Teresa Giudice The Real Housewives of New Jersey - RHONJ

Teresa Giudice Says She ‘Never Thought Fame and Money Would Ruin Our Family and It Did’ Plus She’s ‘Known for a Long Time’ About Decision to Separate from Husband Joe

Teresa Giudice is thankful that her family drama with brother Joe Gorga is OVER.

For years, fans saw her family drama with Joe and sister-in-law Melissa Gorga play out on The Real Housewives of New Jersey but Teresa can happily say it’s a thing of the past.

Teresa tells PEOPLE, there is currently “no family drama” between her, Joe, and Melissa which is a stark contrast to the early seasons of the franchise.

“That was all nonsense,” Teresa says now of their old drama. “I don’t even want to remember that. That was like a sad time in our lives.”

“I never thought fame and money would ruin our family, and it did,” Teresa said.

Melissa also previously talked about her and Teresa’s past drama calling it a “very, very negative” experience.

“In the beginning, it was super hard because it was basically Melissa against Teresa and it was very hard,” Melissa told PEOPLE in November 2018. “We were at each other’s throats and the whole experience was very, very negative. It was a divided show. It was a horrible, horrible time in our lives.”

Nowadays, Teresa says she and her brother are closer than ever.

“We only have each other, and I mean, I adore him,” she gushed.

Meanwhile, Teresa also opened up about her separation from husband Joe Giudice, which she says was in the works for “a long time.”

“I’ve known for like a long time. Just because we’ve been apart for so long,” she said. “We’ve been apart for a really long time. After my mom passed away, like a lot of resentment, a lot of things that just happened after I lost my mom.”

It’s no secret that Joe and Teresa have had their fair share of ups and downs over the years but fans were hoping the two could reconcile when they reunited in Italy. In November 2019, Teresa and her four daughters took a trip to Italy to see Joe for the first since he was released from ICE custody.

Post-trip Teresa told PEOPLE she and Joe were taking their relationship “day by day” to “see what happens.”

“I mean, I can’t predict the future, but as of now, it was two and a half days. It was too short to decide,” she said at the time. “But our daughters are the most important thing. We’ll see what happens. I mean, he lives in Italy, I live in America. I don’t know if that’s going to work.”

Clearly, that didn’t work out as less than a month later reports emerged that the RHONJ couple had called it quits. Teresa confirmed their split earlier this week.

“I will always have a special place for him in my heart. And I think where he was, he was really angry, just because of the situation and everything. And I think he just took out a lot on me,” she said. “He texts me all the time that I love you. I adore you. You’re the best wife, best mother.”

“We’re separated [by] the Atlantic Ocean and from the federal government. How can I be with someone like that?” she continued. “He lives in Italy and I live here. We want the best for each other. I want him to be happy. He wants me to be happy. And that’s it. We’re going to be the best parents we could to our four daughters.”

Teresa also says she knew for a long time that her marriage was over but says it was “hurtful to hear” that Joe “felt nothing” for her.

“It’s just been a build-up,” she says. “But I do wish him well and I just want him to be happy. I even told the girls and him this … when you’re with someone, I’ll even come and hang out with you with her and with our daughters because I want to make it good.”

“I want to make it good for my daughters because if I’m good with it, then they’ll be good with it,” she says.

Despite only being separated for three months, Teresa already knows what she wants in her next relationship and is enlisting her friends, like Dolores Catania, to help her find it.

“That he tells me I’m beautiful,” she said when asked what she’s looking for in a relationship. “Joe would never tell me I was beautiful. I would ask, ‘How do I look?’ And he’d say, ‘You look good, you look good.’ We were together for a long time. He was a great husband. I obviously loved his way then, but then afterward you see what you really left.”

“I know what I want for her, and I want to see her just have that gentle, kind man, but he’s got to be tough too because she likes that like buff guy,” Dolores added.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST on Bravo.

Thoughts on Teresa’s interview? Are you surprised Teresa is being so open about her split from Joe? Do you think Teresa already has a new man in her life?

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