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'Real Housewife of New Jersey' Danielle Staub's Mother Passes Away

ETonline, Sunday, March 28, 2010, 6:43pm (PDT)

Ruth Merrill, the mother of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" cast member Danielle Staub, reportedly passed away on March 21 after having a stroke at the age of 75 in Athens, Pennsylvania, and a grieving Staub says none of her costars have called to console her.

“We know how they feel about me,” Staub spoke to People.com about the other housewives. “They weren't my friends before the show, they weren't friends with me on the show, and they won't be friends with me when the show has come and gone. I don't expect them to reach out to me. I would actually be shocked. I would prefer not to have people be fake around me.”

"The Real Housewives of New Jersey" return to Bravo on May 3, and Staub revealed to the Web site that her mother is on the program. “She's on the show a little bit, she's definitely a voice of reason with me. ... She was a sweet woman, she adopted me, I was her miracle. She was one of the most energetic women. She was a very religious woman, a God-fearing woman.”

She says of coping, “It goes in waves. When you lose your mother it's hard to describe. You don't know to prepare. You think you do, but you don't, so I'm feeling a little lost. I want to call her but I can't. And my daughters are now left without their grandmother.

"I know it's strange, but I don't put a lot of stock in how I'm portrayed anymore. I'm on a journey. ... As my mom taught me, you can only do your best. She would tell me all the time, ‘You're not here to prove yourself to anyone. You're here to live your life.' My mom's always been proud of me."

Related stories: 'Real Housewife' Danielle Staub: I Was Once Homeless  Flashback: Josh Duhamel & Danielle Staub on 'AMC' 

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