ABC News’ Taylor Behrendt reports:
Teresa Giudice, the star of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” isn’t afraid of a fight, and now she’s resolute as she prepares for a courtroom battle following an indictment on multiple fraud charges.
In an exclusive interview about her legal troubles, the feisty Giudice told ABC News’ Amy Robach: “I can’t just be upset and crawl up in a ball and just go in a room and — and lock the door. I can’t. I’m a mom. I have four daughters.”
According to court documents obtained by ABC News, Giudice and her husband, Joe Giudice, face a 41-count indictment alleging the pair engaged in mail and wire fraud, bank fraud and bankruptcy fraud from 2001 to 2011.
The documents also allege that her husband, Joe Giudice, 43, failed to submit tax return for years 2004 through 2008. In total, the Giudices allegedly obtained more than $5 million in bank loans due to fraudulent and falsified paperwork, the documents also add.
Asked by Robach what she knew about any of the allegations, Giudice, 41, replied: “I would love to answer all your questions and one day I will. But, you know, out of respect of the process, I’m going to let, you know, the legal matters play out in court.”
She did say that, when she’s in private, her legal troubles do affect her.
“I would be lying to say I didn’t, you know, that’s not happening,” she said.
Giudice and her husband have pleaded not guilty, and at the request of their lawyers, have asked to be tried separately.
If their request for separate trials is granted, Joe Giudice will testify to his wife’s non-involvement in the alleged criminal activity, according to documents.
Teresa Giudice says her three youngest children “really don’t know what’s going on.
“My oldest does know something’s going on. But — you know, we say, you know, ‘Mommy and daddy, you know, have a legal team that’s handling it,’” she said.
If they are convicted, the Giudices each face up to 30 years in prison. Joe Giudice, who was born in Italy and is not a U.S. citizen, could be deported.
He says he has to remain strong for his wife and children.
“You have to. You know, you really have to,” he said. “I mean, you’ve got to be strong-minded, number one. If you’re weak, you’re not going to make it.”
The couple is currently juggling a hectic schedule. They’re filming season six of the Bravo reality TV show, while Teresa Giudice is also keeping busy with her business endeavors – including five cookbooks and her Fabulicious line through which she offers Italian food, hair products and other items.
Joe Giudice says he’s “proud” of the success his wife has had since she’s been on the show.
The couple has been dogged by rumors that Joe Giudice has been unfaithful to his wife. He denied those rumors, and his wife is supportive.
“No rumor is ever going to come between us,” she said. “And, you know, if anything, through all this it’s made us stronger. I’m grateful for that.”