A week after receiving a 15 month sentence for fraud, Teresa Giudice is speaking out about going to prison and admitting that she feels guilty “every day” for her actions. However Teresa says she is ready to learn from her mistakes, focus on the positives, and come back stronger.
“I wish I could do everything differently,” a tearful Teresa acknowledges. “But then again, maybe not, because this is a life lesson I need to learn and will learn, and will teach my children for the rest of my life, just as Judge Salas told me she expected me to do.”
“I have to look at what will come of this while I’m away,” the Real Housewives Of New Jersey star accepts. “The bond between my children and their father, Joe, my honey, will grow stronger and stronger. And that is something I will be grateful for.”
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Unfortunately, a week after sentencing, Teresa is still reeling from the news that she will serve time – including recently stating that she didn’t understand that by accepting a guilty plea there was a very real possibly that she would serve time instead of receiving probation as she expected.
Teresa’s crisis PR manager, Wendy Feldman, explains to Us Weekly (print edition) that her client’s comments were a reaction to the incredible burden Teresa has been under: working to keep their family financially afloat, filming, caring for her daughters, and trying to remain strong while dealing with her legal issues, and Joe’s. “Teresa is physically tired, emotional and in a state of fear,” Wendy says. “How do you go to bed wondering what would have happened if hadn’t taken that deal?”
Teresa also shockingly revealed in her sit-down with Andy Cohen that she hasn’t told her three younger daughters Gabriella, 10, Milania, 8, and Audriana , 5, that she will be reporting to prison on January 5th, 2015 – just days after the holidays. Teresa plans to talk to her daughters when that date is “much closer,” Wendy Feldman explains. “She’s trying to keep things normal.” Which I guess means maintaining the facade of denial! Go Tre – stay strong in your delusion.
Part of keeping things normal for Teresa includes going about her duties involved with RHONJ. “Teresa is the breadwinner – the show is her main source of income,” reveals a source. A fact confirmed by the Giudices on WWHL when they admitted their once-thriving Fabulicious business of cookbooks and products is all “dead.”
Proving her commitment, days after sentencing Teresa put on a gold gown (Ooooh more Christmas pageant fancy!) to film the reunion. “Teresa did what she has to do professionally,” her hairstylist and long-time friend David Autunes explains. “She was gracious and her professionalism was impeccable.”
The need for money leaves Teresa deciding how she wants RHONJ to handle her imprisonment. “Production wants to film,” a show source confirms, “but it’s up to Teresa.” Teresa received a $750,000 salary plus bonuses for the 6th season. But any wages she now earns could be garnished by creditors, including the government, as the couple is saddled with a $13 million dollar debt from a failed bankruptcy filing, along with $414,000 in restitution. There is also speculation that both Teresa and Joe are eligible for a spinoff (and we all know she’s writing a tell-all!)
Teresa will have the opportunity to work behind bars and inmates with large debts are generally considered for higher paying in-house occupations, but the typical wages are 23 cents an hour working in dining halls or doing manual labor, such as carpentry or electrical work. Teresa is reportedly either going to Danbury in CT, or “Camp Cupcake” – aka Alderson – in my beautiful home state of WV (can I get on her visitor’s list?!). Either way, both are far from her daughters whom Teresa is hopping will visit her regularly.
As for visitation and phone privileges, Teresa, like all federal inmates, will receive 15 minutes per call on her own leisure time, at her own expense, and a maximum of 300 minutes a month to send monitored emails. She will also be eligible for 4 hours of visitor time per month for people on her approved guest list, also approved by the Board of Corrections.
As Teresa told Andy, her biggest concern is, naturally, leaving her daughters – and entrusting Joe, whose attorney revealed has a drinking problem (he also told the court Joe uses marijuana) with their care and to be there for them every day. According to his attorney, Joe even smelled like alcohol during sentencing!!! Joe confessed to Andy he drinks 2 – 4 bottles of wine per day.
As Teresa prepares herself mentally for the challenge of prison, her crisis PR manager confirms she is taking it seriously by getting “into the proper mind-set of what it’s really like.”
Teresa, herself, is determined to make these final months before her lock up count. “Her first priority is her kids, her second is Joe, her third is herself,” Wendy Feldman reveals, adding that for now, the Giudices are “very much unified” as a couple, determined to weather this storm.
However, Joe, who is not a U.S. citizen despite living here his entire life, faces deportation after serving his time, he will begin a 41 month sentence following Teresa’s release. New York City immigration attorney, Michael Wildes (who is not representing Joe) explains that Joe “will be handcuffed upon release and brought into the immigration system.”
This litigation could last years as the court determines whether or not Joe’s crimes were too dangerous for him to legally remain in the United States. Mr. Wildes predicts, “By the way the courts seem to be going after Joe that it is unlikely he’ll ever be returned to this country.” In that case Joe would be transferred to Italy, his country of birth. “He may be granted a visitor’s visa to the U.S. after a few years,” Mr. Wilde states.
Joe also returns to court October 15th for his identity fraud case, for which whatever sentence he receives will be rolled into his federal sentence. ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) will also consider these crimes when considering deportation.
If Joe is deported, a very real possibly given the severity of his financial fraud (and the fact that he still owes back taxes to the government which he apparently can’t afford to pay), Teresa and their daughters would have to decide to either relocate to Italy, or remain estranged from their father in the U.S. Teresa and Joe say they are taking it day-by-day.
[Photo Credit: Us Weekly]
TELL US – WILL TERESA COME BACK STRONGER AND LEARN FROM HER MISTAKES AFTER PRISON? WILL HER MARRIAGE TO JOE SURVIVE?