It’s a dark chapter for the Giudice family: Joe Giudice, already in prison for fraud, will be deported to his native Italy at the end of his sentence in 2019. And now the 46-year-old’s wife, Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice, is revealing how the news is hitting the family, including their four daughters.
“Heartbreaking,” Teresa, 46, said on Good Morning America on Tuesday, November 6, characterizing the weeks since Joe’s deportation hearing.
“Very sad,” she added. “The girls are really upset. You know, it’s hard for them … Adults can handle anything. It’s hard for children to go through this. They’re asking themselves, ‘Why is this happening to me?’ Like, ‘I want my daddy to come home.’”
Teresa also said that her children — Gia, 17, Gabriella, 14, Milania, 12, and Audriana, 9 — are “old enough” to understand their father’s legal woes. “Like, we keep saying that he’s at work but, you know, I’m sure [Audriana] hears when he calls, it says, ‘calling from a federal prison.’”
She has been getting support from Gia, however. “I tell her every day she’s like the rock of her sisters,” Teresa said of her eldest. “She’s helping me, you know, explain things to them — because my third daughter is having a really hard time with this.”
Teresa and Joe, also 46, pleaded guilty in 2014 to 41 counts of fraud, including mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud. In addition, Joe confessed that he did not pay approximately $200,000 in taxes. Teresa served 11 months in prison in 2015, and Joe’s 41-month sentence began the following year. Then, on October 10, a judge found the restaurateur “deportable and ineligible for any kind of relief,” ordering him to leave the United States when his sentence ends in March.
“I never thought I would be in this position,” the reality star added. “We’ve been through a lot. I’ve gone through ups and downs, like being angry — but listen, I have to stay strong. I have four beautiful daughters that, you know, they need their mommy.”
When asked why Joe never applied for citizenship, Teresa said, “I guess that’s something you would have to ask his parents. You know, his dad became an American citizen before he was 18. And then his mom did it after he was 18, and then the laws changed … I don’t know why they never made him an American citizen.”
And the Standing Strong author asserted she has no plans to give up her reality TV career, despite criticism from viewers who think she should quit amid the chaos. “I mean, I’ve been doing this now almost, what, ten years?” she said. “This is how I make a living. I have four daughters to raise, and I don’t understand why people would criticize me for that. I mean, I’m doing it all by myself … If I don’t work, nobody — how are they going to live?”
Meanwhile, Teresa confirmed she and Joe were going to appeal the ruling and revealed that Joe is “being very positive.”
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“Just take it one day at a time,” she added. “That’s it.”
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