After serving 11 months in federal prison, Teresa Giudice is not holding back in her new memoir Turning the Tables: From Housewife to Inmate and Back Again (Gallery Books), which hits bookshelves this week. In addition to detailing her time at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Conn., the book also explores her life growing up in a strict Italian family, her relationship with her husband, Joe, and her role as a mother to her four girls.
In one particularly emotional passage, the Real Housewives of New Jersey mom recalls seeing her family for the first time while at the Danbury facility. She describes how her fellow inmates, Diamond and Tonya, did her hair and makeup before the reunion, which took place on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2015. In the excerpt below, Teresa recalls what it was like to reconnect with her family:
I could see them through the cracks in the double doors and was waving frantically to my four precious girls and my husband. I had never, ever been so elated in my life. Finally, the guard allowed me to go inside to see them. I made a beeline straight for my family and hugged them all and kissed my honey. Nothing had ever felt so right.
We found six red plastic chairs and sat down. Gabriella told me all about how well soccer was going for her. She just loved it. Gia told me about the cheerleading championship her team had won (and how they dedicated their performance to me, which made me cry...). Milania and Audriana kept kissing me and hugging me and telling me how much they loved me. I took turns holding both of them on my lap.
Then came the part where I had to try really hard not to cry in front of them.
"Mommy, when are you coming home?" said Audriana, looking at me with those big beautiful eyes.
"I will be home as soon as I can..." I said.
"Can I stay here with you?"
This was torture.
"Mommy, will you ve home for my birthday?" asked Milania.
Milania's ninth birthday was in a couple of weeks, on February 2. I had barely made it through Gia's birthday. I knew how much Milania wanted me home for hers. I tried to put on as strong a front as I could.
"I won't be there for your birthday, honey. But you know how much Mommy loves you."
I could see the tears welling up in her eyes. She hugged me a little tighter. This broke my heart.
Below, see photos of Teresa and her family through the years.