Teresa Giudice Says Mother's Death Was 'a Thousand Times Harder' Than Going to Prison

In her upcoming memoir, the Real Housewives of New Jersey star opens up about her marriage, which is "going to shock some people, including my husband, but it's how I feel"

Spending a year in federal prison was no match for the pain Teresa Giudice felt after losing her mother, Antonia Gorga, who died in March at age 66.

“I thought going away was hard, but losing my mom was a thousand times harder,” the Real Housewives of New Jersey star tells PEOPLE.

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PEOPLE can exclusively debut the cover of Standing Strong, the reality TV star’s upcoming memoir that she says is more revealing and emotional than ever.

“This book is very personal for me,” she says. “It was difficult to write, particularly the part about losing my mother.”


Standing Strong picks up where her first memoir — the 2016 New York Times bestselling Turning the Tables: From Housewives to Inmate and Back Again (penned with PEOPLE’s K.C. Baker) — left off.

Debuting Oct. 3, her second memoir details her life since her December 2015 release from a minimum-security federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut, after serving 11 months for fraud.

The yoga-loving star, 45, talks about raising her four daughters, Gia, Gabriella, Milania and Audriana as a single mother, since her husband, Joe, is in federal prison serving out his own 41-month sentence for fraud.

In the book, she says, “I talk a lot about my relationship with Joe. I don’t think I have ever been more honest about my true feelings regarding my marriage. I think my honesty is going to shock some people, including my husband, but it’s how I feel.”

But not every page of the book focuses on the darker times she has faced in the past year.

“There is a healthy dose of Housewives gossip,” she says.

One of her favorite chapters, she says, “is about my dealings with the Trump family both during Celebrity Apprentice and after I came home. One of the first people to reach out to me when I came home was Ivanka.”

The memoir also shows how she manages to work and raise her daughters in the midst of controlled, suburban chaos. “It’s a lot like my life,” she says. “It’s all over the place, but it’s primarily centered around my family, much like The Real Housewives of New Jersey is.

“One minute you’re in New Jersey, the next your in Boca Raton, Las Vegas, Puerto Rico or Italy. It was a busy year indeed with lots of ups and downs but here I am, Standing Strong.”

The Real Housewives of New Jersey returns later this year on Bravo.

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