RHONJ's Teresa Giudice Says Her Daughters Are 'Fine' with Her and Joe Giudice's Separation
On the latest episode of Bravo’s digital RHONJ After Show posted on Wednesday, the reality star opened up about how daughters Gia, 19, Gabriella, 15, Milania, 14, and Audriana, 11, handled the news that she and Joe were going their separate ways after 20 years of marriage.
Turns out, while the bombshell news made headlines in December when PEOPLE exclusively reported it, things were much quieter on the homefront.
“They were fine with it. They didn’t say anything,” Teresa said. “They had nothing to say. I guess if they were not happy with it, I would have heard about it. I didn’t hear anything so, I’m happy about that. No news is good news.”
“It’s been a long time [coming],” she added.
Teresa, 47, and Joe, 49, were childhood sweethearts, tying the knot back in 1999.
They remained thick as thieves for years, even standing by one another when they pled guilty to mail, wire, and bankruptcy fraud in October 2014. But during Joe’s 41-month prison sentence — which began in March 2016, months after Teresa returned from serving 11 months of her own — things started to shift for the pair, with Teresa acknowledging the resentment she felt towards Joe for getting her into their legal troubles.
She first opened up about those feelings in her 2017 novel Standing Strong, and later on RHONJ‘s eighth season. Adding to her pain was the fact that she lost nearly a year of time spent with her mother Antonia Gorga, who died in March 2017 after a battle with pneumonia at age 66.
It also didn’t help that Joe was often bitter towards her, especially in the months he spent living in an ICE facility as he fought his order of deportation (he has since moved to Italy, where he is awaiting his final appeal). Fans got to see that behavior during season 10, where Joe made a number of shocking comments towards Teresa, including the fact that he didn’t want to even get married to her and that he felt nothing towards her.
All eventually came to a head in November, when Teresa took the girls to visit Joe in Salerno, Italy. Their family reunion, the first time all had been together in nearly four years, was captured by the Bravo cameras and aired on Wednesday’s RHONJ.
During the visit, Teresa told Joe that she was ready to move on.
“The past five years have been really dark,” she told him. “You’ve said a lot of hurtful things to me. It just makes me think about a lot of things. You marry someone, they’re supposed to protect you. I trusted you and then you made s— happen.”
As angry as she was, Joe couldn’t accept responsibility for his actions. “My crime was a bogus crime,” he said. “People don’t even do time for that kind of crap.”
That didn’t help Teresa. “It’s so infuriating to me, after four years of us both doing time, he still had not taken responsibility for what he’s done,” she told audiences. “He hasn’t changed.”
In the end, both insisted that they didn’t want there to be tension between the two of them.
“Never in a million years would I ever want to hurt you,” Teresa said. “I hope you know that, right? I just want you to know that no matter what, I just want you to be happy endlessly.”
“The same goes to you,” Joe said.
Teresa then looked forward to her own future. “The last five years, we’ve been through a lot,” she reflected. “Of course I put everyone else’s needs before my own. Now that this is closed, I can start thinking about what makes Teresa happy.”
As for the future, both have stayed supportive of one another on social media.
“Teresa and I were not perfect but we do have ❤️ and ✊ for each other,” Joe said on Instagram earlier this month.
“Whatever happens in our future, remember we were friends to begin with,” he’s also said. “We will always stay strong. It’s not distance that breaks a couple, it’s actions!.”
A source told PEOPLE in December that the pair haven’t divorced yet, and are focusing on their family.
“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.”