One of the biggest reality show stars with one of the most successful franchises has completed her fall from grace. After pleading guilty to wire, tax, and bankruptcy fraud, Teresa and Joe Giudice will be spending 15 months and three and a half years in prison respectively.
On Monday’s Watch What Happens Live on Bravo, Andy Cohen interviewed the couple and asked them questions about how their impending prison terms, how they’ve dealt with the scandal of their legal troubles, and how the family is handling the situation, in particular the couple’s four daughters: Gia, Milania, Gabrielle and Audriana.
So what did we learn in the interview? No big surprise here but instead of taking responsibility for her and husband’s numerous misdeeds, the former Real Housewives of New Jersey star squarely put the blame on the shoulders of her lawyers.
Teresa went on about her legal team, “I didn’t understand that part,” she said about going to jail after signing her plea deal. “I don’t know, I thought my lawyer was gonna fight for me. That’s what lawyers do. Pretty much that’s why you hire an attorney. You put it in their hands.”
She added that, despite the accusations from the judge that she didn’t turn over documents after the plea deal, which the judge said was partly why she gave her jail time, she had given the courts and her lawyers all the documents they asked for.
“Whatever they wanted, I gave them. I’m not trying to hide anything,” she said. “That’s why I was shocked. Believe me, whatever I needed to do I would do.”
This claim seems pretty flimsy though since it’s been widely reported even after admitting fraud the couple still didn’t come clean about the true nature of their financial holdings. In fact, there was a good chance the two would receive probation with no jail time but the judge was enraged by the intentional deception they were trying to pull off even after pleading guilty.
Then it was time for Joe to get in on the fun, the former pizza parlor owner, who was indicted on 41 charges of fraud in 2013, even admitted that he didn’t even “know how many damn counts we had.”
He also admitted using Teresa in his shady schemes because she had better credit,
“In court, your attorney asked for leniency because Joe handled the finances. What role did you play in this? How aware were you in what was going on? Were you just signing what was given to you?” Andy asked Teresa. The star replied, “This was before Housewives, and whatever Joe told me to sign, I signed.” Her husband added that he would hand her “whatever the bank gave me for her to sign.”
The judge did show some mercy on the couple though mainly due to their daughters. The judge wasn’t shy about sharing her thoughts on the situation:
“Your four daughters need to understand discipline. If you don’t have it you shouldn’t spend it,” she said of the fraud. “If they won’t like you because you’re not driving a Benz or walking on Jimmy Choos or Manolo Blahniks then they’re not your friends.”
In lieu of these facts the couple will not serve their sentences at the same time so one of the parents can be with their daughters aged 5 to 13.
Teresa will start her sentence on Jan. 5th, 2015 and then Joe will begin his 42-month sentence soon after Teresa’s release.