Teresa Giudice Recalls 'Horrible' Prison Conditions: It Was Like 'Living in Hell'
By Jackie Willis
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Teresa Giudice on Life Behind Bars: 'It Was Hell'
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Teresa Giudice insists that the Danbury Correctional Facility in Connecticut was anything but a "country club" prison.
The 43-year-old Real Housewives of New Jersey star was released from custody in December after serving 11 and a half months of a 15-month sentence. She says her time behind bars was like "living in hell."
"I mean, there was mold in the bathrooms. There was not running water constantly. The showers were freezing cold. I mean, the living conditions were really horrible. Like, horrible," she told ABC News' Amy Robach in an interview that aired Tuesday on Good Morning America. "There were some nights that we didn't even have heat. It was -- it was hell."
In her new memoir, Turning the Tables: From Housewife to Inmate and Back Again, Teresa shares that she called her living area in prison the "boom-boom room" because that was where her fellow inmates went to have sex. "When I first got there I bought headphones the next day. So, thank God for commissary," she told Robach. "I just went underneath the blanket. And we had a fan in our room. Like, this huge fan. And they would put that on every single night, so you can't hear anything."
Teresa said that the drama on her Bravo reality show is nothing compared to what she saw behind bars. "Believe me, I got pointed at and they were trying to start drama with me. But I just walked away," she recalled. "Let me tell you, when you go to prison it's a whole different -- there's a lot of drama. That's all there is, is drama. And I never lived with so many women in my life before. They thrive on drama. It was crazy to me."
One silver lining for Teresa was working for 12 cents an hour in the prison kitchen. "I wiped tables after breakfast. Three days a week, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday," she said, adding that her first paycheck was $1.60. "That was my job. I loved my job."
Teresa served her time after pleading guilty to four counts of fraud in March 2014, including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and three counts of bankruptcy fraud. This year, her husband, Joe Giudice, will start serving his own 41-month prison sentence, as he also entered a guilty plea. Teresa and Joe were permitted to serve their time separately, so that one of them would be able to care for their four children while the other parent was serving time.
Even after all that's gone on, Teresa says she never thought she was breaking the law. "There was no intent to commit a crime. I didn't know I was committing a crime," she said. "I got sentenced. I got served time. I did what I had to do and now I'm moving past it."
ET's Jen Peros was one the first to get an interview with Teresa after she was released from prison. "Everything is going good," Teresa said during her first red carpet appearance following her release. "Really good."