Gia Giudice shared the first image of her dad, Joe Giudice, on Saturday (October 12) following his release from custody and flying to Italy on Friday (October 11) to await the outcome of the appeal in his ongoing deportation case.
The image, shared to Instagram Stories, features The Real Housewives of New Jersey father and daughter FaceTiming. She captioned it: "One of the happiest moments of my life! Love you so much daddy, so happy you['re] free! See you soon [two heart emojis]."
In statement to TMZ, family attorney Giudice family attorney, James J. Leonard Jr. confirmed that Joe has spoken to members of his family following his release. "Teresa is very happy and got very emotional after speaking to Joe today. He called both her and Gia from the plane. It's bittersweet, everyone is happy he is out but no one is happy he is going to Italy. He belongs with his wife and four daughters," he said in a statement. "I met with Joe face to face a week ago at the prison in Pennsylvania. This is a man who loves his family and is not done fighting by any means. He wants to come home."
Leonard Jr. confirmed to PEOPLE that while he is no longer in custody, “we are still fighting and it is his desire to return home to the United States to be reunited with his family.”
In a statement to E! News, the Giudice family attorney said that despite feeling "very happy" that Joe has been released from custody, Teresa and four daughters are "very sad that he is still not home where he belongs."
The video above breaks down every turn the Giudices' legal matters have taken over the years, including how Teresa has been handling the matter and raising their four daughters following her own jail time in 2015.
Teresa previously opened up about how detrimental it would be for her daughters to not have their father at home if Joe does, in fact, get deported in a video exclusive to Bravo Insider, below.
"If he gets deported, he'll never be able to go to their graduation[s], celebrate their birthdays, anything," Teresa shared. "He's going to be missing out on so much. The girls adore their father and no child should have to go through what my daughters are going through. They should have their daddy here."
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