Real Housewives of New Jersey's Joe Gorga Says Teresa Giudice's Time Behind Bars Has 'Brought Her Back'
"When I saw Teresa and she broke down and held me, that's how she used to be," he said after his first visit with her
The shift came on Sunday’s episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey: Teresa Checks In, the last in a three-part special, when Gorga was able to visit Giudice for the first time since she went away following a fraud conviction.
His six-month waiting period before being approved to visit her ended with a string of sleepless nights and anticipation.
“I have no emotion, I don’t know,” he said at one point, after his wife, Melissa, asked if he would be sad to see Giudice.
The two siblings, who grew up as “best friends,” have feuded in recent years.
“I can’t really say I miss much about my sister right now,” Gorga said in the episode, adding, “I miss the old Teresa, so I hope when she comes out, all this money and bulls— goes away and she realizes that, listen, ‘I don’t care about all, that’s nonsense. I care about family and that’s it.’ ”
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In the ride up, with Giudice’s husband, Joe, and her daughters, the family prepared Gorga for the reality of what he would see in prison – and how hard it would be to say goodbye to Giudice.
“Seeing his sister in there for the first time is definitely gong to be hard for him,” Giudice’s eldest daughter, Gia, told the camera.
The visit itself, which was not filmed, was full of tears, a visibly emotional Gorga later recounted for the camera.
“Nothing broke me, but this broke me,” he said. “I’m helpless. I couldn’t help her. I sat there for the first hour, tearing [up], crying. She grabbed my hand, she said, ‘It’s okay, I’m okay.’ ”
“When I saw Teresa and she broke down and held me, that’s how she used to be,” Gorga continued. “For the past seven, eight years, [that] kind of got lost. But I believe prison, I guess it brought her back.”
Seeing Giudice again was a stark reminder of what she’s been going through this year behind bars, Gorga said. And what she will return to in December.
“This visit definitely gave me a lot of hope,” he said. “Listen, we got the same blood, and no matter what, I’m there for you and she’ll be there for me.”