Joe Giudice Speaks Out for First Time Since His Flight to Italy: 'I've Learned a Valuable Lesson'
Teresa Giudice announced that she and Joe will "discuss everything that has been happening with us and our family the past few months" during a special Bravo sit-down interview with Andy Cohen on Sunday
“You just gotta look forward and never look back,” began Joe, 47.
“Life, it’s always better to look through the windshield and not through the rear view mirror,” he continued. “It’s a much bigger picture when you’re looking through the windshield. But at the end of the day, people make mistakes. Nobody’s perfect.”
Joe, who shares four daughters — Gia, 18, Gabriella, 15, Milania, 14, and Audriana, 10 — with wife Teresa Giudice, said that he’s “learned a valuable lesson” amid his deportation appeal.
“I’ve learned a valuable lesson from all this and I know my family is the most important thing to me, but it’s better that I’m out here than in there,” said Joe, who concluded with a message to his family: “I just want to let you know that I love you and I’m always here for you. You know that.”
The touching message comes the same day Teresa announced that she and Joe will sit down with Andy Cohen for a special Bravo episode airing this upcoming Sunday.
“Joe and I will be sitting down with @Andy to discuss everything that has been happening with us and our family the past few months,” tweeted Teresa, 47. “Tune in to a special ‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey Special Event: Joe and Teresa Unlocked’ airing Sunday at 8PM on @bravotv #RHONJ.”
Joe has been away from the home he shares with Teresa and their children since he began a 41-month prison sentence for mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud in March 2016.
He was released in March, after an immigration court ruled to deport Joe last October. (Though he has lived in the United States since he was a child, he never obtained American citizenship, and immigrants can be deported if they are convicted of “a crime of moral turpitude” or an “aggravated felony,” according to U.S. law.)
A petition to be released back to his home wasn’t granted, but a request to go to Italy was. Earlier this month, he was released from ICE custody and flew to Rome, where he has been spending time with family and FaceTiming his children.
“We are still fighting and it is his desire to return home to the United States to be reunited with his family,” his lawyer James J. Leonard Jr. said in a statement to PEOPLE.
In documents obtained by PEOPLE, lawyers for Joe said the father of four was hoping to get out so he could work to make money for his family.
They also stated that Joe is still hopeful his appeal will be granted, allowing him to come back to the United States. In the event that he does prevail in his case after he has been sent to Italy, Joe requests that ICE facilitate his return home.
A final ruling is expected in November.
RELATED VIDEO: Joe Giudice Asks Judge to Send Him to Italy as He Awaits Final Decision in Deportation Appeal
While Teresa has publicly stood by her husband thus far, she has also been realistic about the fate of their marriage should he be deported, admitting on the RHONJ season 9 reunion that she’s “not doing a long-distance relationship.”
On Wednesday, a clip for the upcoming season of RHONJ appeared to show Teresa admitting she “hooked up” with someone amid Joe’s deportation battle. Her lawyer later told PEOPLE that the full context of the clip shows that she was talking about someone she had kissed “more than 30 years ago when they were in high school together.”
The Real Housewives of New Jersey Special Event: Joe and Teresa Unlocked airs Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.