Teresa Giudice is behind bars, but Joe Giudice is on the outside maintaining the family’s bread and butter: reality TV. With their spinoff, Teresa Checks In, airing this Sunday on Bravo, Joe shared how the family is coping while the Real Housewives Of New Jersey star serves time and also opened up about how unfair Teresa’s consequences are.
In an in-depth interview Joe did with Today’s Tamron Hall, he admits that he “absolutely” feels guilty that Teresa is in prison. “I was to blame,” he says adamantly.
However, in addition blaming himself for Teresa’s incarceration, Joe blames the courts! “I took full responsibility for everything, but they still put her away.”
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According to Joe when he learned Teresa would be serving 15 months it felt like “somebody had just snapped my neck.”
“I felt the pain, the chill going down my spine,” Joe recalls. “I couldn’t believe it.”
While Joe will take full culpability for Teresa being behind bards, he defends himself against rumors that he’s cheating while his wife is locked up. “None of that is true,” dismissed Joe. “I don’t date anybody. I don’t go on dates.”
Explaining photographs taken of him in a restaurant with another woman, Joe claims he just “happened to be out that night” with friends – the woman included among them – “and somehow pictures got taken.” Duped again, Juicy Joe?
As for how the Giudices went from luxury cruises and shopping sprees to foreclosure, bankruptcy, and prison, Joe has no answers. “Why it happened, I don’t know,” he shrugs. The penalty for living the high life? “It’s not worth it.”
Joe will serve 41 months following Teresa’s release, but he doesn’t allow himself to think about that, because “you’re just going to drive yourself crazy.”
When pressed about a possible deportation following his release, Joe remains silent and evaded the question, finally acknowledging he is “afraid of being deported” with a subtle nod. The possibility looms ominously as the worst of the possible consequences the Giudice family faces. Joe and Teresa’s eldest daughter Gia will already be 18 when Joe is released, meaning he will miss the majority of her teenaged years.
The interviewer reminds us the status of Joe’s deportation will not be determined until after he serves his sentence.
And with all they still have to face, Joe remains adamant that he “didn’t know” he was doing anything illegal when he signed his name to all those documents. The reality star seems to imply that he was duped!
“It’s not that I’m saying I didn’t do anything wrong or illegal, but there were definitely people behind, talking to them and telling them we did this and telling them we did that to bring it to their attention,” Joe complains. “And you know, being in the public eye didn’t help.”
“I was just signing my name. I would never fill out anything,” Joe added. “I wasn’t an accountant, I wasn’t a mortgage person, I wasn’t a banker.” (Wasn’t it confirmed applications were completed in Teresa and Joe’s own writing? I can’t recall…)
Writers Note: I have long suspected the Giudices were not acting alone, but refused to give up their conspirators for fear of facing larger consequences. It’s simply, in my opinion, not possible for them to orchestrate the level of fraud single-handedly.
Still Joe agrees most of their fraudulent activity took place “prior” to signing onto Real Housewives Of New Jersey. Which begs an answer to the obvious question, as posed by the interviewer: Why go on reality TV “presenting an opulent lifestyle” when “X’s and O’s weren’t adding up”?
In response Joe is vague. “I didn’t want to go on this show, number one; they were bothering us for over a year. We didn’t know it was gonna turn into this… That’s how we ended up here,” he laughs. “I never anticipated…” he trails off. Never anticipated getting caught? Or getting famous?
With Teresa currently serving the remainder of her 15 month sentence in Danbury, CT, Joe says his wife “tries to keep her spirits up” as she counts down the days until she comes home.
Joe reports that an optimistic Teresa focuses on her family more than herself, by trying to convince Joe and her four daughters she’s doing OK. “But she’s really not,” acknowledges Joe.
However, it doesn’t sound like Teresa’s imprisonment is too taxing – aside from being separated from her marble palace and reality TV fame. Her days are spent rather leisurely, it seems!
“She’s just working out – what else you gonna do in there? Read?” shrugs Joe. Other activities include eating and email.
“She says she’s got an easy job; she likes it,” adds Joe. “I think she wipes down, like, a couple tables a day. She’s done within 3 minutes and that’s her job.”
And Teresa is paid accordingly. “I think she’s makin’ a dollar a day, or something? Or maybe a dollar a month? I’m not sure,” Joe smirks.
Teresa also occupies her time with visits from family. “I’m allowed to go every other weekend,” reveals Joe. “My daughters can come every week.”
Joe reports that Milania asks why mommy “just can’t come home?” Yet, youngest daughter Audriana, 6, doesn’t seem to grasp what’s happening. “Audriana doesn’t really say much about it, but she cries sometimes.”
“I’m sure it’s killing my wife when we all leave. It kills me when I leave,” Joe confesses to ET.
According to her attorney, Teresa will be released to house arrest in December ’15. She’s reportedly already signed on for another season of RHONJ, and rumors have it she’ll also be filming her own spinoff.
In the meantime we can satisfy our craving for Tre by watching Real Housewives Of New Jersey: Teresa Checks In, a 3-episode special about how Joe and the girls are coping. It premieres this Sunday at 8PM.
TELL US – WILL JOE AND TERESA EVER ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR ACTIONS?
[Photo Credit: TODAY]