Teresa Giudice spent nearly all of 2015 in federal prison after being charged with fraud, and her husband Joe served several years behind bars before being deported to his native Italy for committing the same crime. The Real Housewives of New Jersey star knows what the experience can do to a family.
She offered some advice to Lori Loughlin, who’s awaiting trial, after she and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, were accused of paying $500,000 to have their daughters accepted at the University of Southern California in the widespread college admissions scandal. They pleaded not guilty. Loughlin’s daughters, Olivia Jade and Bella Giannulli, were allegedly admitted as recruits for the university’s rowing team, although neither participated in the sport.
“You know, she did it for her daughters and, I mean, her daughters are grateful for what she did,” Giudice told Entertainment Tonight. “She was just looking out for her daughters and trying to get them into a good school. But I guess that’s it, just be open with them, and whatever the outcome is, it is. You have to deal with it and move forward.”
On Thursday, People reported that a source close to the Full House star revealed that she’s feeling both “concerned” and “discouraged” as she sees others accused in Operation Varsity Blues face punishment. Actress Felicity Huffman served 11 days for her role in it in October, although she was initially sentenced to 14 days. On Nov. 13, a real estate executive named Toby MacFarlane was sentenced to six months in prison, after being accused of paying big bucks to have his two children falsely deemed athletic recruits and admitted to USC. Unlike Loughlin, both Huffman and MacFarlane had entered guilty pleas before they were sentenced.
Giudice offered Loughlin encouragement about the situation and how it will affect her long-term.
“I’m sure she'll make it through,” Giudice said. “I feel women are strong. We have babies, we do it all. I’m sure whatever outcome it is, I’m sure she’ll be fine with it.”
Giudice continues to deal with the fallout from her own case. She and Joe, who she married in 1999, both faced fraud charges, stemming from defrauding lenders and attempting to hide assets during a bankruptcy, in 2013. Both pleaded guilty, and they received staggered sentences so that one of them could remain with their four daughters. Giudice was released after serving 11 months of her sentence.
Her husband’s story is more complicated. After serving three years in prison, he was released into the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement so that he could be deported to his native country of Italy, where he’s lived for the past four years, away from his wife and children.
On Thursday, she revealed in an interview on Good Morning America that she’s unsure about her future with him. “Imagine if [your husband] lived in Italy and you lived here,” Giudice said. “I mean — I don’t know. I don’t know if that is a feasible relationship.” She said they’re “taking it day by day.”
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