Joe Giudice's Prison Sentence Is Far From Over

by Kayla Hawkins

After serving almost a year in prison, Teresa Giudice's homecoming will be shown in The Real Housewives of New Jersey Season 7 premiere, but her family's reunion unfortunately won't last long. Her husband, Joe Giudice is currently serving his prison sentence after pleading guilty to bankruptcy fraud and other charges of fraud. But how long will Joe Giudice be in prison? He was given a sentence of 41 months, just short of four years, and since surrendering himself in March, he's served around four months of it.

According to Us Weekly, after just a few days, Joe had five months subtracted from his sentence. So rather than his expected August 2019 release date, he's now reportedly planned to be released in March 2016, which means he'll be back with his family that much sooner. Joe's lawyer, James J. Leonard, Jr., also explained to Bravo that it's common for inmates to only serve 85 percent of the time that they were sentenced to, and that sometimes a sentence can be finished with home confinement, so it's possible that Joe could be released even sooner. However, Leonard, Jr. did not give any details abut Joe's likely release date.

Whatever that date ends up being, it can't come soon enough for the Giudice family, because Teresa and her four daughters have been struggling to adjust to life with their father at home everyday. Just days before the premiere of RHONJ Season 7, Teresa got emotional in an interview with ABC about Joe's absence. Even though it's been difficult, Tre is keeping positive, saying, "He's gonna be home, we're gonna be together, and that's what I'm looking forward to." And at one point in the interview, which you can watch below, Teresa gets so overwhelmed that she begins to cry and asks to temporarily pause it.

In the same Bravo article, Teresa gave a statement about how grateful she was for all the support from her fans, and how it was helping her get through what must no doubt be a challenging time for her and the whole Giudice family. She said in a taped statement to the network:

"I just want to say thank you so much to all my fans out there. All your love and support means the world to me and my family. It has been a difficult week for us, but we're making it through, thank god. ... And I just want to say thank you again from the bottom of my heart for being there, and for all your beautiful tweets. Love, love, love you from my family to yours."

In the meantime, Teresa is still talking to Joe every single day, as she told ABC, and emails him frequently between in-person visits. The prison sentences aren't easy for the family, but it hasn't put a strain on their relationship. And, surprisingly, in Joe's absence, Teresa has turned to the one person who you'd never think that she could be close with again — her sister-in-law, Melissa Gorga. According to Tre's ABC interview, "it's like how it used to be" between the in-laws. That should certainly make for a totally different vibe on Season 7 of RHONJ, since the two have had a contentious relationship for years now.

While Joe Giudice probably won't be released from prison for the next three or so years, already, his imprisonment has had a huge effect on his family. And if these tough times can repair Teresa and Melissa's relationship, they should be able to get through anything.