"If she doesn't feel like she wants to be with me anymore then that's the thing to do," Joe says of possible divorce.
Facilitating "Joe and Teresa: Unlocked" Sunday night was Bravo boss Andy Cohen, who interviewed the "Real Housewives of New Jersey" couple back in 2014 before Teresa entered prison for her involvement in Joe's financial crimes. Teresa appeared in the flesh, while Joe appeared via satellite from Italy, where he's awaiting a final decision in his ongoing deportation case.
The couple discussed everything from Joe's experience in prison and ICE custody, to cheating allegations and their future as a married couple. Here are the biggest takeaways from their big interview.
Joe's Experience with ICE Was Horrific
Joe said his months spent in ICE custody were worse than his 41 months in federal prison. "That place was ridiculous. It should be shut down," he said, claiming he was locked up in a small cell with eight other people. "I was going bonkers in there," he explained. He also said he was thrown into the SHU for one week after simply opening up a (barred) window "to let some air in there."
He told Andy ICE officials wanted to handcuff him while transferring him from the facility to the airplane, but he asked not to be and agreed to behave. He said two immigration officers were taking selfies with him "the whole time." Joe also said he "told them where to go to have a good time" in Rome since they were staying there for a few days before heading back to the United States.
"I'm here. I'm happy that I'm out, but sad at the same time," he said solemnly.
Would They Ask Trump for Help?
Teresa told Andy, "With the whole immigration thing that's going on and what he's fighting for, I would never do that to him." She said she felt she would be putting Trump, who she worked with on "Celebrity Apprentice," in a bad position.
For his part, Joe said, "My mistake was I never became a citizen. That was stupid of me." However, he maintained he always "busted his ass" his whole life and wasn't "one of those guys" who doesn't work hard.
Andy asked Joe if he still blamed Teresa for him not having gotten a passport, as he allegedly said at some point during the upcoming season of "RHONJ," but he said no. "When you're in there, your mind is off, and you blame everybody," he said.
They Both Don't Know How They'll Feel When They Come Face to Face
Teresa and their daughters will soon be heading to Italy to see Joe for the first time in almost four years. Teresa tearfully explained she's "nervous" because she doesn't know how she's going to feel about him once she gets there. She said she was not attracted to him in the slightest when she would visit him in prison, but Joe agreed those circumstances change the way you see a person.
"I couldn't stand going there seeing her there. I would lose it," Joe said of visiting her when she was behind bars. "She didn't deserve to be there. And of course [I was] feeling guilty because she didn't deserve to be there."
Teresa said she's sought the advice of her oldest, Gia, who reminded her that she needs to see how she feels about Joe once she's in his physical presence before making any big decisions.
Of waiting to see how he feels when he sees her in person, Joe jokingly added, "I might see my wife and be like, 'Oh you're too old for me now.'"
Has Joe Changed?
In addition to his physical transformation, Joe told Andy he "definitely [has] a lot more patience nowadays." He added, "You just take things for granted until everything's been taken away. I've apologized to my wife, and I've apologized to my kids many times."
"I was very upset that I didn't get to see my daughter graduate high school," Joe said, adding that he's "grateful" he can now speak to his girls anytime.
"I'm pretty close with my daughters. We talk all the time," he said. "We're constantly texting and sending pictures and doing video chat, which is good."
They Both Think the Other Has Cheated ... Are They Heading for Divorce?
Andy brought up the photos of Teresa holding hands with a young guy in Miami and asked Joe if he had seen them.
"Whatever floats her boat," Joe replied. "I mean, I wasn't happy about it, of course." He added, "If we end up together, if we stay together, we stay together. If we don't, we don't. It's a conversation that, uh, we'll see."
Last reunion, Teresa told Andy she would be filing for divorce if Joe gets deported. His reaction: "I mean, listen, I don't like that she said that, and I don't like that she took a photo with another man. I've asked her about the guy. She says he's a friend."
"I told Joe I have a lot of guy friends that I've been photographed with," Teresa told Andy. "He was helping me to my car. We were at a charity event. My feet were killing me." Andy noted that this was the same guy he saw with Teresa when they ran into each other at the beach. Joe didn't know about the beach trip.
"I wasn't trying to hide it. If I was trying to hide it, I wouldn't leave my hotel room, correct?" Teresa defended, before turning her sights to Joe. "You were photographed with women also."
"I guess that's what made it okay for you," Joe replied.
Andy asked Joe if he had been faithful to Teresa. He said yes, but Tre didn't believe it. Andy asked Teresa the same question. She said she had been faithful, but Joe didn't necessarily believe her, either.
"As long as she's happy, that's all that really matters," Joe told Andy, regarding the D-word. "I'm not gonna tell her what to do. If she doesn't feel like she wants to be with me anymore then that's the thing to do."
Teresa said she felt Joe wouldn't be able to be faithful in a long-distance marriage, if he were to remain in Italy. Joe said that's "not what I'm looking to do" and that he's "of course" still in love with his wife. "I'll always love her. No matter what happens, I'll always love her."
They also both agreed relocating the whole family there wouldn't be good for the ids.
Joe Wants Teresa to Find a Rich Man
Although he seemingly doesn't want to let his wife go, Joe says he's willing to if that's what she wants to do. He also wants her to "find somebody with a lot of money. She needs to not date these young guys with no money. We've got four kids. Her way of living isn't cheap."
Teresa Thinks Caroline Manzo Could Have Reported Them to the Feds
Joe's comment about Teresa needing to find a rich man reminded Andy of a prediction former "RHONJ" star Caroline Manzo made years back. She predicted on the show while the couple was going through their legal woes that Joe would serve time and Teresa would end up divorcing him. She said Tre would go on to become independent -- both emotionally and financially -- and would teach her daughters how to be strong by themselves.
Andy's trip down memory lane angered Teresa. She became defensive and wondered if Caroline was the "rat" who reported them to the feds. Joe calmly said it wasn't the Manzos because he claims he knows who snitched.
Teresa Doesn't Regret 'RHONJ,' But Joe Does
Andy asked the couple if they regretted choosing to televise their lives. At times, Teresa has said she does, but on Sunday, she seemed to think the good outweighed the bad. Joe, however, wishes he would've never agreed to do the show and seems to think maybe he wouldn't be in this mess today had things been different.
"To tell you the truth, I wish I never would've done it," he told Andy. "I had a great life before. The show actually just brought a lot of attention to us. Just having a house like that alone brings a lot of attention. I've never had so many damn lawsuits in my life 'til after I got on that damn show ... Now there's only one thing to do -- make things better and move on."
Andy started to say that it's not to say that they wouldn't have gotten caught had they not participated in the show, but Joe took a left turn.
"Andy, the best thing that ever happened to you was that we started this 'Housewives' thing with you," he said. "I don't even think anybody knew what this 'Housewives' thing was before we started it."
Andy kindly reminded Joe that "The Real Housewives of Orange County" and "The Real Housewives of New York" preceded "RHONJ" and that the greatest thing that's ever happened to him was the birth of his son.
Joe was released from ICE custody earlier this month and permitted to await his fate in Italy, where he was born and left as an infant, until a decision is made regarding deportation to his native country. He was released from federal prison in March after completing a 41-month sentence for mail, wire and bank fraud. Teresa also served time for her involvement in the financial crimes: 11 months in 2015.
After a preview for the upcoming season of "RHONJ" teased Teresa possibly hooking up with another man, her lawyer spoke out, blaming poor editing. The man in the promo is someone she kissed back in high school, nothing more, claimed James Leonard Jr.
"The real story is that Teresa did kiss the man in the supertease. His name is Tony. She kissed him more than 30 years ago when they were in high school together. But nobody calls to ask, they just write a headline to get clicks," he said.
"They have been writing about cheating and divorce rumors for the last 10 years, but guess what? Nobody is cheating, nobody is getting divorced," he continued, noting that Teresa and their four daughters -- Gia, 18, Gabriella, 15, Milania, 13, and Audriana, 10 -- are "going to see Joe [in Italy] the first week of November."
"They talk and FaceTime every day. Everyone is happy. No one is fighting. There is an amazing story of love and perseverance," he added, "but I guess that doesn't sell magazines or get clicks on websites."
When the same promo aired after tonight's special, there was no mention of the kiss.
"The Real Housewives of New Jersey" returns Wednesday, November 6 at 9 p.m. on Bravo.
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