If nothing else, Teresa Giudice’s upcoming federal prison sentence has taught her that she needs to pay attention before signing on the dotted line. She also learned that her eldest daughter has her back.
“I have to make sure I fully understand something or fully read it or find a lawyer, like a contract lawyer, that could help me,” the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star told Bravo’s Andy Cohen. She called herself “trustworthy” -- not in a good way, but in a naive way -- and said she can’t be like that anymore.
The mother of four and her husband, Joe Giudice, were sentenced Thursday to 15 months and 41 months, respectively, after pleading guilty in March to a number of fraud and conspiracy charges.
She told Cohen that she’d had sleepless nights and was nervous to the point of shaking during her sentencing; she called the sentence “unexpected.” (There had been reports in recent weeks that she might get house arrest.)
The couple’s prison time will be staggered, with Teresa going behind bars first and Joe following after she’s done. The judge made that stipulation so the parents could continue to care for their daughters, the oldest of whom is 13-year-old Gia.
“She’s like, it’s gonna be OK,” Teresa Giudice said in a clip from Cohen’s “Watch What Happens Live” that’s set to run Monday night. “She was being strong for me, I could tell.
“She was like, ‘Mommy, don’t worry about it, I’ll be there, I’ll help Daddy with the girls, and that’ll make me a better mom. That’ll prepare me for when I’m a mom.’ It broke my heart when she said that.”
Teresa Giudice characterized herself as an “old-school” mom who’s the primary caregiver for the girls, with her husband helping out when she asks him to do something specific. Gia will apparently be getting some counseling along the way through her school.
The 13-year-old was worried about her mom, not herself, the reality star said.
“My husband’s a good father, great husband,” she said, sitting alongside Joe Giudice, “but I do everything with my daughters, like everything.” She said that while she’s incarcerated, she’ll be asking him to do for them what she does.
In addition to the “WWHL” interview taped Friday, Teresa Giudice also had a “RHONJ” reunion show on Sunday, reportedly ticking off her cast mates in the process. The future jailbird showed up four hours late to the taping, TMZ said, and then asked for numerous breaks once the cameras were rolling.
“Teresa and Giuseppe Giudice used deception and fraud to cheat banks, bankruptcy court and the IRS,” U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said in March. “With their guilty pleas, they admitted the schemes with which they were charged. Having now confessed their wrongdoing, the Giudices face the real cost of their criminal conduct.”
The “Real Housewives” star has to surrender herself by Jan. 5.