Teresa Giudice has been committed to mothering her children and keeping her marriage spicy as if nothing has changed since she reported to prison, but that doesn’t mean the Real Housewives of New Jersey star hasn’t had a few reality checks during her 10 months away. After Sunday’s premiere of the three-part special Teresa Checks In, Andy Cohen premiered a sneak preview of next week’s episode on Watch What Happens Live that showed Teresa telling husband Joe: “I got shaken down.” The incident stemmed from Teresa asking her daughter Gia to tweet to her fans to thank them for their support earlier this summer. In a scary incident, Teresa – who has unlimited email access and a 300-minute limit on phone time but no access to the Internet – detailed how she’d been physically searched after guards suspected she was hiding a phone.
Though Joe likened prison to a “low-budget spa” early in Sunday’s episode and Gia said her mother her mother has been much more “relaxed” as a result of her stint in prison, the incident was closer to the description of Teresa’s attorney James J. Leonard, Jr., who told RHONJ cameras, “This is not a country club, this is not a day in the park for her, you know, she’s in prison.”
While the Skinny Italian author has made the most of her stay in the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut, by taking a job in the kitchen and teaching exercise classes to cope with her homesickness, there are times when she struggles to adjust to her new life. Amid several tearful conversations with her family, Joe was reminded of his wife’s limited phone time (about 10 minutes a day) – a tough lesson he and the girls learned when she ran out of minutes with 2.5 weeks left in her first month in prison. In another conversation with his cousin Rosie Pierri, Joe said, “My wife always points out the ones who have sex at night. She has to close her ears at night.” Gia revealed on the episode that Teresa has told her younger daughters Gabriella and Audriana that she’s “working” during her time away and that she is writing down her experiences – good, bad and everything in between – for a forthcoming book. On Sunday’s episode, Joe said of the months to go before her Dec. 23 release: “You’ve gotta take life one day at a time, minute by minute, day by day.”