Sad news for the Giudice family!
Late Friday night, Joe Giudice was freed from ICE custody and immediately boarded a plane for Rome, Italy. Joe will continue to fight his deportation appeal while living in Italy.
The Giudice family lawyer James J. Leonard Jr. confirmed to PEOPLE, in a statement on Friday, that the father of four is “free.”
“He is en route to Italy right now. He spoke to Teresa and Gia from the plane, and he is extremely happy to be released, more than words can describe,” Leonard continued.
Adding, “We are still fighting, and it is his desire to return home to the United States to be reunited with his family.”
TMZ was the first to report that Joe was leaving the U.S. for Italy and that he would be flying economy.
Joe originally petitioned to be released to the New Jersey home he shares with his wife, Teresa Giudice, and their four daughters Gia, 18, Gabriella, 15, Milania, 14, and Audriana, 10. However, that petition was denied.
The hope is that Joe can work and make money for his family while in Italy. Joe is still hopeful that his appeal will be granted and that he will be allowed to return to his family in the United States.
Joe has been away from his family since March 2016 when he began serving his 41-month prison sentence for wire and bankruptcy fraud. In March 2019, Joe was released from prison and was immediately taken into ICE custody. Since then, Joe has been living at the Clinton County Correctional Center in Pennsylvania.
Following Joe’s release from ICE custody, Teresa reacted to the news in a post on Instagram.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey star posted a photo of the statue of liberty crying on Instagram. She seemingly asked fans for prayers by captioning the photo with several prayer emojis.
Gia also shared a screenshot of a Facetime call she had with her dad following his release. This is the first time we have seen Joe since he entered prison. Joe looks completely different than the Juicy Joe we got to know and love on RHONJ.
“One of the happiest tmomments of my life Love you so much daddy, so happy your [sic] free! See you soon,” Gia captioned the screenshot.
Meanwhile, Us Weekly reports that Teresa is already planning a trip with her daughters to Italy.
“Teresa already has a trip to Italy planned. She’ll be taking all her girls,” a source tells Us Weekly. “Teresa and all the girls will be visiting sooner rather than later. It’s fast approaching.”
The Real Housewives of New Jersey returns for season 10 on Wednesday, November 6th, at 9 pm EST on Bravo.
Team AllAboutTRH is thinking of the Giudice family. This isn’t the turnout, we all hoped for, but at least Joe is free. However, we remain hopeful that Joe will win his appeal and will return to the U.S. to be with his family.