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Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice and husband Joe hinted at a split following his return to Italy, but now it's official.
UPDATE: Teresa Giudice and Joe Giudice have finalized their divorce, less than a year after announcing their split.
In a statement to E! News, divorce lawyer Vikki Ziegler stated, "Teresa and Joe made their family a priority, mediating their marital matters despite Covid -19 and the logistics of Joe living out of the country. They both compromised and were ready to start a new chapter focusing on the wellbeing of their girls, whom they both love so much.
She continued, "It was refreshing to see a couple who have been through so much work together through emotional topics obtaining the best outcome for their entire family. They can both be very proud of each other."
Teresa and Joe have yet to comment on the divorce.
Teresa Giudice and Joe Giudice's marriage is over.
E! News can confirm The Real Housewives of New Jersey stars have split after almost two decades together. Teresa has not yet filed for divorce from Joe, who was recently deported to Italy after spending five months in an ICE detention facility.
An insider previously explained, "Teresa and Joe's marriage is completely over. Teresa is in no rush to file for divorce, but their relationship is done."
Right now, it seems the reality TV star's main priority is her daughters, Gia, Gabriella, Milania and Audriana. "Teresa is really focused on being an amazing mom to their daughters. She wants to keep things as stable as possible during this hard time surrounding the deportation. She doesn't want to crush them even more with news of a divorce," the source added.
The breakup comes after Teresa and the girls visited Joe in Italy in November. It was a brief visit, but Teresa told Good Morning America it was "pretty amazing." Unfortunately, the reality star later said she didn't expect to reunite with her husband again until the summer, when she and her daughters have more time in their schedule.
The long-distance and lack of free-time appears to be a major cause of their breakup. A second source said, "Teresa made the decision to leave Joe if he were to be deported nearly a year ago. Teresa doesn't see the point in a long distance relationship, and as the breadwinner for her daughters, she needs to stay in the U.S. where all her financial opportunities are. She feels she has sacrificed more than enough for her marriage and she needs to do what's best for her family as a whole."
Joe, a permanent U.S. resident, entered prison in 2016 for committing fraud. Upon completion of in March 2019, Joe was released into ICE custody. Around that time, a source told E! News that Teresa was already "mentally preparing to leave him."
"She is extremely loyal and even when she probably should have divorced him before, she didn't," the insider added. "Now it's like the decision might be made for her."
In June, Teresa opened up about the possibility of Joe's deportation.
"If he gets deported, he'll never be able to go to their graduation, celebrate their birthdays, anything," she shared with Bravo Insider. "He's going to be missing out on so much. The girls adore their father and no child should have to go through what my daughters are going through. They should have their daddy here."
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In fact, E! News recently learned that Teresa and her four daughters never visited Joe while he was in ICE custody.
A source explained to us that Teresa hadn't seen him because "her filming schedule has been pretty hectic, and the ICE facility where he is being detained is several hours away." Another source echoed the same sentiment, but didn't sugarcoat the reality of the situation.
"The family hasn't visited Joe because it's a horrifyingly frightening place where Joe is living in filthy conditions," the second insider said. "The facility is several hours away from their home and Teresa has tried to keep a very low profile when it comes to Joe on the request of his immigration attorneys."
During the Season 9 reunion of RHONJ, Teresa told host Andy Cohen that she would split from Joe if he were deported. Although his deportation status was still pending at the time, she hinted it was "not going to work" between them if they tried a long-distance relationship.
"It's like starting a whole new life," she explained, adding that her daughters have "been through so much already."
"So, I mean, I'm not doing a long-distance relationship. I'm just not doing it. I want somebody with me every day," she said. "I know exactly what happens, I'm sure he'll be with other women. It happens. We do the long-distance thing? It's not going to work. I'll be like, ‘bye bye.'"
As it stands, Teresa is prepared to put one foot in front of the other and start a new chapter in her life.
We're told she's "definitely dating but wants things to be very private right now." Our source explained, "She is trying to stay busy and be there for her girls as much as possible. It's been a very rough year for her family and she is trying to stay strong and be around people who support her."
Neither Joe nor Teresa have yet to comment on the news.
This story was originally published on Tuesday, Dec 17, 2019 at 12:37 p.m. PST.
(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)
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