Teresa Giudice Jail: In her first broadcast interview after being freed from federal prison, “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Teresa Giudice claimed she faced awful living circumstances while detained and characterized it as “living in hell.”
“I mean there was mold in the toilets. There was not flowing water continually. The showers were very cold … I mean, the living circumstances were pretty bad. Like, horrible,” she stated in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Amy Robach that aired Tuesday on “Good Morning America.” “There were several evenings when we didn’t even have heat … It was — it was hell.”
Speaking from her New Jersey residence, the 43-year-old Giudice chatted to Robach about her money, her future, and her time in jail –- even working for 12 cents an hour in the kitchen.
The reality TV personality was released from the Federal Correctional Institution-Danbury, a minimum-security prison in Danbury, Connecticut, in December. She had completed 11 and a half months of a 15-month sentence there after pleading guilty to various counts that included conspiracy to conduct wire fraud and bankruptcy fraud.
Giudice’s husband, Joe, also pled guilty to federal charges that included concealing assets, submitting bogus loan applications, and failing to pay taxes. He’s slated to begin his own 41-month jail term in March.
Despite her guilty plea, when Robach questioned if she felt she was violating the law, Giudice said, “No.”
“There was no intent to commit a crime. I didn’t realize I was committing a criminal …,” Giudice told Robach. “I was sentenced. I was served time. I did what I had to do and now I’m getting beyond it.”
When she reported to jail, the mother of four daughters moved from a life of luxury and notoriety to life with the bare minimum as prisoner number 65703-050.
“It, you know, shattered my heart because, you know, I was always growing up the nice girl, always did everything right, checked every ‘t’, dotted every ‘i.’ And, you know, so that was … I felt sorry for my girls. And I was upset,” she added.
The Danbury facility where she was held has a reputation for being a so-called “country club” prison — that is, the sort of institution that houses white-collar offenders in relative luxury when contrasted with other jails.
Giudice argues Danbury was no country club. In addition to the housing circumstances she characterized as being “horrible,” she claimed she had no privacy. In fact, she called her shared room “the boom-boom chamber” since so many other convicts had sex there.
“When I initially came there I purchased headphones the following day … So thank God for commissary,” she continued, laughing. “But I simply got below the covers. And we had a fan in our room. Like, this massive fan. And they would put it on every single night, so you can’t hear anything.”
“I had a job in the kitchen. I scrubbed tables after breakfast. Three days a week, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. That was my job. I enjoyed my job,” she stated, adding that she earned 12 cents an hour.
She spent her money in the jail commissary. Because she claimed the jail only offered prisoners necessities – toilet paper and maxi pads — she had to purchase everything else she needed.