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By Leora Arnowitz, ,
Published April 12, 2016
A federal judge sentenced “The Real Housewives of New Jersey’s” breakout star, Teresa Giudice, on Thursday to 15 months behind bars on conspiracy and bankruptcy fraud charges. Her husband, Joe Giudice, who also appears on the show, was sentenced to prison for 41 months for a slew of similar charges.
Though at time celebs have been perceived as getting leniency in the courtroom due to their fame, Judge Esther Salas said she couldn’t go easy on Teresa Giudice because she needed to make an example out of her.
“For a moment, I thought about probation," Salas reportedly said in court. "For a moment."
And though many had speculated Bravo’s notoriously hot-headed fur-coat-loving star would get probation or home confinement, Salas said it just wasn’t an option.
"I need to send a message that it isn’t who you are, how famous you are. If you do something wrong, there will be consequences to pay," Judge Salas said
A tearful Teresa Giudice tried make amends ahead of the sentencing, speaking about how she is a woman of faith and extremely sorry for her actions, but the judge couldn’t be swayed.
Throughout the day in court, Salas berated the couple for omitting numerous assets from a presentencing report, including ATVs and other vehicles and jewelry. She said those omissions also prompted her to rule out a lighter sentence.
Still, the judge granted the Giudices a few favors. Their sentences will be staggered so they can care for their four daughters. Teresa Giudice will head to prison first, but she won’t begin her sentence until Jan. 5, 2015—so she can spend the holidays with her family.
And don’t expect The Giudices—like so many celebs who have been locked up before them—to be released quickly. Though we’ve seen stars like Khloe Kardashian and Lindsay Lohan get released from jail in a day due to overcrowding, the Giudices were handed federal prison sentences, and under a portion of federal law called the “truth in sentencing act,” they are required to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences.
The Bravo couple’s woes won’t end once they both complete their sentences. Joe Giudice was advised by the court that he faces deportation after serving his sentence, as he is an Italian citizen who never obtained American citizenship. Whether or not he gets deported will be decided by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement following completion of his prison sentence.
So how do the reality stars feel about their fate? They will sit down with Bravo’s Andy Cohen on Monday night to discuss it all. The special episode of Cohen’s “Watch What Happens Live” will be their first post-sentencing interview, FOX411 has learned.
Bravo, meanwhile, isn’t commenting about the Giudices or how their prison time will affect the fan-favorite “Housewives” franchise.
A source closely connected to the network told FOX411 "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" will be filming their reunion special this weekend so that Teresa Giudice can participate.
The couple’s costars have thus far stayed mum on the sentencing, but a few of the enemies the Giudices made on the series were quick to comment.
Danielle Staub, who Teresa Giudice memorably flipped at table at during the heated finale of season 1, retweeted a post about karma shortly after the sentencing news hit the web.
She later implied the tweet was unrelated to the Giudices, but her followers were skeptical.
Another guest star on the show, who goes by the name Kim G. on the series was more direct, posting a series of quips about “Orange is the New Black” with the hashtag #Giudice.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.