On Saturday, the Real Housewives of New Jersey star appeared at BravoCon — alongside her costars Jackie Goldschneider, Margaret Josephs, Melissa Gorga, Dolores Catania, and Jennifer Aydin — during which she defended Joe’s behavior on the hit Bravo reality series.
The mom of four was responding to criticisms regarding Joe’s tough-guy attitude, especially on the couple’s recent bombshell Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen sit-down.
“I’m used to Joe so to me, that was good Joe,” Teresa, 47, said. “I know how Joe is.”
The cookbook author — who shares daughters Gia, 18, Gabriella, 15, Milania, 13, and Audriana, 10 with Joe — went on to explain that Joe’s behavior behind the scenes was very different than what viewers saw.
In fact, she stressed that if he did act that way, she would have quickly put him in his place. “On the show, he would act like a macho guy. I would never take that,” Teresa said.
“The way you saw him on the show being an ass—-, he wasn’t like that in person. When we were one on one around the kids, he wouldn’t act like that. But around the people, he acted, however he acted. Otherwise, I wouldn’t put up with that s—. I would be flipping tables all over the place!” she shared.
Teresa told BravoCon fans that being away from Joe for so long — first, while she was in prison and then, during his jail time — helped her realize the two different Joes.
“I had a lot of time to think when Joe was gone,” she said. “I tell him all the time, ‘You were such an ass on the show.’ ”
Joe, 49, has apparently realized it too. “Now that he was in jail, he would watch the show and say, ‘Yeah, I was an ass,’ ” she said.
Teresa and her girls recently went to see Joe in Italy, where he’s currently awaiting the final decision in his deportation battle.
In October, a ruling was made that Joe would have to leave the country after he completed his jail sentence for mail, wire, and bankruptcy fraud.
As Teresa previously explained in the RHONJ season 10 premiere, Joe was born in Italy and lived there for a year before his parents relocated to America. He never obtained American citizenship and per U.S. law, immigrants can be deported if they are convicted of “a crime of moral turpitude” or an “aggravated felony.”
Joe was released from prison in March but was transferred to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement — moving overnight from the low-security prison in Allenwood, Pennsylvania, he had been living in during his time in incarceration to the high-security Clinton County Correctional Center in Pennsylvania.
He remained there until October, when he moved to Salerno, Italy.
Asked on the BravoCon panel how the kids were doing after the visit, which was filmed for a Bravo special, Teresa said, “They’re still really missing Joe,” adding, “You guys will see that play out but I’m happy for him, I’m happy that he’s free,” Teresa said. “It’s a very emotional trip. I cried a lot. It takes a lot for me to cry, but I cried a lot. It’s so emotional.”
“I thank you for all your love and support,” she told the fans. “It really means a lot.”
Mostly, she said she’s happy that Joe continued to fight.
“He keeps saying, I should never have sat there in ICE for 7 months,” Teresa recalled. “He keeps saying, ‘I could have saw [my kids] sooner.’ But I keep saying, ‘If you didn’t, they wouldn’t have known you were fighting. Now his daughters know he did fight. They were like, done with it. They were like, ‘Daddy, it’s enough. You have to get out of there.’ “
BravoCon is running through Sunday across three venues in the Big Apple: The Manhattan Center (311 W 34th St), Skylight Modern (537 W 27th St) and Union West (535 W 28th St).
A total of 88 Bravolebrities are said to be in attendance total. More than 50 live events are on the docket, including performances, insider panels, podcasts, dining experiences, photo opportunities and a Bravo bazaar marketplace. (A full breakdown of events is available at BravoCon2019.com.)
For those wanting a trip down memory lane, there will be a Real Housewives museum with more than a decade’s worth of behind-the-scenes photos, reunion dresses and show memorabilia.
The weekend will close out with a live performance of Luann de Lesseps‘ hit Countess and Friends cabaret show on Sunday.