The usually snarky and snappy Watch What Happens Live dedicated Sunday’s episode to the legal woes facing The Real Housewives of New Jersey cast member Teresa Giudice, her husband, Joe, and their legal woes.

Roughly a month ago, the couple was charged with a 39-count federal indictment that includes conspiracy and fraud. They are facing a potential 50 years in prison. During WWHL, host Andy Cohen asked how the couple have been coping over the past month. Teresa said she’s sad and can’t believe this is happening to them. She said it’s like a dream, but I think the word she’s really looking for is nightmare. She said her focus is trying to be strong for her husband and her children.

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Damage Control

Joe and Teresa claimed to be surprised by the charges, but what else would they say? Gee, we know we’re crooks. It’s amazing they thought they could even forget to cross an ‘i’ on their tax returns given they’ve been living in the spotlight for years. Even once the charges were filed, Andy pointed out that they continued to make public appearances, travel and post family pictures. He questioned the motivation behind these actions, especially since most people would expect them to keep a low profile.

Teresa said she refused to crawl under a rock and hide because that’s not the type of person she is. She said that once they have their day in court, the public will see what kind of people she and Joe really are. Until then, she has no plans to run away. Joe said they pleaded not guilty for a reason. My guess is their lawyers are giving them some sound advice and urging them to go about their normal routine.

Their Daughters’ Futures

An obvious question is what happens to the couple’s four daughters if they are found guilty? Teresa’s not focusing on that now, stating she’s just focusing on her family. Cohen said that he’s certain anyone who’s a fan of the show must be wondering if the couple would let Joe and Melissa take care of the girls if it came down to that. Teresa skirted the question, but Joe made it clear that their children would wind up under the guardianship of Teresa’s brother and his wife. He stated they would most likely end up with members of his family, and said he didn’t even think his kids would want to go to live with Melissa and Joe given what they’ve heard them say about their parents.

Is Bravo to Blame?

The Giudices were asked if their castmates have been in contact, and Teresa replied with a yes. Cohen dug a bit deeper to gauge the level of support the couple was receiving from Melissa and Joe. Her husband quickly indicated that it wasn’t very much, but Teresa defended them by pointing out there’s really nothing that they, or anybody else, can do. It’s in the hand of the attorneys.

All the other petty personal conflicts highlighted on the show have fallen off the couple’s radar. Joe believes the show brought the charges on. He said if he was on the show, nobody would care. Cohen pointed out that a lot of the charges stemmed from before they even appeared on the show. He asked them if they regretted anything they said or did relating to this incident.

Teresa was reminded of her comment in season 1 that she didn’t want to live in “a used house.” She does regret how statements like that shaped her public persona. She said she started working at the age of 14, and that people took things she said the wrong way and had a different perception of who she really was.

Teresa has no plans to quit the show, but hopes the other women give her respect and understand that she can’t speak about legal issues. She didn’t want anyone jumping down her throat because there are things she simply can’t discuss. Teresa claimed that if the tables were turned, she would behave appropriately.

Ignorance is Not Bliss

Teresa maintained that she has no knowledge of her husband’s business dealings. According to Joe, the family’s finances are handled by accountants and attorneys. He was adamant that they hire people to handle their money. This begs the question, do they consider themselves victims of shady business practices? Teresa answered, “Obviously.”

Denial is a Couple in Jersey

The couple seemed in denial and unprepared to deal with some very real consequences. They appeared confident that the truth is on their side, and they don’t have to worry about Joe being deported or ending up in jail or someone else raising their children. They didn’t even admit to living beyond their means, which is ridiculous given the fact that they have two homes, one that is nauseatingly decadent, and that you never see Joe work. Their money woes became public knowledge  by season 2. Joe even refused to take any responsibility for anything regarding the charges. Even host Andy Cohen questioned whether they fully grasped the severity of their situation.

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(Image courtesy of Bravo)

Jennifer Lind-Westbrook

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Jennifer has worked as a freelance writer in the entertainment field since 2012. In addition to currently writing feature articles for Screen Rant, Jennifer has contributed content ranging from recaps to listicles to reviews for BuddyTV, PopMatters, TVRage, TVOvermind, and Tell-Tale TV. Links to some of Jennifer’s reviews can be found on Rotten Tomatoes.