Teresa Giudice is an American reality TV personality best known for her appearance on Real Housewives of New Jersey. Her reality TV fame has helped her become a New York Times bestselling author. She’s gone on to try her hands in other ventures including establishing several flourishing businesses. But before this, she was a writer for a newspaper outlet who had no hope of changing her destiny until she decided to do more and change her life.
Looking Back On Teresa Giudice’s Start In Life
Giudice was born Teresa Gorga on May 18, 1971, in Paterson, New Jersey to Italian immigrant parents. She is a graduate of Berkeley College where she studied fashion marketing. After college, she worked as an associate buyer for Macy’s and later became a contributor to Vogue Magazine.
She became widely known in 2009 as one of the main cast members in the first season of Real Housewives of New Jersey (RHONJ). Alongside NeNe Leakes of the Atlanta version, Teresa is considered one of the breakout stars produced by the Real Housewives franchise.
On the show, Teresa and her husband Joe Giudice attracted much attention from fans, which played a part in raising its viewership to over 2.5 million, a feat that saw the show being renewed for a second season. By 2014, she was reportedly receiving $700,000 per season of the show.
The role also paved way for the reality TV star to appear in other TV shows like “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”, “The Today Show”, and “Live With Regis and Kelly“. She also appeared in the Donald Trump-hosted “The Celebrity Apprentice 5” in 2012 where she proved to be a shrewd businesswoman, raising $70,000 all of which she donated to her charity of choice – The NephCure Foundation.
The New Jersey native capitalized on her TV fame to launch several business ventures including a fashion and accessories line “TG Fabulicious” which sold printed tees, baseball caps, and bracelets.
She also launched a hair-care line – “Milania” named after her daughter as well as a line of Bellini cocktails, “Fabellini”. The star also ventured into writing and turning the kitchen skills she had learned from her Italian mom into New York Times bestselling cookbooks like “Skinny Italian” (2010), “Fabulicious” (2011), and “Fabulicious!: Fast & Fit” (2012). All of the books have been New York Times bestsellers.
Here’s Everything To Know About Her Parents
Giudice was raised in a strict Catholic family that immigrated from Sala Consilina and as a result, her dad, who didn’t like the idea of her jumping high in mini skirts, denied her request to join her high school cheerleading squad. She has a younger brother named Joey Gorga, who with his wife Melissa Gorga, are also main cast members on the show – The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Her mother, Antonia Gorga, has always been her pillar of support. As a result, they got along quite well and were fond of each other.
Antonia Gorga died on March 3, 2017, after a long battle with Pneumonia and rheumatoid arthritis. She was just 66 years old at the time of her passing. Due to the strong bond between Antonia and her daughter, Teresa, the star and her brother opened a family restaurant dedicated to their mom. This was to ensure that her memory remains in their minds. The restaurant was named Gorga’s Homemade Pasta and Pizza.
Since her death, Teresa Giudice’s dad, Giacinto Gorga, has been there for her. Giacinto also suffered from mild Pneumonia and was coughing up blood. According to Teresa’s memoir, he had been rushed to a hospital in New Jersey more than once in 2017. Sadly on the 3rd of April 2020, he also passed on.
An Insight To Her Troubled Marriage
In 1998, at the age of 27, Teresa Giudice married an Italian construction worker and restaurant owner, Joe Giudice, and changed her name from Teresa Gorga to Teresa Giudice. The Real House Wives of New Jersey couple has four daughters together – Gia, Gabriella, Milana, and Audriana.
Sadly, trouble visited her paradise in 2013 when she and her husband, Joe Giudice, were charged and later convicted of bankruptcy fraud. Teresa served 11 months of her 15-months prison sentence and was released on December 23rd, 2015. Similarly, her husband began serving his 41-month sentence from March 23rd, 2016.
Their relationship wasn’t perfect but Teresa believed that her husband was going to get better physically and morally behind bars and hoped everything would change when he was out of jail. Apparently, that didn’t happen as the couple announced their divorce in 2019.
In an interview, the two accused each other of cheating with Teresa claiming that Joe was photographed with different women while Joe claimed Teresa dated Blake Schreck while in ICE detention.
Dissecting Her Legal Troubles And Bankruptcy Claims
After several months of fame, Teresa and her ex-husband Joe were hit by money problems which caused the couple to file for bankruptcy in October 2009. At the time, her net worth was estimated at $11 million but the couple claimed they were $ 11 million in debt.
However, they later withdrew their petition. Unfortunately, four years later, in 2013, the couple were suspected of foul play in their initial filing. They were charged with conspiracy to commit mail, wire, bank and bankruptcy fraud. The government discovered that the couple had overstated their income in order to receive about $4.6 million in mortgages and lines of credit. The Giudice patriarch was also found guilty of failure to file tax returns for four years between 2004 and 2008, periods at which he earned an estimated $1 million.
After almost two years of dragging in court, the couple reached a deal with federal persecutors and plead guilty to 41 counts of fraud. The court revealed that as a result of their fraudulent acts, they had made $5 million over a 10 year period. Teresa was sentenced to 15 months behind bars and Joe to 41 months. The two were allowed to serve their time in turns so each could be available for parenting duties. The couple was also slapped with $414,000 in restitution. Teresa served 11 months at the federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut. Similarly, her husband began serving his 41-month sentence from March 23rd, 2016.
Demystifying Teresa Giudice’s Net Worth
Prior to her incarceration, Teresa received a reported $250,000 to give a “goodbye” interview with Andy Cohen of Bravo. Also, after she was released, it was speculated that she received another $350,000 for a “welcome-back” interview with Cohen. However, Cohen took to Twitter to debunk the latter, stating that she was only promoting her prison-time tell-all book/memoir “Turning the Tables: From Housewife to Inmate and Back Again”. The book became an instant bestseller and she received 6-figures from Simon & Schuster.
Teresa also bolsters her income with paid TV appearances and sponsored Instagram posts. According to numerous sources, her paycheck per season has risen to $1 million from the 7th season of Real Housewives Of New Jersey.
According to the deal she made with the feds, she is required to keep only 75% of her income while 25% is to be channeled towards paying her creditors.
She is also meant to split the potential proceeds of her legal malpractice lawsuit against her former bankruptcy lawyer, James Kridel (whom she blames for her fraud charges and jail time) between her creditors by 55% (for herself) to 45% (for creditors). While she is rebuilding her supposed negative net worth and the future looks very bright for her. As a result of all these complications, the exact amount of her net worth remains unknown.
Her Gradual Recovering From Financial Failure
Giudice had written for People’s magazine where she wrote about the Real House Wives of New Jersey. Also, her books are still selling amazingly just like her jewelry and wine lines.
Thanks to these activities, her TV and current social media endeavors, as well as other business ventures, Teresa has been able to pay off a majority of her creditors including money owed in back taxes to the IRS and NJ Department of Revenue. She also paid off her $414,000 restitution bill in February 2017.
However, with her bankruptcy lawsuit, legal fees, and loss of income from her business, her net worth is still struggling. Though the exact amount is unknown, she doesn’t seem to have rebuilt her pre-bankruptcy net worth of $ 11 million. Fortunately, she is still doing her TV work and according to reports, she is paid $62,000 for each episode of the show she appears in, putting her salary slightly over $ 1 million for Season 10.