Teresa was sentenced to 15 months in prison on Thursday, October 2, for charges including bank fraud, mail and wire fraud and bankruptcy fraud, while her husband Joe Giudice was ordered to serve 41 months in jail and must pay $414,000 in restitutions.
Though some speculated that Teresa would not serve any jail time at all, things didn't work out that way.
Teresa and Joe took to Bravo's Watch What Happens Live to give their candid reaction to the surprising sentence.
"I was so nervous ... and I was shaking," Teresa told host Andy Cohen in an interview recorded the day after the court hearing. "My nerves were pulling. At one point, I couldn't even move my fingers, they were, like, stuck. ... Like, my nerves were shot. You know, I've had sleepless nights. I was shocked. I mean, it was very unexpected."
Joe called the sentencing devastating. "I actually felt like I got hit in the back of the neck with a bat," he said.
As for criticism that Teresa seems to be in denial about her fraud crimes, Teresa clarified her comments in court that she "needs to wake up."
"I do need to read things before I sign them," she said. "I do need to understand things before I sign them. I'm a trustworthy person, and sometimes I take what people say and I just believe them, and I trust them. And I can't do that anymore."
As for how she plans to face being behind bars, she told the host, "I'm going to do fine [in prison]. I don’t care about [my appearance]. I'll just slick my hair back and go about my day."
Cohen asked the reality star if she was worried about her temper of which she responded, "Not at all. I've grown since then, and I'm not that same person."
She says her biggest fear is that her four "daughters are okay" while she's serving her sentence, which begins Jan. 5. The couple will have staggered sentences so they can look after their children. "It's going to be a lot of work, but they are my daughters, and I gotta do what I gotta do," said Joe, who noted that he plans to bring his daughters to visit their mother in prison twice a week. "I guess I'll be the housewife."
Joe and Teresa, both 42, put up a united front during their special appearance on the Bravo show, holding hands throughout the interview.
Joe also took responsibility for the fraud charges, telling the court Thursday, "I stand here humiliated before the court and my family and society. I disgraced many people, including my wife and four daughters. I take full responsibility for my actions. I promise to be a better person."
Teresa added, "A lot of the things that [the judge] said … really hit home. It bothered me so … I am just going to take it and become a better person."