Her attorney says she and husband Joe Giudice are not getting divorced and that prison has brought them "closer"
The lawyer for Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice has had it with rumors flying around about his famous client, and he tells PEOPLE he wants to set the record straight.
“There’s a lot of bad information out there,” James J. Leonard Jr. tells PEOPLE exclusively. “Every day there is another story out there about her and every day the stories are wrong.”
Here are seven untruths about Giudice, 42, that her lawyer says he wants to clear up:
Recent reports said that Giudice met with divorce lawyers behind bars to talk about splitting from her husband, Joe Giudice.
“I can state unequivocally that I am the only lawyer that Teresa has met with since she has been in prison,” Leonard says. “While we have discussed many things, we have never discussed her divorcing Joe. If anything, as bizarre as it may seem, this experience of them being apart has only brought them closer.”
He adds: “She has also talked about her future with Joe and the girls.”
Reports have said that Giudice was denied early release after Joe met with “the feds” and “the whole thing fell apart” because of “the things he said.”
Not true, Leonard says.
“Several months back we were able to secure an early release date of Dec. 23,” Leonard told PEOPLE earlier this year. “That means Teresa will leave the prison on Dec. 23 and go home and sleep in her own bed. Two days later she will wake up and celebrate Christmas with Joe and her girls.”
He clarified that she will remain in the prison system under home confinement until her sentence ends in early February 2016.
“Let’s be clear,” he says. “She is in a correctional facility. She’s in a federal prison. She is not in a country club or some resort. She is surrounded by women from all walks of life, many of whom have violent backgrounds, and she has adapted extremely well to her surroundings.
“If you’re in prison and you have problems with another inmate, the other inmate doesn’t anonymously go to a gossip blog and report the problem. They step to the inmate and they confront the problem and it gets dealt with one way or another.”
“The truth is she had not had a single incident or infraction since she arrived at Danbury. She has been a model inmate in every sense of the word.”
“Anyone who has watched that show since the very first episode understands that Teresa Giudice is the central figure around which the show revolves,” he says. “That’s not to take anything away from any of the other women, but Teresa has been the focal point for the last six seasons, and I don’t expect that to change moving forward, assuming both sides can agree on a contract.”
“I know it is contrary to popular belief, but Melissa doesn’t hate Teresa and Teresa doesn’t hate Melissa,” he says. “Do they see eye-to-eye on everything? Absolutely not. Show me two sisters-in-law that do.”
“What you see on television are snippets of their life that are edited and pieced together to fit the format of the show. But the truth is they can and often do co-exist without any problems in their everyday lives. I think that the Teresa/Melissa dynamic makes for good television and will likely continue in season 7, but hopefully in a less dramatic fashion.”
“I have been told that Joe is in the process of reconfiguring their mortgage with the bank,” he says. “I do know that the house has been on the market for quite some time. I think they will either refinance their loan and keep the house or they will find a buyer and move into a new house. I do not envision a scenario in which their home will be foreclosed.”
“They are holding up surprisingly well, but they miss their mother terribly,” he says. “This is a very difficult situation, but this is a very strong family. I know the girls can’t wait to have their mother home.”
For more on Teresa Giudice’s life in prison, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday