Andy Cohen (left) shares a photo of his interview with Teresa Giudice and Joe Giudice on Bravo.
Teresa Giudice said Monday night that when she signed a plea deal calling for possible jail time, she had no idea she could actually go to jail.
“I didn’t understand that part,” the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star told “Watch What Happens Live” host Andy Cohen on a Bravo special where Teresa and her husband Joe discussed the prison terms to which they were sentenced on Thursday.
Joe got 41 months, Teresa 15. She begins serving her sentence Jan. 5 and when she’s sprung, Joe goes in, enabling them to be sequentially home with their four children.
Teresa seemed to suggest to Cohen that her real problem was not understanding much of anything.
She “just signed” the papers that got them busted for fraudulent bank loans, she said. Then she “just did” what her lawyers told her in preparing and pleading the case.
She said she was “not expecting” jail time and seemed to feel the legal team had let her down.
“I thought that’s what lawyers were for, they’re supposed to fight for you,” she said.
Cohen asked if she had spoken to the lawyers after the sentencing and she said no.
Joe also said he was surprised Teresa got hard time.
“She had no part in my business,” he said.
He said he pleaded guilty because he thought all the prison time would fall on him.
I thought that’s what lawyers were for, they’re supposed to fight for you.
Both Giudices also said they pleaded guilty, however, because their lawyers had warned them that conviction on even one of the counts with which they were charged could land them up to 10 years.
Joe admitted that for his own part, “There were illegal things as far as tax returns, things like that.”
Asked by Cohen why he involved Teresa in illegal transactions, he said he brought her in on the bank loans “because she had better credit.”
Joe said he also expected a lesser sentence for himself, and that 41 months “felt like I got hit in the neck with a bat.”
Teresa spent much of the half-hour, which will continue into a second segment later this week, saying that her primary concern in all of this was her daughters.
The Giudices arrive at Newark Federal Court in New Jersey for their sentencing on Thursday.
Joe Giudice was sentenced to 41 months in prison, Teresa 15.
“That’s the only thing I’m thinking about,” she said several times.
She said so far she had only told her oldest daughter, Gia, 14, who said “it will be all right” and promised she would “help Daddy with the girls” while Teresa is in prison.
She said she was pretty sure that 8-year-old Milania didn’t know about the prison sentence, even though she had gone to school on Monday.
Joe said he thought Milania might suspect something, along with Gabriella, who is 9. Their youngest daughter, Adriana, is 5.
Neither Giudice expressed regret for their actions, though Teresa said the legal experience had changed her.
It’s gonna be a lotta work. But they’re my daughters.
She said that despite an incident at the recent “Real Housewives” reunion taping, she would not be losing her temper in the future.
“I’ve grown since then,” she said. “I’m not the same person. No one can push my buttons anymore.”
Her primary lesson from the whole experience, she said, was that “I need to read things before I sign them.”
She did say she “regretted” coming across on “Real Housewives” as a person who was enamored of expensive material things.
She said, for instance, that contrary to a comment she made on one episode, she would be willing to live in a house that someone else had lived in earlier.
‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ star Terese Guidice arrives at court in March.
Joe Guidice is seen arriving at court in March.
She said she hoped Joe and the girls would visit her “once a week” while she’s in prison and that she had no fears for her well-being there.
She could live without extensive makeup and primping, she said. “I’ll just pull my hair back.”
She expressed some apprehension about whether Joe could keep up with the girls’ daily schedule while she’s inside. “I do all the hands-on part” now, she said.
Joe said, “It’s gonna be a lotta work. But they’re my daughters. I gotta do what I gotta do.”
The tease to the second part of the interview later this week shows Cohen asking Teresa whether everything in “Real Housewives” is scripted, as she said in court papers; asking Teresa whether she resented Joe for getting her involved in the illegal deals; and asking Joe whether he fears being deported once he finishes his sentence.
The Giudices had declined to answer any questions after their sentencing Thursday, saving their comments for this Bravo special.
Because they are under contract to Bravo, this interview was a paid engagement.
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