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Teresa Giudice Is Released From Prison After Nearly a Year Behind Bars

by Antoinette Bueno 3:09 AM PST, December 23, 2015
Playing Teresa Giudice Is Released From Prison After Nearly a Year Behind Bars

Teresa Giudice is a free woman.

ET confirms that The Real Housewives of New Jersey star was released from prison at 5:01 a.m. on Wednesday, just in time to spend Christmas with her husband, Joe, and their four daughters, Gia, Gabriella, Milania and Audriana. Teresa is out on early release after beginning her 15-month prison sentence on Jan. 5. She is to remain on house arrest until Feb. 5.

The 43-year-old Bravo star went directly from the Danbury Correctional Facility in Danbury, Connecticut, and arrived at her home in New Jersey by 7 a.m. A source tells ET that her outfit was picked out since last week.

WATCH: EXCLUSIVE -- Joe Giudice Opens Up About Teresa's Life Behind Bars -- She's Really Not OK

Earlier this month, a source told ET that there will be no "party" tonight to celebrate her homecoming. Rather, the Giudice family will enjoy a "low key" night. Teresa is excited to be home for Christmas with her parents, husband and children.  

"She's going to spend her first days at home with her husband, children and her parents," the source said. "Everything is going to be calm, intimate and quiet. She's going to spend a quiet Christmas with her family and she's really excited about that."

ET confirmed today that Teresa told Joe what to buy everyone for Christmas prior to her release, and he made sure all of the gifts were ready upon her return.

Gia tweeted upon her mother's return home: "Welcome back 😊."

Bravo's Andy Cohen also tweeted: "Welcome home @Teresa_Giudice! #RHONJ."

Teresa's attorney, James J. Leonard Jr., also confirmed to ET that the reality star will be spending Christmas Eve with her family at the home of her brother, Joe Gorga, and his wife, Melissa.

Both Teresa and her sister-in-law will return to The Real Housewives of New Jersey for it seventh season, a source close to the show told ET in September. Cameras will be rolling as she returns home from her prison sentence, the source also shared.

Teresa pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud in March 2014, including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and three counts of bankruptcy fraud. Next year, Joe will start serving his own 41-month prison sentence, after he also entered a guilty plea. The couple took a plea that would allow them to serve time separately, so that one of them would be able to care for their four children while the other parent is serving time.

Teresa and Joe are accused of earning more than $5 million from their fraudulent behavior.

WATCH: Teresa Giudice Files Malpractice Suit, Blames Lawyer for Her Incarceration

ET caught up with both Joe, 43, and the couple's 14-year-old daughter, Gia, in October, when they dished about eagerly awaiting Teresa's homecoming after nearly a year of being away.

"I honestly think it's going to be emotional," Gia said. "But it's going to be, like, good emotional. Like, happy."

"Nothing gets easier, you know? It's always a pain in the ass without her here," Joe added about missing his wife. "You know, when she was here it was a lot easier."

Here's the interview: 

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