Teresa Giudice, famed first as one of the stars of The Real Housewives of New Jersey before finding herself infamously behind bars after a prison sentence, is finally free and ready to dish on what life was really like in jail. From strip searches to spa services, Teresa is sharing the highs and lows. And even though Giudice stayed at what is known as the country club of prisons, her overall feeling is that jail is hellish, reported ABC News.
“Living in hell,” summed up Teresa. “I mean there was mold in the bathrooms. There was not running water constantly. The showers were freezing cold… I mean, the living conditions were really horrible. Like, horrible.”
Talking with ABC News in an interview with Amy Robach that was broadcast on Good Morning America, Giudice was candid about the bad times and reflective about the light at the end of the incarceration tunnel.
“There were some nights that we didn’t even have heat… It was — it was hell,” emphasized Teresa.
Now 43, Giudice exited the Federal Correctional Institution-Danbury in December. The Real Housewives star spent 11 and a half months in the Connecticut minimum-security prison following a sentence of 15 months. Teresa entered a guilty plea to charges that included bankruptcy fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The early release resulted from good behavior in prison, but Giudice then had to stay under house arrest until the time was completed. In addition, Teresa had to shell out $414,000 for restitution.
But the reality TV star wasn’t alone in facing those charges. Her husband, Joe, entered his own guilty plea to offenses that included failure to pay taxes and hidden assets, as well as faking loan applications. Giudice will start his 41 months in prison next month.
Even though she pleaded guilty, Teresa didn’t think she had broken the law.
“There was no intent to commit a crime. I didn’t know I was committing a crime,” insisted Giudice. “I got sentenced. I got served time. I did what I had to do and now I’m moving past it.”
Given the inmate number 65703-050, Teresa faced a shock to her image of herself. And the reality TV star also was heartbroken for her daughters.
“It, you know, broke my heart because, you know, I was always growing up the good girl, always did everything right, crossed every ‘t’, dotted every ‘i.’ And, you know, so it was… I was sad for my daughters. And I was upset,” added Giudice.
Although it’s known as a “country club” facility that specializes in white collar crime, Danbury was “horrible,” according to Teresa. She lacked privacy and was uncomfortably aware that other inmates were having sex in the room that she shared, calling it the “boom-boom room” for that reason.
Giudice worked in the kitchen, wiping tables and earning 12 cents hourly. The money came in handy for getting items she wanted at the prison commissary.
“My first paycheck was $1.60,” admitted the reality TV star.
To find a focus for her life behind bars, Teresa became a fitness fanatic. She exercised three times daily and became particularly passionate about yoga. Guidice also performed Pilates exercises and even jogged on a track outdoors. But it’s yoga that she wants to pursue back in the real world.
“Yoga changed my life. I’m going to get certified in yoga,” shared Teresa.
As for how it changed her life, Giudice feels that she’s come out an improved person.
“Maybe I needed that time for myself to reflect and just and everything and life and just to become, you know, a better person and grow and just to be a better mother, better wife, better daughter, better human being through all this.”
As for a typical day behind bars, Teresa describes it as highlighted by her workouts, reported People.
Slimming down to a size 2 in jail, Giudice feels she’s in the best shape ever, with yoga sessions each day, gym workouts, running or walking on the track, and even doing fitness videos from experts such as Bob Harper. But it’s yoga she’s continuing now that she’s free, and she’s already in classes along with sister-in-law Melissa Gorga.
“I already signed up to get certified as a teacher,” added Teresa. “[Yoga changed] my body. I was bigger. Now I’m leaner and more toned. I think I only lost 8 lbs., because it’s mostly muscle, but I’m a size 2 now.”
As to whether Giudice is genuinely remorseful, Andy Cohen feels that she is, reported the Daily Dish.
“I think she is remorseful,” said Cohen.
Andy also teased Season 7 of RHONJ, in particular, the relationship between Teresa and once-upon-a-time pal Jacqueline Laurita.
“Well, I know what’s happening, so it’s very fiery,” shared Cohen. “It’s interesting. Very interesting.”
[Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images]