According to court documents obtained by Us Weekly, the Bravo personality, 47, asked for an immediate release from a Pennsylvania Immigrations and Customs Enforcement detention center as the court decides on his deportation appeal. In the order, which was filed in federal appeals court, Joe expressed his desire to return to his native Italy — the same country he’s facing deportation to for wire and bankruptcy fraud — so he could earn money for his family.
“[Joe wants to] begin working and contributing financially to his wife and four kids,” his lawyer, James Leonard, said in the docs.
The reality star, who was born in Saronno, Italy, married Housewife Teresa Giudice in 1999. The couple, who first starred on RHONJ in season 1 in 2009, share four daughters: Gia, 18, Gabrielle, 15, Milania, 14, and Audriana, 10.
In October 2018, Joe was ordered to be deported to Italy after he and his wife, 47, pleaded guilty to 41 counts of fraud, including mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud, in 2014. Joe also admitted to approximately $200,000 of unpaid taxes. Teresa served 11 months in prison in 2015, while Joe’s 41-month sentence began in March 2016. The couple’s bankruptcy case was dismissed in June 2018, but they still had to pay restitution to the IRS and New Jersey’s Department of Treasury.
In March, Joe — who came to the U.S. as an infant but never became a citizen — was released into ICE custody after he completed his prison sentence. Earlier this month, the Bravo star’s bond request was denied. The ruling means that he will remain in ICE custody until he is deported or hears if his latest deportation appeal has been granted.
In April, the Celebrity Apprentice alum pleaded for her husband’s release in a letter to the judge.
“My daughters need their father. They cry for him every day. … I cannot bear the thought of my daughters losing their father,” she wrote. “I am fearful that it will break them and that I alone will not be able to fix them. Judge Ellington, this is my greatest fear and it keeps me up at night. The fear that if I lose my husband, I will also lose my children, as they will never be the same.”
She continued, “My husband is the true love of my life and the most amazing father that I could ask God for our daughters. I cannot imagine life without him. He is our everything and we desperately need him.”
Teresa admitted earlier this week that she was not in a “good place” after her husband’s bond request was denied.
“It’s a sad time with my husband and everything so we’re going to try and work it out as best we can,” she said during a panel at the GNO Weekend: An Evening With the Celebrity Housewives on September 20. “The most important thing is our four daughters, so I’m hoping Joe is able to stay in the United States.”
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