'Real Housewives' star's last words to her lawyer: "Tell Joe and the girls I'm good."
Last October, U.S. District Court judge Esther Salas sentenced The Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice to 15 months in prison for mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud. The reality star was finally dropped off at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut, early Monday morning, and in her last words, asked her lawyer to tell her family that she was going to be okay.
Teresa and Joe Giudice were initially indicted and accused of hiding their fortune in 2013, and the couple was asked to arrive to the U.S. District Court in Newark last October with probation reports thoroughly filled out, listing their assets and specific financial information. However, since there were still missing items totaling $75,000, Salas said that the Giudices neglected their “obligation to be transparent” and wanted to make an example of them.
“I don’t honestly believe you understand or respect the law,” stated the judge. “I need to send a message. In the eye of the law, it doesn’t matter who you are. There are consequences to pay.”
Teresa was scheduled to arrive at the prison at 10 a.m. Monday morning, but as the reality star wanted to avoid media attention, she asked her attorney, James J. Leonard Jr., to deliver her at 3 a.m. In her last words to Leonard, the 42-year-old mother of four star said, “‘Tell Joe and the girls I’m good.”
“She was great. She was very strong,” Leonard told People. “She said, ‘I know I am going to get through this.’ She was very, very upbeat. She was like, ‘Hey. Let’s go. Let’s get this done.’ ”
Officials told Giudice that her children would be allowed to visit her as soon as this weekend, and while Leonard isn’t sure they will make the trip this weekend, he told People “they will 100 percent come see her.”
“I think she wants to see them whenever she can. Her kids aren’t just the No. 1 [priority] in her life. They are the only one.”
Teresa’s husband Joe also pleaded guilty last year to multiple counts of bankruptcy fraud and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and will serve 41 months in prison when his wife is finished serving her sentence.