DANBURY, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Teresa Giudice will be home for Christmas after her release from federal prison.
Giudice left the Danbury Correctional Facility in Connecticut at 5 a.m. Wednesday and traveled home to her family in Montville, New Jersey.
“The car ride here, she was extremely upbeat. She was calling home, she asked me to put on Christmas music,” said her attorney, James Leonard Jr.
Guidice was greeted by her husband and four daughters along with signs that read “We Love You” as well as a Lexus in the driveway that was wrapped up in a big bow.
“It was very emotional. It was a private moment, but it was very emotional, very powerful. It was something to see,” said Leonard.
Her lawyer, discouraging media attention, said Giudice was sleeping and would not be coming out to give interviews on Wednesday afternoon, CBS2’s Scott Rapoport reported.
Guidice spent nearly 12 months behind bars after she and her husband pleaded guilty to bankruptcy fraud, CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reported. They admitted hiding assets from bankruptcy creditors and submitting phony loan applications to get some $5 million in mortgages and construction loans.
The New Jersey native and cookbook author is known in the “Housewives” franchise for being a loyal mother to her daughters, but also for bringing some major drama, including frequent fights through the years with co-starring sister-in-law Melissa Gorga.
In recent interviews, Gorga said she will be hosting the Giudices for Christmas Eve.
This fall, Bravo featured the whole family in a three-part spin-off called “Teresa Checks In.” But now, she’s check out of prison and is on home confinement until February.
Leonard said she will be allowed to work with permission from her probationary officer.
“She’s very happy to be here. She’s very much looking forward to a nice, quiet, low-key holiday with her family,” said Leonard.
Her husband was sentenced to 41 months in prison. He is slated to begin serving in March and could possibly be deported back to Italy upon release since he is not a U.S. citizen.
A judge had staggered the couple’s sentences so that one of them could be home with their daughters at all times.
Giudice was supposed to serve a 15-month sentence but was released early for good behavior.