“If we stay together, we stay together. If we don’t, we don’t,” Joe said of the couple going their separate ways. “We’ll see.”
The former businessman admitted that he has even given his wife dating advice, telling her that she needs to find a rich man because she’s “high-maintenance.”
Teresa and Joe, both 47, have been in the headlines since they pleaded guilty to fraud charges in May 2014. After the Real Housewives of New Jersey star was released in December 2015 following 11 months in prison, Joe began his 41-month sentence. While he was in custody, a judge ordered the former construction business owner to be deported to his native Italy upon his release.
In the candid hour-long interview, Teresa teared up a number of times as they discussed their respective jail sentences and the damaging effect it has had on their marriage and their children. But while Teresa and the couple’s four daughters are set to fly to Italy to see Joe, she admitted that she’s “nervous” about their reunion.
“I’m going to be honest with you, I haven’t seen him in three years and eight months,” she told Cohen. “I do love him as a person. I don’t know how I’m going to feel when I see him.”
Teresa admitted that she hadn’t felt in love with Joe when she saw him in prison and hadn’t even kissed him during their visits because of “the whole environment.” She added that she has changed a lot and they’re “both different people now.”
The couple also discussed cheating allegations, with Teresa pointing out that Joe had stepped out with women while she was in prison, and her husband admitting that he knew about her being seen with a younger man earlier this year.
Joe said he thought Teresa had cheated on him, while the cookbook author fired back that while she was faithful to Joe, she didn’t think he was faithful to her. “If I was trying to hide it, I wouldn’t leave my hotel room,” she said of his allegation that she cheated on him with New Jersey real estate agent Blake Schreck.
When Cohen pointed out that the pair were talking about their relationship as if it was over, Joe said, “If that’s what she wants, then I’m fine with that.”
The twosome, who have been married for more than 20 years, share daughters Gia, 18, Gabriella, 15, Milania, 13, and Audriana, 10. The family has been fighting for Joe to be able to stay in the United States for more than a year. Six months after he was released into ICE custody in March, Joe was granted permission to travel to Italy while his deportation appeal is decided. He arrived overseas earlier this month.
Shortly after Joe left the country, an insider told Us Weekly that Teresa and the kids are planning to visit “sooner rather than later.”
Us caught up with the Bravo star earlier this month.
“It’s like I have to be the mom and the dad,” Teresa told Us about Joe, who was still in ICE custody at the time of the interview. “So I’m doing it all by myself. Everything. Taking care of the house, the kids, my dad lives with me, just everything. Being the breadwinner, doing it all.”
Back in March, Teresa admitted on the RHONJ season 9 reunion that she would leave Joe if he was indeed deported.
“I’m not doing a long-distance relationship. I’m not doing it,” she said at the time. “You know, I want somebody with me every day. I know exactly what happens. You know, I’m sure he’ll be with other women. It happens. We do the long-distance thing, it’s not going to work.”