Teresa Giudice and Joe Giudice were childhood sweethearts, and were married for 20 years before separating late last year

By Dave Quinn
January 01, 2020 09:00 PM
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Teresa Giudice made a shocking new revelation about her marriage to Joe Giudice on Wednesday’s Real Housewives of New Jersey.

During a heated argument over the phone with Joe, the mother of four revealed that he had required her to sign a prenuptial agreement before the two walked down the aisle back in 1999 — something she was reluctant to do at the time.

“You made me sign a prenup, okay!” Teresa, 47, told Joe, 49.

“A week before we were getting married, Joe asked me to sign a prenup and I just felt when you love someone, you don’t do that,” Teresa then explained in a confessional.

Though she said she “wasn’t going to go through with it,” Teresa stressed that she couldn’t imagine actually cancelling their nuptials. “Being Italian, I have old school parents, and it’s an embarrassing thing to call off a wedding,” Teresa said.

Instead, she agreed to sign it on one condition: that a clause be added voiding the prenup if there was ever infidelity.

“I didn’t even read it, I just said, ‘I want you to put one thing in there. If you ever cheat, the prenup is void,'” Teresa said.

Teresa Giudice and Joh Giudice
| Credit: Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images for Mount Airy Casino Resort

Teresa and Joe, who were childhood sweethearts, went on to tie the knot in 1999 and parent four children: Gia, 18, Gabriella, 15, Milania, 14, and Audriana, 10.

Just in December, a source close to the family exclusively told PEOPLE the two had come to the decision to separate, but were not yet making any plans for divorce.

“They agreed that each had to move on,” the insider said. “They are doing so amicably and very slowly. Joe has been out on a few dates, Teresa has not. She has been too busy with the girls, with work obligations and taking care of her father. She is happy for Joe. They have been very friendly with one another and are very supportive of each other’s happiness. They still love one another, but … neither is interested in a long distance relationship.”

The Giudices have been living apart since March 2016, when Joe began his 41-month prison sentence for mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud (Teresa had served a little over 11 months in prison for the same crimes, and was released on Dec. 23, 2015).

Though Joe was released in March 2019, he chose to move into the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the Clinton County Correctional Center in Pennsylvania as he fought to appeal a judge’s deportation order. (He has lived in the United States since he was a child, but never obtained American citizenship.)

The Giudices
| Credit: Joe Giudice/ Instagram

That’s where he was when talking to Teresa on Wednesday’s RHONJ, calling her while she and Gia shopped for her prom dress.

He sounded aggravated, too, when Teresa brought the prenup up, responding with his own shocking revelation. “All right, you want me to say it now? You and this stupid prenup that you keep bringing up? I didn’t want to get married, all right?” he told Teresa.

At the time Joe said that, the two were in the midst of an argument, triggered by jokes Joe made about Teresa’s spending.

“You got nothing to do, all you do is go shopping and you spend money,” Joe said on the phone, telling their daughter Gia, “Your mother is like Robin Hood. She takes from her husband and spends it all on the stores. … The money that you spend on nails and hair, you’d be able to retire on!”

That line annoyed Teresa, who had famously worked to pull her family out of debt after their financial decisions sent them each to prison.

“I’m not taking from my husband, though,” Teresa said. “You haven’t been here in three years. How am I spending your money? I’m working on my own, busting my a–, trying to take care of our four daughters. You didn’t leave me with millions in the bank account, you left me with nothing. I paid off all our debt, taking care of our four daughters, and doing it all by myself. And I’m spending a lot of money on lawyers.”

“What do you want from me?” Joe snapped back. “I can also just pick up and leave.”

The Giudices
| Credit: Gia Giudice/Instagram

Eventually, Gia was able to squash the beef between her parents — telling audiences in her confessional that she wished her mother would give her father a break.

“Honestly, they’re good at aggravating each other, but when he lashes out, I just wish my mom would keep quiet because he’s fighting for his life in there,” Gia said.

Teresa appeared to understand that. “Joe’s losing his mind in ICE. He calls constantly and every phone call turns into a fight,” she said. “Normally I wouldn’t talk about Joe in front of the girls but sometimes I do snap at them because it just gets to that point.”

The conditions in ICE did eventually get so bad for Joe that he requested to go to Italy to await his third and final deportation appeal.

He flew to Europe in October, where he’s currently awaiting the final decision in his deportation battle. Teresa took the girls over there in November for a family visit. Joe’s daughters were back with him over Christmas, though Teresa stayed in New Jersey to take care of her ailing father.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Wednesdays (8 p.m. ET) on Bravo.