Teresa Giudice has remained mostly silent after a judge ruled that her husband Joe Giudice would be deported to Italy following his prison sentence. But on Sunday, the Real Housewives of New Jersey star made her first public appearance in the wake of the news and had a simple message for fans.
Appearing before a crowd at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut — on a panel of Bravo stars that included Real Housewives of Orange County‘s Tamra Judge and Kelly Dodd as well as Real Housewives of New York City‘s Dorinda Medley — the mother of four looked to be good spirits while remaining mum about details of her husband’s legal issues, save for one quick statement.
“Everybody, please pray for my family that my husband Joe gets to come home see our daughter Gia graduate,” she said, according to a source at the scene. “And that’s all I’m going to say.”
Though Teresa failed to give any indication as to what’s next for the Giudice family, her daughters have been vocal about Joe, 48, on social media.
“Let’s fight this,” Gia, 17, wrote on Instagram earlier this month, captioning a since-deleted video created by a man named Fred Rubino that called for an appeal of Joe’s impending deportation to his native Italy.
She then shared a throwback photo to her Instagram Story of herself as a little girl holding onto Joe’s shoulders. “This is one of my favorite pictures of me and my dad,” Gia wrote. “My father is no threat to society he is one of the most warm hearted people I know. He would never harm a soul. He puts everyone else before himself.”
“I know who my father is and I think many of you do too,” Gia added. “My father did his time and learned from his mistakes. Isn’t being in there supposed to make you realize your mistakes so you can become a better person? And that’s exactly what my father did. He hasn’t felt or looked this good since he was in his 30’s. We have so many plans to do as a family when he gets out. I need my father to be here. My father belongs with us and his entire family. My father came into this country when he was one years old, the United States is the only country he knows, spread the word #bringjoehome.”
Milania, 12, also suggested the Giudice family would be fighting their patriarch’s deportation. She shared two father-daughter portraits of the pair smiling together on Instagram and penned an emotional note praising her father, whom she described as “the best dad in the world.”
“My dad, who is the best dad in the world, needs to come home,” she wrote. “We aren’t done fighting dad. I can’t believe this is happening. I can’t imagine another day without you.”
“We are gonna do everything we can to fight this daddy!! I love you with all my heart buddy,” Milania continued, adding multiple heart emojis as well as “#heartbroken.”
An immigration court ruled on Oct. 10 that Joe, who emigrated to America as a child but never obtained citizenship, will be deported to his home country of Italy upon his release from prison.
Joe is currently serving out a 41-month prison sentence for mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud that began in March 2016. He is set to be released in 2019. His wife served a little over 11 months in prison for the same crimes and was released on Dec. 23, 2015.
According to U.S. law, immigrants can be deported from the U.S. if they are convicted of “a crime of moral turpitude” or an “aggravated felony.”
Joe has 30 days to appeal the court’s decision.
Meanwhile, Teresa’s appearance at Mohegan Sun on Sunday comes on the heels of a tough day for the reality star.
On Saturday, she paid tribute to her late mother Antonia on Instagram in a touching tribute. “Happy Birthday to my beautiful mother in heaven,” Teresa wrote. “Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you, miss you & wish you were here. Thank you for watching over us, daddy, the girls & I miss you so much! #oct20”
Joe Gorga, Teresa’s brother, also honored his mother with a photo and simple message, writing, “Happy birthday mommy, I love you.”