Joe Giudice, The Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice’s husband, began his 41-month prison sentence on Wednesday. One person who has spoken out in support of him and his family is Teresa’s sister-in-law and co-star Melissa Gorga. After Joe had a tearful goodbye with his family and reported to prison, Melissa posted a message showing her support for Joe and Teresa.
Melissa posted a photo of one of her sons with Joe. Melissa wrote that she’s praying for Joe and reminded him to stay strong.
The photo was taken during the Giudice’s family gathering on Monday night at Blu Alehouse in Riverdale, N.J. As reported by E! Online, the restaurant’s owner, John Harms, is friends with the Giudices and wanted to do something nice for them before Joe began his prison sentence.
“I’ve been friends with Joe and Teresa since before the show. My partners and I have gotten to know Joe over time and we wanted to do something nice for him two nights before he went away—a way for everyone to say goodbye. It was amazing, as perfect as I would have wanted it. It was just family and true friends…Teresa and the girls were there, obviously. Joe’s mom and his sisters and brothers and aunts and uncles. It was a family reunion. There ended up being about 150 people. The restaurant was filled. It was great. About 50 kids.”
The restaurant owner revealed that Joe made a toast, during which he told people to stop crying and even made a joke that he’s not getting executed.
“There were toasts, [and] Joe had a few words to say. He told everyone, ‘Stop making me cry, I’m not going to the electric chair,'” Harms revealed. “His attitude is as good as it can be. You can tell he’s being strong for everyone else. There were a lot of tears.”
Melissa Gorga posted a photo of herself and her husband, Teresa’s brother Joe Gorga, with the Giudices at the family gathering.
Teresa and Joe’s attorney, James Leonard Jr., gave E! News details about Joe’s surrender.
“Joe Giudice surrendered himself to the Federal Correctional Institution at Fort Dix today at 12 p.m. to begin serving his sentence. His brother, his sister and several other members of the Giudice family, as well as myself, were present when he turned himself in to the prison, including Teresa. It was obviously a very emotional day, but this is a very strong family with a tremendous support system and they will get through this, just as they did when Teresa was away.”
In an interview with People, Joe predicted that he’ll be back home in 2017.
“I shouldn’t be in there longer than a year and a half. You get good time, and now they have, with my kind of crime, [a system where] you are eligible for [sentence reduction] programs in there so I will do as many programs as I can.”
During Teresa’s own imprisonment for fraud, which began in early January 2015 and ended in late December 2015, Joe took care of their four young daughters. The Real Housewives of New Jersey: Teresa Checks In special, which aired in October 2015, showed Joe as “Mr. Mom,” doing all of the tasks that Teresa did when she was home, such as cooking and getting the girls ready for school. The special also showed Joe and Melissa Gorga helping Joe out and spending time with their four nieces.
Now that Teresa Giudice has a good relationship with her brother and sister-in-law, as evidenced by their social media posts, it’s likely that she’ll count on them to help support her and her daughters as Joe Giudice serves his prison term. After her husband reported to prison, Teresa tweeted a message of thanks to her fans for all of their love and support.
[Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images]