Teresa Giudice is perhaps best known for her time on the hit reality show Real Housewives of New Jersey, but as the reality star awaits the results of her plea bargain, she must begin to face the unfortunate reality that her new (temporary) home is likely going to be the big house. Giudice and her husband have been in the middle of a legal battle for the last several months. The charges the couple are facing include bankruptcy fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud. For Teresa’s husband, Joe, the consequences of the crimes committed could send him to prison for up to four years, and could ultimately get him deported back to Italy. As for Teresa, she will serve less (if any) time, probably no more than two years at most. The couple is hopeful that taking responsibility for their actions will result in some leniency in terms of sentences; it is also possible that if both go to prison, they can serve staggering sentences in order to avoid displacing their children.
The Giudice family is known for being outspoken and extravagant; not a good mix for spending time in prison. But perhaps the biggest curveball thrown to Giudice’s life is that if she serves time, there is the difficult matter of figuring out who will take care of the children. Teresa and husband Joe) have four daughters, all under the age of 13. Most of the press in the past few months about what would happen to the kids in the event that the Giudice parents wind up in prison is about who they would not be living with. Giudice has been very clear that her four young daughters will not be staying with her brother; the two siblings are known widely for their feuding. In the increasingly likely event that both parents serve time, all four Giudice girls will be almost certainly be staying with one of Joe’s siblings.
Whatever house the Giudice girls end up staying at, it is going to be a big change for everyone. The Real Housewives stars would certainly not be the first public figures to serve time, but it is certainly rare to hear of such stories when there are children at home. Meanwhile, Teresa and Joe are hopeful that their remorseful response to the charges brought against them will help them get by with minimal sentences.
Joe has clung tightly to his pride throughout this ordeal, saying that he is and has always been a hard worker, and a hustler. He believes that the family has only found themselves in jeopardy due to their popularity, which a result of their fateful choice to participate in Real Housewives of New Jersey. Perhaps the lesson is, “when going into a life of crime, make sure that life is not being being taped for reality television.” The Giudices live in a big and beautiful house in Jersey, but though they live extravagantly, Joe Giudice has stated that they have never lived beyond their means. The family has received a large salary from their reality television appearances, and Teresa alone has clearly made a profit from the many merchandising opportunities she has taken advantage of, from cookbooks to haircare products. While this may not be the end of the Giudice empire, it might be an extended commercial break, as reality TV crews are not typically invited into prisons.
Opinion by Bonnie Sludikoff