You probably know Teresa Giudice for her time on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, but there’s more to Mrs. Giudice than meets the eye. She joined the Jersey cast of Housewives when it first came out in 2009 and has been one of our favorite cast members since day one.
The mother of four recently served 11 months in prison on fraud charges. Teresa and her husband received a lot of media attention for failing to file taxes and falsely declaring bankruptcy, but the couple seems to be trying to put their lives back together.
We love Teresa for her upfront, no-nonsense personality, extravagant lifestyle and hot temper. Talk about a TV producer’s dream! Whether you’re a diehard Real Housewives fan or want to learn more about Teresa, here are ten facts we bet you didn’t know.
1. She has a degree from Berkeley College.
She studied fashion marketing and management and put her degree to use as a buyer at Macy’s. She clearly has amazing style.
2. Teresa appeared on season five of Donald Trump’s The Celebrity Apprentice in 2012.
She came in fifth place and won $70,000 for her charity of choice, The NephCure Foundation. This foundation is working to improve treatment and find a cure for two kinds of kidney diseases, and Giudice has done a lot of work to raise awareness.
3. She’s written five books.
Her published work includes four bestselling cookbooks, some of which feature family recipes and healthy twists on Italian dishes. Giudice’s latest book is a memoir of her time in prison, and she’s actually joked that the Martha Stewart-inspired character in the latest season of Orange Is the New Black is based on her.
4. Teresa first met her husband at age 14.
She met hubby Joe Giudice when she was a teenager and their families were close friends. They married in 1999 and have proven their loyalty to one another in recent tough times.
5. She makes more than anyone else on RHONJ.
Her average earnings for one season of the show and her other features on Bravo total nearly a million dollars. Newer cast members of RHONJ make around $40,000 per season, quite a difference from Giudice’s earnings. Since she’s been with the show since day one, it makes sense that she makes more, though a lot of her earnings are going to expenses from her family’s legal troubles.
6. Teresa is training to become a certified yoga instructor.
She discovered yoga while she was in prison and mended things with Danielle Staub during a yoga session. Teresa has even convinced her husband, a black belt in karate, to try yoga while he is in jail, where he’s currently serving a 40-month sentence.
7. Her favorite flavor of ice cream? Edy’s Mocha Almond Fudge.
We’re guessing she doesn’t eat very much of it to stay in amazing shape. Maybe that’s why she’s been turning to protein shakes lately and we wouldn’t blame her for eating her favorite foods after 11 months in prison eating mostly oatmeal and chicken salad.
8. She had a curfew until she got married at age 27.
We’re wondering if Teresa is having flashbacks to her younger days with her new, post-prison release curfew. She came pretty close to breaking the 10:00 P.M. curfew last year when leaving a red carpet event and ended up getting pulled over for speeding home.
9. Teresa’s childhood crush was Jean-Claude Van Damme.
Van Damme is best known for his martial arts films like Double Impact and Timecop. You might remember his cameo on Friends during an episode where Monica and Rachel fought over him. Clearly, Teresa is into guys who can do karate.
10. She has her own line of skinny wines called Fabellini. Move over, Skinny Girl!
Fabellini Prosecco is all under 130 calories and comes in flavors like peach and raspberry. This sounds like our new favorite diet-friendly brunch drink. It’s available in stores in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, but hopefully it will be available nationwide soon.