Reality TV is a guilty pleasure for most people, including myself. While it's fun to laugh at the antics these people do for the camera, we have to remember that they are real people, even if they seem fake.
Take, for example, Teresa and Joe Giudice. The Italian couple from Real Housewives of New Jersey thought they were living large, until the couple were found guilty of mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud and sentenced to prison. Teresa was sentenced to 15 months in prison, while Joe was sentenced to 41.
The judge considered probation for the couple, but decided instead to send a message.
“For a moment I thought about probation but I think a period of confinement is absolutely necessary in this case,” the judge told Teresa. “I don’t honestly believe that you understand or respect the law. I need to send a message. In the eyes of the law, it doesn’t matter who you are. There are consequences to pay.”
Because the Giudices have four daughters, they were allowed to stagger their sentences, with Teresa serving hers first. She was released from prison after 11 months in December of 2015. Months later, in March of 2016, Joe began his sentence.
Joe, who is a native of Italy, is now in even more hot water after the U.S. Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review confirmed that once his sentence is over, Joe will be deported. Though Teresa did not appear in immigration court with her husband, sources say it's not surprising.
“She hates going to see him in prison, too. It’s just like, ‘Keep busy and don’t think about the bad stuff.’ [It’s] a very Italian way to be,” the source explains.
While not visiting your husband in prison seems like it would cause some marital issues, apparently Joe is fine with it.
“Joe encourages Teresa to be this way,” the source adds. “He feels a lot of guilt over what happened and would rather she just remained focused on their girls and things at home than have to worry about another one of his problems. It’s sad but this one will be too hard to ignore.”
Teresa knew that Joe being deported was a distinct possibility, and even talked about it on Real Housewives of New Jersey. She said that moving to Italy with her kids would definitely be an option if, in fact, Joe got deported.
Despite those claims a few months ago, however, it now seems as though Teresa has no plans to uproot her life and bring her family to Italy. Joe and Teresa's daughters, 17-year-old Gia, 15-year-old Gabriella, 13-year-old Milania, and 9-year-old Audriana, have built lives and friendships in the United States, and Teresa doesn't want to ruin that for them.
“Teresa is incredibly strong, and whether she admits it or not, I think she had secretly prepared for this,” the source admits. “Since Joe’s been gone, Teresa’s grown into her independence. She’s taken control of her life, and she’s raised those girls well.”
Joe is not scheduled to be released until 2019, which is when he will be deported. He has until November 9 of this year to appeal his case, but so far there is no word on whether he will or not. Regardless of his decision, the source is confident that Teresa will be okay.
“It’s sad, but she’s going to handle this just as well as she’s handled everything else,” the source says. “She’ll push her own feelings aside to make sure her daughters are being taken care of. Teresa’s a big girl. She’ll put on a brave face throughout it all.”
In true reality TV fashion, Teresa's RHONJ co-star Kim DePaola has absolutely no sympathy for Teresa.
"Listen I happen to like Joe, I always liked him, he always treated me with respect," DePaola started. "But unfortunately he's not here legally, he's not a citizen, and he broke the law. And as the judge says, this is the law and this is what they have to do. It's unfortunate, but that's the way it is. Everyone feels bad for the children, but we all kinda knew. I don't think anyone is surprised by this."
DePaola also says that she's at home more with her four dogs than Teresa is ever home with her four kids, and that Teresa spends all her time partying.
The Giudice family has not released a statement on Joe's deportation as of yet.