“I just wanted to go in and figure out and see everything for the first time on my own without knowing anything,” Giudice, 43, tells PEOPLE in an exclusive video about the time she spent in prison.
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However, some of the women who were in Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut (which inspired the series) with her watched the Netflix dramedy to see what they were getting into and said it was very similar to their experience.
“It helped them,” the Real Housewives of New Jersey star says. But, she’s still glad she didn’t watch because she was able to just “go with the flow.”
• For much more from Teresa Giudice, plus an exclusive interview with her husband Joe as he prepares to serve his own prison sentence, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE Magazine, on newsstands Friday
While she was in prison, the reality star did watch Real Housewives of New Jersey reruns with her fellow inmates. Her infamous table-flipping scene went over very well with her the women she befriended.
“They loved it,” she says.
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But Giudice was reluctant to watch the Teresa Checks In special because she knew she would get upset. However, she says the women she was with were very supportive and she’s ultimately glad she did watch.
“A lot of the women there got emotional, but they also loved it at the same time,” she says. “I’m so happy I did watch it.”
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She continues, “I was just happy to see [daughter] Gia in her dress [for] her eighth grade dance.”
Now that she’s returned home, she plans on watching Orange is the New Black at some point and, more importantly, staying in touch with some of the “amazing” and “strong” women she met in prison.