On Tuesday, Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice pled guilty to four counts of fraud and may be looking at some serious prison time. Some of the charges brought upon Teresa and her husband, Joe Giudice, include “conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and three counts of bankruptcy fraud.”
She and Joe originally pled not guilty back in November but then submitted a guilty plea on Tuesday as part of a reported deal.
“Today I took a responsibility for a series of mistakes I made several years ago,” said Giudice in a statement that was given to People magazine. “I am heartbroken that this is affecting my family. Especially my four young daughters, who mean more to me than anything in the world.”
It is very apparent that Teresa Giudice and her husband Joe were living beyond their means. This seems to have led them to make some pretty horrendous choices in order to finance their lavish lifestyle. The two had other ways of making money such as being paid for participating on the Real Housewives, Teresa Giudice’s best-selling cookbooks, and Joe’s day job. But this, as it now appears, didn’t bring in enough money and they looked to illegitimate ways to make money.
And this made me wonder, is the Real Housewives franchise to blame?
Think about it. Many status-conscious people fall victim to the race to “keep up with the Joneses” but Teresa and Joe didn’t just have the Joneses in their own neighborhood to impress — they had the entire country to impress. Their insanely large home, the European-style furniture, the large wardrobe for Teresa and her four “fabulicious” daughters: It all adds up financially.
Teresa is selling an image — an over-the-top lifestyle — and it’s all tied into how she markets herself. This marketing and image takes money. If Teresa and Joe were living in a regular-sized home, living like an average middle class family with a lifestyle that they could afford, then we could argue that their life would not be fodder for the Real Housewives. The show, from its conception, has been about those who live life in excess. But many Real Housewives families have hit hard times. There have been bankruptcies, legal issues and in Teresa’s case, fraud.
One has to wonder if it is all worth it for those who want to be in the public eye. There is instant fame but not fortune — that you have to come up with on your own. What happened to Teresa Giudice and Joe Giudice is heartbreaking not for them, but for their four children. Had they not signed up to share their lives on national TV, would they still be looking at jail time? One has to wonder how much of an impact the pressure of being on the Real Housewives had on their choices. One thing’s for sure, I think we can all agree that it wasn’t worth it.
We may get some answers soon to Teresa’s motive for her financial folly. “I have said throughout that I respect the legal process and thus, I intend to address the court directly at sentencing,” Teresa said in her statement. “I will describe the choices I made, continue to take responsibility for my decision and express my remorse to Judge Salas and the public.”
Photo Source: PacificCoastNews.com