Joe Giudice spoke out about wife Teresa’s prison sentence during a recent on-camera interview with the Today show. Shot in the couple’s lavish Franklin Lakes, N.J., home, the father of four discusses their fraud charges and his wife’s time behind bars.
“I was to blame. I took full responsibility for everything, but they still put her away,” Joe, 43, told Today co-host Tamron Hall. “I mean, I was supposed to go away, not her. And that was part of the plea. What I thought, anyway. I don’t know what happened in the courtroom that day.”
The Real Housewives of New Jersey stars were charged with bankruptcy and mail fraud last year. Teresa, 43, is currently serving 15 months at Danbury Correctional Facility in Connecticut and is expected to return home around Christmas. At that time, Joe will begin his 41-month prison sentence.
During the Today interview, Joe took full responsibility for his actions and admitted that he’s “guilty.” He also described how he felt when he learned that his wife of 15 years would be going to prison. (The couple will celebrate their 16th wedding anniversary on Oct. 23.)
“I felt like somebody just snapped my neck that day,” he told Hall. “I felt a pain and chill going down my spine. I couldn’t believe it.”
He added: “I’m not saying I didn’t do anything wrong or illegal, but there was definitely people behind [the scenes] talkin’ to [law enforcement officials] and telling ’em we did this and telling ’em we did that to bring it to their attention. And, you know, being in the public eye didn’t help.”
Joe and Teresa have starred on Bravo’s RHONJ since its debut in 2009. The patriarch of the family admits, however, that he didn’t anticipate the reality TV life.
“I didn’t want to go on the show, number one. They were bothering us for over a year to get on this show,” he said. “You know, we just thought that we were just going to do it and it was going to be, like, no big deal.”
Fast-forward to 2015 and Joe and his family are still in the spotlight — now more than ever. Case in point: Back in May, photos surfaced of Joe appearing to have dinner with a younger woman.
“I don’t date anybody. I don’t go on dates and none of that is true. That person just happened to be out one night with a friend of mine that knew her and they came and sat at the table. Somehow pictures were taken,” Joe claimed to Hall. “Listen, anybody does anything for money. So, if they feel they can make a couple bucks [selling a story], they’re going to make it. They’re going to say whatever they want to say.”
Joe, for one, didn’t want to say anything when Hall asked if he’s scared of the possibility of being deported. He sat quietly for some time and refused to answer the question.
Watch the video above.
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