One year after he landed in Italy, The Real Housewives of New Jersey alum Joe Giudice opened up to E! News about Teresa, his kids and why he's not ruling out a life in politics.
That's amore? Not exactly. But a year after Joe Giudice landed in his native Italy—deported there following a 41-month stint in prison for various fraud charges and another seven months in an ICE detention center—he's adjusted to life in a homeland that doesn't quite feel like home.
"Listen, it's not that I'm enjoying my life," he exclusively tells E! News. "It's the life that I have to live now. Okay? So what am I supposed to do? I'm working." Ever the hustler, he's got his hands in a few businesses—ranging from real estate and a celebrity boxing match to what he obliquely refers to as "a woman's massager, let's just say"—and he's even testing the waters on romance with a new attorney paramour. "We're not really dating," the 48-year-old says, "but we're, like, seeing each other or whatever." (Fun fact: She's actually "a fan" of his ex-wife, Teresa Giudice.)
But despite more or less settling into this new normal in Salerno ("It went by so damn quick, I can't even believe I've been here a year"), he hasn't let go of hope that one day he'll be able to return to the country he called his from the time his parents landed on New Jersey's shores in the 1970s when he was an infant.
With his four daughters, Gia, 19, Gabriella, 16, Milania, 14, Audriana, 11, his siblings and mom all based in the States, "I want to eventually be able to come back to the U.S. and visit my family whenever I want, you know?" he reasons. "Because that's only right, I would imagine."
What, you're surprised Juicy Joe is speaking his mind?
In a wide-ranging interview, the reality TV vet opened up to E! News about coparenting with Teresa from 4,500 miles away, the reason he's shipping sex toys to The Real Housewives of New Jersey cast and some big, big plans he's considering. (Hint: If things go his way, there could be a President Giudice in our future.)
We're not gonna lie, it's truly wild. So get your table flipping hands ready and settle in because Joe holds nothing back.
"I just signed a deal to start importing sofas, chairs and what have you from an Italian company here. They're actually handmade sofas, leather sofas. I just partnered up with this guy there, we're going to start shipping couches directly to the customer, to their home so you cut out the middle guy. Let's say the couch cost $8,000, you cut out the other $8,000 to ship it to a shop in America, this, that and the other thing. So you save a lot of money. So I'm going to be wholesaling sofas to the customers all over the place."
"My other business is Zalo USA. It's basically a woman's massager. I wouldn't call it my sex shop because it's not, we don't sell any of those other things. It's basically just high-end massagers that are made by an Italian French designer. So they're made of top quality material and, I mean, it's a very good product. To be honest with you, I never really handled one until I got involved in this business. I always wanted to get involved in that business and I did. Listen, it's paying me and the bills and it's a good business. I sent one to Teresa and the whole cast. I'm sure that they're having fun. I'm sure that each of them are gonna try it because it's a pretty cool item. I know I couldn't perform like that!"
"I go to the gym, I train for three-to-four hours a day, I've got a fight coming up, Celebrity Boxing. Actually we formed a Celebrity MMA as well, so that's going to be coming out right after the Celebrity Boxing….I'm actually in better shape now because I'm thicker and I look more like I did. Not like back then, I mean back then, to tell you the truth, I was too big. I looked like a fathead, to be honest with you. And I'm definitely in much better shape right now. But also I've been training, I've been hitting the bags, actually getting in the ring and boxing and kicking and all that. So I've been a black belt forever but I did a little bit of boxing. I know how to throw punches."
"Now they wanna close everything down at 11 p.m., they don't want you to go out, which I think is ridiculous. What the frick is the difference, you know what I mean? I don't know what the hell's going on…. It's not that I'm not nervous about getting it, it's just that I think we've had plenty of diseases in our time, we've had AIDS, we've had flus, pneumonias, you name it, we've had it….Millions literally died from I guess they called it the Spanish Influenza or whatever it was back then….I mean it was the same thing. They both died of not being able to breathe, lungs filling up with fluid, that's what happens, you die after that happens."
"Two of my daughters will be coming Nov. 4, Milania and Gia. So I'm excited. It would be nice if all four came but the little one's got dance and Gabriella is very on top of her game, she doesn't like to miss anything. Which is understandable. I FaceTime with them all the time. I talk to Teresa all the time, too. You know, we're OK. It is what it is….We wanna set something up for Christmas, we're talking maybe meeting at an island. Hopefully everything opens up."
"I mean, listen, we talk every day but, we kind of moved on already. What are you going to do? It's been a while. If I was living there, it would be a different story, but I'm not. I'm over here, eight hours away in Italy, full of a bunch of Italian women."
"I've known Teresa since she was born. My father drove her father to the hospital and she was born. Their family was from my town over here, where I was born, and her parents knew my parents when they were in the old country here so we go back a long way. I can't get mad at her. She's the mother of my four daughters and she's taking care of them right now because obviously I can't. What am I going to do, have the kids move here to a country that they don't even know the language? That would be a disaster. That'll be even worse. So the only thing we can do is try to make things the best we can. It's a shame what they had to go through, those kids. Thank God they're tough kids but it's still a damn shame. At the end of the day, you know, we're doing our best."
"I've gotta be honest with you, they listen. They definitely respect me more than their mom, obviously. But they do listen to Teresa as well. And I've got to tell you the truth, they are very respectful, you know what I mean? They're good kids and we're lucky in that sense. I guess we did something right, you know? Because they are very good and I've gotta say they're straight. So in that sense, we're blessed. Cursed in another sense, but blessed in that sense."
"What's she going to do, stay alone forever? That's not fair, as well. Look, if I would have got out and I would have been able to go home, who knows what would happen? Maybe we'd still be in the same situation, maybe not. I don't know. Things change after so many years."
"Look, everybody makes mistakes. I did what I had to do. I spent a lot of time in prison. People kill people and get that kind of time, you know what I mean? I just think it was a little too harsh, the sentence. I think they could have been a little lenient and they could have still made a point. You know what I mean?"
"This country here should be one of the richest countries in the world. It really should, because they had everything going here. Every factory going, you name it. They got all great stuff here. It's just ran terribly….At the end of the day, anything's possible. You know, here, my record's clean! I'm a saint here!"
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