It is truly the end of an era now that Teresa and Joe Giudice, both 48, are officially divorced. The paperwork was finalized on Sept. 2, 2020, after the couple separated in Dec. 2019. Fans watched their sometimes rocky relationship on Real Housewives of New Jersey since it debuted on Bravo in May 2009. By that point the couple had been married for almost ten years and had three young daughters, with another on the way. But their relationship became strained and had many ups and downs. It eventually could not withstand Joe’s prison stint and subsequent deportation drama ahead of his move to Italy in 2019.
Teresa put up with a lot disrespectful behavior from Joe, as RHONJ viewers saw over the years. But she wanted to make the marriage work, especially for their children. Even after he called her incredibly cruel words during a season four trip to Napa, they ended up making up and doing the naughty among the vineyard’s vines. We’ve got Joe and Teresa’s timeline from childhood friends to marriage and then divorce.
Joe and Teresa Giudice marry in 1999 and start their family
Joe and Teresa tied the knot on October 23, 1999. They had known each other while growing up in New Jersey, meeting when Tre was just 14. The pair became husband and wife when both were 27-years-old. The newlyweds started a family right away, welcoming their first daughter Gia in January 2001. The arrival of second daughter Gabriella came in Oct. 2004. Hot on the heels of her birth, the Giudices became a family of five when their third daughter Milania was born on February 2, 2006. Their youngest Audriana rounded out the siblings with her Sept. 2009 birth, making her the baby of the family.
Before being cast on RHONJ, Teresa worked as an associate buyer at Macy’s in New York City, as she had a degree from Berkeley College majoring in Fashion Marketing and Management. Joe worked in construction and in the restaurant business.
Joe and Teresa become reality stars on ‘RHONJ’ in 2009
Bravo announced they were developing RHONJ in Apr. 2008, and the first season debuted on the network in May 2009. Teresa and Joe were reportedly discovered by a casting director as a result of her friendship with sisters Dina and Caroline Manzo, and their sister-in-law Jacqueline Laurita. Along with those three, Teresa and Danielle Staub would go on to round out the OG cast of RHONJ.
Teresa immediately became one of the most high profile Bravo celebs, thanks to her epic table flip at the end of season one. But rumors of Joe’s infidelity would arise during show reunions, where Teresa would try to keep a brave face, even when her cast-mates spilled on her private conversations. During an Oct. 2012 reunion, Jacqueline confronted Teresa said, “You told me…you walked in on your husband when he had someone on the desk in his office…You caught him with the secretary, babysitter.”
Joe behaves badly towards Teresa, but she forgives him
Who can forget the epic season four cast trip to Napa where Joe said such totally vile things about Teresa, only to end up having sex with her in a vineyard. Everyone was having a lovely al fresco dinner when Joe excused himself to make a phone call. He was heard saying “don’t tell me that” with sexy grunts to the person on the other end of the phone. Teresa got suspicious about the call and walked towards her husband.
“Hold on, here she comes. My bitch wife. She’s such a c**t. But anyway, I’m going to hang up,” Joe told his phone companion, rumored to be another woman. When Tre confronted him about who he was talking to, Joe said it was a worker and called his wife a “r*tard” and a “pain in the ass” to her face. Joe then faked a conversation in Italian with the alleged worker. Afterward he got Teresa to have sex with him among the vines! “I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach,” Teresa told In Touch magazine after later seeing the video of being called the “b” and c” word by Joe. “I was humiliated,” she added, and said that, “I’m not stupid. I will totally leave him (if it continues).”
Joe and Teresa go to prison
In July 2013, the couple was charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud and bankruptcy fraud. In March 2014, the pair struck a deal with federal prosecutors, where Teresa would serve her prison time first, followed by Joe, so that their four daughters would have at least one parent at home during their legal woes.
Teresa was sentenced to spend 15 months in the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut. She ended up getting released early, after only 11 months, in Dec. 2015. Tre then went back to filming RHONJ. Joe reported to prison in early 2016 to serve out his 41 month sentence. But upon his Mach 2019 release from PA’s Allenwood Low Federal Correctional Institution, he was immediately transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody to be deported to Italy. Joe’s parents had brought him to the U.S. and a child, and he never became a naturalized citizen.
Joe moves to Italy, alone
Being in I.C.E. custody proved to be as bad a prison, and Joe kept appealing his deportation case. He begged a judge to let him return home to be with Teresa and their kids while he fought the deportation order, but was denied. Joe eventually decided that freedom in Italy would be better than being behind bars in the U.S.. He flew to Italy in Oct. 2019 where he proceeded to start his new life without his family, as Teresa and their children were remaining in New Jersey.
Teresa and their daughters visited Joe in Italy in Nov. 2019, but by then the RHONJ star was no longer attracted to him. They had spent four years apart and Teresa refused to sleep with him, saying that it would be “kind of weird” to be in the same bed. bed. Joe later reflected on the moment in a Feb. 2020 Instagram post, as he realized that their marriage was over. “That was my moment of insight. I felt rejected. This is the first time while filming a scene, I had severe anxiety and grief. I was locked up for four years, any human would have a psychological impact of prison life,” he wrote. “This was the moment, I knew deep in my heart she was being difficult with me for a reason. My wife has never said no to sleeping with me. I had to walk away. I don’t have resentment against her (her emotions are justified). it was off guard should have been private.”
Teresa is done with Joe once and for all
The couple reportedly separated in Dec. 2019, upon Teresa’s return from Italy. She would later go on to tell Andy Cohen during the The Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion in March 2020, that she was not attracted to Joe when the finally reunited in Italy. “Did you have sex with him in Italy?” Andy asked to which Teresa said, “No.”
“Thank god Audriana slept with me every night,” Teresa continued. “She was supposed to stay with one of her sisters, but she wanted to stay with me, so it was a good c—kb locker.” Joe “was not happy,” with the arrangement, but what could he do? Teresa was over him and Joe had a new life of his own in Italy. Now that they are officially divorced, the former couple can truly move on with their own livess.