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RHONJ’s Joe Gorga Defends ‘Tough’ Exchange With Niece Gia Giudice Over Joe Giudice: I Did ‘Explode’

Joe Gorga: I ‘Exploded’ During ‘Tough’ Talks With Gia Giudice on ‘RHONJ’
Joe Gorga and Gia Giudice. Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock; Paul Zimmerman/Shutterstock

Not backing down. Joe Gorga shared his perspective on the “tough” conversations he had with his niece Gia Giudice about her father on the Real Housewives of New Jersey.

Related: All Grown Up! Gia Giudice Through the Years

“I never really speak about Joe Giudice ever,” the real estate developer, 42, explained during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen on Tuesday, March 1. “And there’s a ton of articles about me [and] him, about my wife and I … if you go out and look, there’s 11 articles and I’ve never said anything.”

However, Joe explained that he was already on edge when Gia, 21, confronted him about what she felt were “disrespectful” comments about her father, 49. “Before that day, my sister [Teresa] is telling me, ‘We’re going through a divorce,'” he said. “And she’s telling me all these things that he was saying to her. … We [filmed] that episode a couple days later, and I explode.”

Joe continued: “I’m just trying to protect my sister [in the moment].”

Related: Teresa and Joe Giudice’s Ups and Downs Over the Years

While discussing their argument, Joe told host Andy Cohen that he thinks Gia may have been taking out her frustrations with Joe Giudice out on him. “I wonder if they ever yell at him for anything,” he said.

The Instagram influencer faced off against her uncle in the February 8 episode of RHONJ, when she told Teresa, 49, that “people shouldn’t open their mouths” to talk badly about others. “Just like dad didn’t deserve that either,” Gia continued, later telling her uncle that she was “done” with him “being disrespectful.”

“She looks at me like I’m the devil,” the TV personality said after the confrontation. “Their father is the devil, not me!”

The Rutgers University student shared her side of the story with Cohen, 53, last month. “I kind of just stayed calm, because if I reacted, it wouldn’t have done much,” Gia said on WWHL. “I was a little surprised by the way he reacted toward me and how defensive he was, because bottom line, he is [talking about] my father. So have a little respect.”

Following his October 2009 declaration of bankruptcy, both Teresa and her ex-husband pleaded guilty to 41 counts of fraud. The TV personality served 11 months in prison and was released in December 2015, while Joe Giudice served 41 months before being deported to Italy in October 2019. They called it quits in December of that year and their divorce was finalized in November 2020.

In the wake of the divorce, Joe blamed his former brother-in-law for causing Teresa so much pain. “I’m mad at the son of a bitch for what he did to you! He ruined everything and he put you in jail,” the Gorga’s Guide to Success author said during a May 2021 episode of RHONJ.

Related: Biggest ‘Real Housewives’ Feuds Ever — And Where the Relationships Stand Today

Joe Giudice, for his part, told Us Weekly that the Gorgas were lying about the situation in April 2021. “Joe has a lot of anger built in because of his doing! He needs to be truthful with himself and America!” the native said at the time. “As for Melissa and Joe … they are fake.”

Despite the onscreen tension between Gia and her uncle, the pair managed to bury the hatchet after filming wrapped. “I just think that everyone’s just so over it now,” Melissa Gorga told Page Six in February. “I think we’re past it now. I think we’ve gotten it all out. I can honestly say, this past year, we’ve all gotten it off our chest.”

The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET.

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