“Joe isn’t going to go down without a fight and is going to appeal the decision,” the insider says. “This isn’t over, not by a long shot.”
The couple’s attorney, James J. Leonard, tells Us, “We are respectfully declining to comment at this time.”
Joe, 46, was ordered on Wednesday, October 10, to be deported to his native country, according to Radar Online. “Based upon the law, I find you deportable and ineligible for any kind of relief,” Judge John Ellington said during a hearing, the website reported. “Mr. Giudice, no matter how this turns out, I wish you the best. I decided this case as a matter of law.”
The reportedly shocked Real Housewives of New Jersey star replied: “I don’t understand how I can be deported on this case. If you will, I’ll tell you my side. I shouldn’t even be here right now. I have to go back and tell my kids this, and they’ve been waiting to hear from me.”
Joe, who moved to the United States as an infant but is not a citizen, must file an appeal by November 9. Teresa, also 46, expressed in January that she “wouldn’t mind” moving to Italy with her husband.
“Everyone is shocked that Joe is most likely moving back to Italy,” a source close to Teresa told Us. “Teresa never talks about Joe’s deportation to her friends. She doesn’t like to bring up their legal problems very often, but Joe being deported to Italy is very high up on her ‘never discuss’ list. … Everyone, including Teresa, thought that they would make an exception for Joe since he has been in this country for so long.”
Joe is currently in prison serving a 41-month sentence, which began in March 2016. He and Teresa pleaded guilty in 2014 to 41 counts of fraud, including bankruptcy, mail and wire fraud, while he also failed to pay approximately $200,000 in taxes. The Standing Strong author already served her 11-month sentence in 2015. Though the pair’s bankruptcy case was dismissed in June, they are still responsible for paying restitution to New Jersey’s Department of Treasury and the IRS.
The reality stars’ lawyer did not expect the deportation ruling either. “We remain optimistic that when the day comes where a court decides the fate of Mr. Giudice, they will return him home to his wife and four daughters where he belongs,” Leonard told Us in an exclusive statement in June.
The couple tied the knot in 1999 and are parents of daughters Gia, 17, Gabriella, 14, Milania, 12, and Audriana, 9.
With reporting by Jennifer Heger