Two judges approved the 47-year-old’s request to go to his native Italy while the court makes the final decision in his deportation case on Thursday. The decision comes two weeks after Joe filed documents expressing his desire to return to Italy — the same country he’s facing deportation to — to start earning money for his family.
“[Joe wants to] begin working and contributing financially to his wife and four kids,” his lawyer, James Leonard, said in the docs obtained by Us.
Joe’s battle to stay in the country began nearly one year ago when a judge ordered the former construction business owner to be deported to Italy as he served a 41-month prison sentence for fraud. Joe was released into ICE custody in March after he completed his stint in jail. Last month, Joe appeared in court via video conference for his bail hearing in Pennsylvania. Teresa, 47, was in attendance. His bail was denied.
Teresa and Joe, who will celebrate 20 years of marriage this month, share four daughters: Gia, 18, Gabriella, 14, Milania, 13, and Audriana, 9. The Real Housewives of New Jersey star, who previously said she would leave Joe if he was indeed deported, recorded an emotional video about the situation in June.
“If he gets deported, he’ll never be able to go to their graduation[s], celebrate their birthdays, anything. He’s going to be missing out on so much,” Teresa said in a video released by Bravo Insider on June 20. “The girls adore their father and no child should have to go through what my daughters are going through. They should have their daddy here.”
Days later, Joe was indeed absent when Gia celebrated her high school graduation. In August, Teresa dropped her eldest daughter off at Rutgers University for her freshman year.
“I’m excited for her,” the reality TV personality told Us Weekly in June. “Growing up, I wasn’t allowed to go away to college, so I’m excited for her. I’m happy. I’m proud of her. She’s an amazing kid. She’s excited too. … It’s her next journey.”
It hasn’t been all sorrow for Teresa, however. The Bravo star was spotted with a younger man on vacation in Miami in January. More recently, Teresa showed off her toned body during a trip to Mykonos, Greece, in August.