“When Bravo was developing Jersey Housewives, I think he said, ‘Has the IRS ever come looking for anyone for doing any of these shows?’” Cohen, 51, explained on SiriusXM’s Radio Andyon Monday, October 28. “So he knew that he had something in his past. Even then.”
Joe and Teresa, both 47, sat down with the Real Housewives producer for a tell-all interview on Sunday, October 27. During the special, Joe admitted that he regrets joining the cast of the reality show, which premiered in 2009.
“I wish I never would have done it,” he told Cohen. “I had a great life before. The show just brought a lot of attention to us. Just having a house like that alone just brings a lot of attention. I’ve never had so many damn lawsuits in my life ’til I got on that show.”
Teresa, for her part, told Cohen that she doesn’t regret joining the franchise.
“Teresa always wanted to be on television,” Joe said. “She always wanted to be a movie star since she was a little girl. She got her wish, which is good.”
Five years after Joe and Teresa made their debut on Bravo, they pleaded guilty to several mortgage and bankruptcy fraud charges. After the Standing Strong author, who served 11 months in prison, was released in December 2015, Joe reported for his 41-month sentence.
During Sunday’s interview, Joe claimed he knew “who went to the feds” after Teresa suggested that her former costar Caroline Manzo had something to do with the investigation into the couple.
While Joe was in custody, a judge ordered for the former construction business owner, who moved to the United States when he was an infant, to be deported to his native Italy. Joe was subsequently released into ICE custody in March. After six months, he was granted permission to travel to Italy while his deportation appeal is decided.
“My mistake was I never became a citizen. That was stupid of me,” Joe admitted on Sunday. “But when you’re raised here as a kid, you do everything here, not [a] big deal. You’re not a criminal. Busted my ass my whole life. Believe me, I was a hard worker and wasn’t one of these guys who sat around doing nothing all day. That wasn’t me.”
Joe and Teresa, who wed in October 1999, share daughters Gia, 18, Gabriella, 15, Milania, 13, and Audriana, 10. When asked if they will stay together if Joe isn’t allowed back in the country, they both played coy.
“She’s my wife and I’ve been with her for a long time,” Joe said. “Known her since she was a kid. Baby, actually. So of course, I’ll always love her. No matter what happens, I’ll always love her.”
Teresa admitted that she doesn’t see their relationship “working” if Joe lives overseas.
“I don’t think that he would be faithful. I don’t,” the reality TV personality said. “I think he would have somewhere there and have me here. I don’t want to live that life. I just don’t.”