Teresa Giudice admits she was "not at all" prepared when she turned herself in at Danbury Correctional Facility in Connecticut over a year ago. In fact, she remembers feeling "numb."
"When you first get there, they strip search you. You have to bend down, cough, something I had never done before. I felt humiliated," she told host Andy Cohen on Tuesday's Watch What Happens Live. "I get to my room. I met the other girls in my room. They were really nice."
While Teresa says her inmates were kind to her, she did have a problem adjusting to the prison's living conditions. "I look at my bed. ...There was urine stains, blood stains on the mattress. It was disgusting," she recalled of her first day behind bars. "By the time I get to my room, it was like 4:30 a.m. Pretty much after my bed was made, everyone was sleeping in my room."
During her Monday interview with Good Morning America, the 43-year-old Bravo star said that working in the kitchen helped occupy her time. She also told Cohen that being able to work out three times a day also helped her get through being locked up.
"The worst thing was being away from my daughters and Joe of course," the mother-of-four said. "[I was] just focusing on my daughters. I felt like I was dying. ....I wanted to every weekend do something special with them. Especially my little baby. I didn't want her to forget me. She was five years old at the time and that's how I was feeling.”
While she was away, there were rumors that her husband, Joe Giudice, had been unfaithful but The Real Housewives of New Jersey star says their relationship is in a good place. "I think by now, you know me," she said. "If I didn't want to be with Joe, I wouldn't be with Joe. If Joe didn't want to be with me, he wouldn't be with me."
She added, "We're just taking it day by day and just focusing on our children right now."
Teresa -- who is currently promoting her memoir, Turning the Tables: From Housewife to Inmate and Back Again -- 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, Joe 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 is serving time.
"I'm more worried about Joe than I was about myself," she told Cohen tearfully.
Teresa says even after all they've been through, she doesn't hold any resentment towards her husband. "I live with the man. I know he didn't mean to harm me in any way," she said. "He took full responsibility. The government saw it a different way. What else can we do?"
When asked if she comprehends why she was put behind bars, Teresa said that, at first, she didn't understand because she'd "never been in trouble before."
"I signed papers without reading them and before I ever do that again. I’m going to make sure whatever I put my John Hancock on, that I understand fully before signing any other papers in the future and I plead guilty to what I did," she insisted. "I got sentenced. I served eleven and half months. I apologized to the judge. I did my time."
Teresa added, "My restitution is paid, thank God."