very candid about the ups and downs of her life. She detailed the “relief” she felt after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder following a “psychotic break.”
“You may not think that I have had many difficulties in my life — but I have,” the former reality star began a lengthy post via Instagram on Tuesday, June 28. “These last two years have been especially difficult for me. About almost a month ago, I had a psychotic break. I found myself in a position where I was afraid of myself and my own thoughts. And I chose to finally seek proper help. I took a short break from social media, as well.”
After trying “everything else,” Malleo said she started “medication right away” as treatment.
“I was so used to hearing bipolar being used as a negative adjective to describe someone. I always thought it was just something related to mood swings. It is SO much more, and a lot of things in my life started to make sense,” her post continued. “It was actually a relief to finally have an explanation for certain things. It has been empowering for me to learn more about it and take back control.”
Malleo said she was “in denial for a very long time” about the diagnoses, pointing to not being “properly educated” about “all the aspects” of having bipolar disorder.
“I am not ashamed of my diagnosis. And I will not allow anyone to try to make me feel ashamed of it,” she continued. “I will also not allow anyone to use my diagnosis as a scapegoat to treat me poorly.”
Malleo is the proud mom of her son, Cameron Malleo, whom she shares with Pete Malleo. The pair, who wed in 2018, initially split in 2020 but reconciled shortly after. In 2021, they announced that they decided to move forward with getting a divorce.
Although she previously hinted at infidelity as the reason for their uncoupling, Pete told Us Weekly he “never cheated” in a statement in November 2021.
Keep scrolling to see photos over Malleo over the years: