"Putting your life and putting yourself on reality television, the risks are obvious, they are well-known, especially if you have something to hide," Andy Cohen said

By Jodi Guglielmi
October 29, 2019 09:56 AM
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Andy Cohen is not taking any blame for Joe and Teresa Giudice‘s legal situation.

Cohen, 51, opened up about his sit-down interview with the Real Housewives of New Jersey couple following Joe’s release from prison on Sunday, saying he doesn’t feel any “guilt” about the reality show potentially putting a spotlight on their lives.

“I don’t have any guilt,” he said on his SiriusXM Radio Andy show, Andy Cohen Live. “This is a voluntary process. Putting your life and putting yourself of reality television, the risks are obvious, they are well-known, especially if you have something to hide.”

As fans recall, Teresa served a little over 11 months in prison for mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud and was released on Dec. 23, 2015. Joe began his 41-month sentence for the same crimes in March 2016.

Joe, 49, who was born in Italy, was released from prison after more than three years behind bars in March. Months earlier, an immigration court had ruled to deport him once he became a free man. (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.)

Andy Cohen with Teresa and Joe Giudice
| Credit: Peter Kramer/Bravo/Getty Images

On Oct. 11, he was freed from ICE custody and flew to Italy, where he has been spending time with family and FaceTiming his children.

During the Watch What Happens Live special, Joe and Teresa discussed the current state of their marriage. While they both claimed to be faithful during their time apart, they were honest about the possibility of divorce.

Credit: Bravo

“I want the best for him. I want him to happy and I want him to be successful. But I don’t know if we could stay together, him living across the country,” said Teresa, 47.

So how did Cohen feel during the tense conversations? It was “uncomfortable” and “super awkward,” he said.

Cohen also claimed that Joe had asked a telling question.

“When Bravo was developing Jersey Housewives, I think he said, ‘Has the IRS ever come looking for anyone for doing any of these shows?’ So he knew that he had something in his past, even then,” he said.

Though Cohen said he didn’t have any problems pressing the couple on various topics, he did walk away from the interview with one regret: not defending Caroline Manzo.

During the interview, an old video of Manzo predicting that Joe would go to prison and Teresa would divorce him was shown to the couple.

“How could she predict that?” Teresa asked of her former Real Housewives of New Jersey costar. “Could she have anything to do with what happened to Joe and I? Is she a rat? With her saying that? Those words would never come out of my life, regarding anybody. Maybe [she called the feds]! Those words would never come out of my mouth.”

Cohen said he wishes he had stepped in and corrected Teresa.

“I did regret not saying to Teresa … because she was saying all this horrible stuff about Caroline, but Caroline’s never been to jail, Caroline has never committed a crime,” he said. “I brought up … and it just hit me, it was not anything I had planned on asking her, but as I was sitting I realized that I remember Caroline making a prediction five years ago. Her prediction was that Joe was gonna go to prison, Teresa was gonna get strong and independent, and then was gonna divorce.”

Manzo, who has not appeared on the Bravo series since season 5, teased a response to Teresa’s accusations on Monday.

“I don’t typically dance and sing this early in the morning, but I have to laugh. I couldn’t find the word ‘beautifulest’ anywhere, I’m sorry,” she said in an Instagram post. “But you’ll be hearing from me soon.”