The Untold Truth Of Real Housewives Of New Jersey’s Teresa Giudice

Teresa Giudice is simultaneously one of the most beloved and controversial stars in Real Housewives history. In fact, during season 6 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, the Real Housewives of New Jersey breakout was given the ultimate honor with a Snatch Game impression in her likeness, by Joslyn Fox (via The Atlantic). She’s been a fixture of RHONJ since its debut season, despite serving an 11-month prison sentence after being indicted on fraud charges alongside husband Joe. 

As E! News reported, in 2013, the Giudices were charged for illegally obtaining loans by defrauding lenders and hiding assets during their bankruptcy case. The reality star’s husband was also charged with failure to file tax returns during a period when he made almost $1 million. Although it was evidently a tough time, and their relationship ultimately dissolved as a result, the RHONJ star has more than proven her worth regardless.  

She got major support after losing her father

Although they split in December 2019, when Giudice’s father passed away the following summer, her ex-husband was one of the first to offer his condolences. As The Sun reported at the time, the RHONJ star posted one of the last photos she had with her Dad and expressed how much she missed him, to which Joe responded with a lengthy message extolling his virtues as a “phenomenal father, grandfather, husband and loyal friend.” Giudice’s ex also praised his former father-in-law’s “sense of humor,” “hearty laugh,” “boundless compassion,” and “deep knowledge of the world.” 

She responded, “Yes, he was, thank you for your kind words.” As Bravo notes, the RHONJ breakout subsequently raised a glass in her father’s memory with co-stars Jennifer Aydin and Dolores Catania, sharing a shot of drinks being poured on her Instagram Story. The loss clearly hit her hard as Giudice previously revealed to Us Weekly, in 2011, “One of my favorite things is my weekly trip to Costco with my dad.” 

The RHONJ star will never forgive her cousin

Giudice’s cousin, Kathy Wakile, joined the cast of RHONJ in season 3 alongside her own family but, despite the fact they’re closely related, the ladies were estranged. As Cheat Sheet reports, at BravoCon 2019, Giuidice accused Wakile of joining the show without her knowledge, describing it as, “the worst thing that could have ever happened to me.” The reality star promised she would never speak to her cousin, or her family, ever again as a result.

Wakile, for her part, told RHONY star Bethenny Frankel that she hadn’t signed up to steal her cousin’s thunder and, moreover, there was no problem between them until she did so (via YouTube). Further, Wakile clarified in a 2019 interview with Us Weekly that she hadn’t gone behind Giudice’s back. The former reality star explained, “I followed the protocol that Bravo set before me, you know?” Wakile acknowledged she wasn’t holding out hope the two would work things out in the future, however. 

Teresa Giudice got a massive pay raise

Considering she’s the biggest and most well-known star on RHONJ, it stands to reason Giudice should be adequately compensated for everything she puts into the hit show. According to Radar Online, when season 10 rolled around, her bosses clearly agreed as they gave the reality star a massive pay increase. “Teresa is now getting $62,000 per episode and with 18 episodes a season that comes out to $1,116,000,” an insider revealed to the site. They added, “Teresa got a bump up from her $1 million she was earning before.” 

Giudice certainly deserved more money, considering her husband’s deportation scandal and the revelation she was getting ready to divorce him played out in excruciating detail on the show. Joe was sent back to Italy, where he’s originally from, after being convicted of fraud as an illegal immigrant living and working in America. “Teresa’s family drama is what people want to see,” the source advised. They also confirmed, “She is getting a generous raise to continue sharing the drama.”

Prison changed everything for her

In 2016, Giudice sat down for a wide-ranging interview with Good Morning America to discuss her prison experience and how it changed her life. As ABC News reported, the RHONJ star didn’t realize she was doing anything wrong, reasoning, “I was always growing up the good girl, always did everything right, crossed every ‘t’, dotted every ‘i.'” Although the experience changed her irrevocably, Giudice noted, “I got sentenced. I got served time. I did what I had to do and now I’m moving past it.”

Her time in jail was incredibly difficult, but the wealthy Italian-American found a routine for herself while behind bars. She had a role in the kitchen and passed the rest of her stint working out. Likewise, Giudice found common ground with the other prisoners, even if at times the drama escalated way beyond what she’d experienced on RHONJ. Looking back, she acknowledged, “Maybe I needed that time for myself to reflect and just and everything and life and just to become, you know, a better person.” 

The reality star is treading carefully with love now

The RHONJ stalwart found love again after her very public divorce, in 2020, going Instagram official with new boyfriend Luis Ruelas in December and describing him in an Instagram post him as the “best thing” to come out of a very difficult year. However, although the two appear to be happily coupled up, rumors of an impending engagement aren’t to be believed just yet. “They aren’t rushing into anything,” a source advised Us Weekly. The insider added sagely, “They are taking their time.” It’s still early days, with the couple only dating for a few months before fans started speculating about them getting married. 

However, the source confirmed that although they’re very happy together, “Their relationship is way too premature to even consider marriage at this point.” An insider close to them later told Us Weekly there are no plans for Ruelas to appear on RHONJ. However, Giudice’s life will continue to be an open book. Things may even change down the line as the duo gets closer. 

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