As we know, Joe's currently in Italy awaiting the fate of his deportation case, but when Season 10 of "RHONJ" was filmed, he was still in ICE custody.
On Wednesday's episode of the Bravo series, he called Tre while she was out to dinner with her co-stars. He urged her to put him on speaker so he could ask Dolores Catania to find his wife, who's "always complaining about me," a nice doctor to date. He insisted he was only trying to make Teresa "happy," but happy she was not.
After hanging up, she told her co-stars Joe "says the craziest things to me. He's like, 'Imagine we get divorced. Who would want you? You have a lot of baggage.' Like, I have four kids. He's kinda right..." Before she could even finish her thought, every single woman at that table assured Teresa that was not the case and condemned Joe for the words Dolores said he would soon eat.
On the subsequent "After Show," Dolores candidly told her friend that Joe's tone with her had been wrong "many, many times," prompting an off-camera producer to ask, "Do you think that Italian men kind of get a pass when it comes to how they speak to women?"
"Yeah, but no more," Dolores answered promptly, as Teresa added, "We wouldn't put up with that shit."
"But at one time," Dolores went on, "I didn't know any better. I'll be honest with you. The way I was spoken to is what I heard my whole life. I didn't know what it was to be gentle, but then I met a Jewish doctor. Like, if I was cranky, he wouldn't say, 'What the f--k is your problem?' He would say, 'Sweetheart, what's wrong?' And I melted. And I will never take anything less than that again."
But Dolores' ex-husband and now-best friend, Frank Catania, has a different perspective. On the "After Show," he said he's a "what you see is what you get" type of person, but made sure to note it's never acceptable to "degrade" a woman. "So is there an excuse for Joe to talk the way he talks to Teresa? In my book, no," he added.
Joe was accused of stepping out on Teresa a few times during his years on the show, most notably during a 2012 cast trip to Napa Valley, where he stepped away from the group to take a mysterious phone call. When Teresa got up from the table to go check on her husband, he said -- while mic'd -- to whoever was on the phone, "Here she comes, my bitch wife. She's such a c--t."
Teresa revealed on Wednesday's "After Show" she didn't believe he had actually said those words until Andy Cohen assured her it was not edited.
"I was shocked 'cause he's never said that word to my face," she said. "I thought that they inserted that, 'cause I'm like, Joe's never called me that word before. And I was telling Andy, I'm like, 'You guys better remove that.' He's like, 'Teresa, it came out of his mouth.' I'm like, 'What?!' I was shocked because he's never said that to my face."
Though his C-word scene was perhaps the most memorable, Joe's told Teresa to "shut up" numerous times on the show. "And I still don't like that," she said Wednesday. "And my thing is with Joe, instead of fighting back..."
"You wanna diffuse the situation," Dolores interjected. "For the kids. The parents are there, you have company in the other room."
Teresa added that Joe's demeanor would change in front of the cameras; she said he'd actually become more aggressive while filming "to try to act macho."
"It's crazy, 'cause when we were alone, he would not talk like that 'cause then I f--king go in and demolish him," she said. "I don't know. It's like, in front of people and the cameras, he would act different."
"After we were done filming, I would rip him," she insisted. "I really would!" Dolores seemed skeptical.
"The Real Housewives of New Jersey" airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on Bravo.