It has been eight months since The Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Joe Guidice entered New Jersey’s Fort Dix Correctional Institution to begin serving his 36-month sentence.
As fans saw on RHONJ, Joe’s tear-filled departure was difficult for both Teresa and the couple’s four daughters, who had spent nearly a year alone with Joe while Teresa was serving her own jail time. The stars were charged with 41 counts of fraud in 2014.
While Teresa continues to put on a strong front, she has admitted been candid about how much the girls miss their father. “You know, [they] miss their dad, of course, tremendously, just like I do. But you know they’re doing as well as could be expected,” Teresa told ABC. “They’re amazing. They’re really strong young girls.”
It has been especially trying to have their father absent during big events like the girls’ birthdays and Milania’s recent fifth grade graduation. To keep things in perspective, Teresa has compared her family’s situation to what other families go through when a parent is absent for another reason, like military service.
“I think about it like there’s people in the military that are not there for everything,” Teresa told People, “Of course he would be there if he could … as long as we have our health, that’s all that matters. When you have your health, you have everything.”
Despite being kept apart, Teresa and Joe are remaining close with regular visits. Joe even managed to send Teresa flowers last month for the couple’s anniversary. Teresa posted a photo of a bouquet of roses on Instagram on her anniversary, writing, “What a surprise got these beautiful roses from Joe for our Anniversary today October 23, 1999…I spent 17 years married with man that I know my whole life pretty amazing adore and love him.”
A photo posted by Teresa Giudice (@teresagiudice) on Oct 23, 2016 at 6:10am PDT
“We’re going to be married 17 years, and I guess…I can tell he’s really into me still, which is a good thing!” Teresa told E! News. “So I guess I’m doing something right. We’re married 17 years, so I can’t wait for him to come home and he can’t wait to come home, so obviously we’re doing something right.”
Joe has been focusing on his health and fitness since he was locked up and, according to Teresa, has lost more than 30 pounds. When he gets out, Teresa is planning on getting Joe into yoga, which she took up during her own stay in prison. Joe is also working on completing his GED while locked away, and would like to go to college when his sentence is complete.
Though the couple appears strong and united in front of press, cameras and fans, they still have major hurdles in front of them. Following his term, Joe, who is an Italian citizen, may face deportation. While it has been reported Joe’s lawyer is seriously concerned about deportation, Teresa told ABC this summer she doesn’t believe that is in the cards.
Asked about the uncertainty of Joe’s future with the family in the U.S., Teresa said, “No, I think our future is not uncertain. He’s gonna be home. We’re gonna be together. Our family’s gonna be reunited again, and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”
In addition to the Joe’s potential deportation, the couple has another legal battle to face: earlier this year, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Stacey L. Meisel reopened their case because creditors have not been paid off.
“Satisfied means paid in full in my book,” Meisel reportedly said in court. “There may have been a satisfaction of a number of creditors… but the fact remains that creditors still exist.”
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