Joe Giudice Speaks Out for First Time Since Leaving ICE Custody: 'My Family Is the Most Important Thing'
Joe Giudice shared a special moment with his daughter, Gia, while heading back to Italy.
After being released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody on Friday, the Real Housewives of New Jersey star FaceTimed his and wife Teresa's 18-year-old daughter. Gia posted a screenshot of their call on her Instagram Story, expressing how happy she was that her father was released. In the pic, Joe, 47, looks noticeably thinner and fit.
"One of the happiest moments of my life! Love you so much daddy, so happy your [sic] free! See you so soon," Gia wrote adding two heart emojis.
Gia also posted a throwback photo of the two on her profile, writing, "Facetime you soon daddy❤️🙏🏻,"
ET confirmed on Friday that Joe was released while waiting for his appeal and was on a plane to Italy.
"Today is very bittersweet. Everyone is happy that he is no longer in custody, but the truth is that Joe Giudice belongs home with his wife and children in New Jersey and not in Italy," the Giudice family attorney, James Leonard Jr., told ET.
While Teresa has yet to publicly comment on her husband leaving the U.S., she posted a photo of the Statue of Liberty crying on her Instagram.
Once in Italy, Joe was reunited with his brother, Pete Giudice. "A day we’ve all been patiently waiting for. Pete and Joe reunited at last. Smiles bigger and brighter than the sky. Our hearts are so full ❤️❤️❤️," Pete's wife, Sheila, captioned a photo of the siblings together on Saturday.
Last month, a judge denied Joe's bond when he asked to leave the ICE facilities and go home to his family while a decision in his deportation appeal was being made. Joe was released from prison in March after serving three years behind bars upon pleading guilty to multiple charges of fraud in 2014. He was immediately transferred to ICE custody. Joe then filed an appeal in federal court, but that appeal was denied in April.
When ET spoke with Teresa last month, the reality star said that she and her four daughters were "doing well."
"My daughters are doing well. We're hanging in there," she expressed. "They are doing good, thank God. They are pretty amazing, strong, young woman. I guess they get it from their mommy."
Teresa, on her end, is staying positive and said that "just being with my daughters" makes things better. "It's a tough time right now, so just being with my daughters [helps]," she shared.
She also opened up about her husband's new workouts and hopes of becoming an MMA fighter once released. Hear more of what she shared in the video below.