Teresa Giudice: Shocked by prison sentence
By Breeanna Hare, CNN
(CNN) -- As "Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Teresa Giudice faces a 15-month prison term that's set to start in January, it's no surprise she's also been dealing with "sleepless nights."
The reality star and her husband, Joe Giudice, were sentenced Thursday to serve time after pleading guilty in March to numerous federal fraud charges. Teresa Giudice will serve a 15-month sentence. Joe received a 41-month sentence and also faces the possibility of deportation since he's not a U.S. citizen.
On Monday night, both Giudices sat down with Bravo's Andy Cohen for the first part of an interview featured on Cohen's "Watch What Happens Live." When Teresa Giudice was asked about her reaction to the October 2 sentencing, she could hardly find the words to express how it has affected her, and how she fears it will affect her family. "I was so nervous. ... At one point, I couldn't even move my fingers," Giudice recalled. "My nerves were shot. I've had sleepless nights. I was shocked. It was very unexpected. I don't even know what to say."
In March, the reality housewife and her husband pleaded guilty to hiding assets from bankruptcy court and conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud, among other charges. In hindsight, Teresa Giudice says, she's learned a lesson.
"I do need to read things before I sign them. I do need to understand things before I sign them," she told Cohen. "I'm a trustworthy person, and sometimes I take what other people say and I just believe them and I trust them. I can't do that anymore; I've got to make sure I fully understand something." Giudice is expected to begin her sentence on January 5; once she's served her time, her husband is expected to begin his own stretch. The sentences were staggered to ensure the couple's four daughters have a caretaker.
Being away from her kids, Giudice told Cohen, is what scares her most about prison -- more than the lockup itself.
"I just think about my daughters," the 42-year-old said. "That's all I think about. I just want to make sure that my daughters are OK."
According to Giudice, their eldest, Gia, 13, has become her support system.
"She was being strong for me, I could tell," Giudice said. "She was like 'Mommy, don't worry, I'll be there. I'll help Daddy with the girls; that'll prepare me for when I'm a mom.' That broke my heart when she said that."
She said she has only one request of Joe: "All I said to my husband was, 'All you have to do is take care of our daughters,'" she said. "'That's all I ask. You've got to do what I do.'"