After serving 11 months in prison for fraud charges, Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice was released from federal prison early Wednesday. iudice was picked up from the Danbury Federal facility in Connecticut by her lawyer. USA TODAY
NEW YORK – Teresa Giudice doesn’t really want to think about it. Or talk about it.
The big “it” is the court ruling that husband Joe Giudice is to be deported to Italy after he’s released from prison next year.
“We’re going to appeal it,” the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star revealed in an interview with USA TODAY. “We’re going to fight it.”
Joe, who was born in Italy and came to the U.S. as an infant, has stated he was unaware he wasn’t an American citizen. He has until Nov. 9 to appeal the judge’s ruling.
The “Real Housewives” star, best-selling author and mom is a straight shooter when she reveals how she feels about her husband’s legal situation.
“It’s sad, families shouldn’t be broken up this way,” Giudice says. “Especially when it’s a nonviolent, it’s a white collar crime. He’s paying for his mistakes.”
Joe is currently serving a 41-month federal prison sentence for bankruptcy fraud, entering prison after his wife served nearly a year after pleading guilty to bankruptcy fraud herself. Fans of Giudice kept up with her during the stint with the Bravo three-part TV special “Teresa Checks In,” which chronicled the aftermath of her sentencing.
When it comes to thinking about all the possibilities (Will Joe be deported? Will the family move to Italy?), however, Giudice doesn’t want to answer questions about what’s next.
“I’m just taking it day by day,” she says, confirming that she doesn’t want to think that far ahead yet.
Outside of any histrionics of past reunion specials or real life drama, Giudice is still a wife and a mother to the couple’s four daughters – Gia, 17, Gabriella, 14, Milania, 12, and Audriana, 9.
In fact, she says her favorite part of her relationship with Joe is their kids, calling them her “pride and joy” and even saying that giving birth to Audriana on the show was one of her favorite memories as a “Real Housewife.”
She’s temporarily a single parent right now. “I’m doing this all by myself,” she says of the biggest challenge of her situation. “I didn’t sign up to have four kids on my own. Children need both parents. It’s hard.”
Although she says Audriana doesn’t know about what’s happening with her father, the other girls do and “they’re very, very, very upset. They adore their father.”
“Everything that I’ve been through, adults can handle it, but children, it’s hard for them,” Giudice says. “Just looking at them the way they’re handling it, it amazes me. It shows me that I am doing a good job, because they’re great.”
Above all the legal drama, Giudice says she’s just trying to stay positive.
For one, she’s got the new season of “Real Housewives,” premiering on Nov. 7. Giudice, who’s the only original cast member still on the Bravo show, teased two new housewives, a fitness challenge (which hopefully touches on her bodybuilding moment this summer) and her daughter Milania recording her first song “to distract her with everything that’s going on” for the upcoming Season 9.
Giudice says the two new women “both have great family values and they mesh great with us,” so viewers can probably expect more of the same reality-TV drama of recent seasons.
“Unless you walk the walk of the legal system, you don’t understand it,” Giudice says. “I guess there’s a reason. I’m positive in everything now.”