'Real Housewives' Star Teresa Giudice Didn't Know Plea Meant Prison

By Brett Snider, Esq. on October 07, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

"Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Teresa Giudice is having second thoughts about her guilty plea now that she's facing prison time.

It seems strange, but several months after Teresa and Joe Giudice pleaded guilty to bankruptcy fraud, Teresa is ready for a do-over. According to E! News, the reality show mother and wife told Bravo's Andy Cohen that she "didn't understand" the part of her plea agreement where she'd be sent to prison.

What exactly didn't Teresa understand?

Teresa to Serve 15 Months in Prison

Both Teresa and her husband were facing serious fraud charges in federal court, and they both accepted plea deals in order to receive more lenient sentences. Husband Joe is being allowed to serve his sentence after Teresa, in order to allow one parent to care for their four young children.

Despite this leniency by the court, Teresa was still sentenced to 15 months in prison -- which was more than half the 27 months she was facing for her fraud conviction. So it's surprising to hear that she was in the dark about the fact that she would have to serve some time. E! reports that Teresa still maintains that she "didn't fully understand" the conditions of her guilty plea, saying that she put her blind faith in her attorneys. "Whatever they wanted, I gave them," the convicted "Housewives" star told Cohen.

Teresa, like other criminal defendants, may be able to file a motion to withdraw her plea, claiming she did it involuntarily or without fully understanding the terms. However, given the cherry deal that prosecutors and the court have crafted for her and her husband, she's probably just going to have to take her medicine.

TV Appearance Paid for Restitution

Teresa and Joe may have had ulterior motives for appearing on Cohen's "Watch What Happens Live" for an interview -- paying off their $400,000 in restitution. TMZ reports that the convicted couple was paid $325,000 for the two-on-one interview with Cohen, although Bravo has disputed that amount.

Regardless, Teresa and Joe were certainly paid something to appear on Bravo, and that money will go a long way to paying off their court-ordered $414,000 in restitution.

Meantime, Teresa may want to prepare herself for proper conduct in prison; shouting "prostitution whore!" and flipping tables simply isn't done.

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