“The Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Teresa Giudice has had her fair share of press over the years in regards to legal issues, and this week that saga continued. The 41-year-old reality star and her husband, Joe Giudice, made an appearance at the United States District Court in Newark Tuesday to fight a series of allegations that could ultimately lead to a 50-year prison sentence.
The Giudices, who are currently facing a 39-count indictment, were charged with bank and bankruptcy fraud, making false statements on loan applications, and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. According to Us Weekly, Giudice and her husband were each released on an unsecured $500,000 bond Tuesday and are due back in court on Aug. 14. A lawyer speaking on behalf of Teresa confirmed the reality star is planning to plead not guilty.
“The judicial process that begins today with an indictment is a search for truth,” the couple's attorney, Miles Feinstein, said. “As it moves forward, we look forward to vindicating her. We’re going to meet these charges and fight them.”
Giudice is only the most recent cast member of the popular Bravo series to find herself in a highly publicized court battle. Here are three other "Real Housewives of New Jersey" stars who have had their own legal troubles:
Jacqueline Laurita, who has starred with Giudice since the series' debut in 2009, remained off the radar when it came to legal issues until 2011, when a report surfaced that she was being sued for $7.8 million.
According to the Huffington Post, the lawsuit against Laurita, husband Chris, and brother-in-law Joseph Laurita, stemmed from the 2010 dissolution of their clothing company, Signature Apparel. The lawsuit claimed the trio used company profits “for personal gain,” including renting luxury airplanes, leasing luxury vehicles, and using funds to pay off personal credit cards.
Former business partners were not the only ones to attack the Laurita family. In March, TMZ reported that the New Jersey Division of Taxation filed a lien against the couple after they reportedly neglected to pay almost $340,000 in taxes.
Melissa Gorga famously attacked sister-in-law Teresa Giudice during her first season on the series in 2011 for not paying her bills, only to find herself facing legal trouble soon after. According to a report in June from Radar Online, Gorga and her husband, Joe, were forced to put their Toms Rivers, N.J., home on the market after allegedly owing more than four times its value on their mortgage.
The couple's home reportedly went on the market for $500,000, a huge decrease from the $2,250,000 mortgage they obtained in 2007. “They are portraying a life that they really didn’t live prior to the show. Melissa likes to drop name brands now and has become very arrogant,” a source revealed, also claiming that the couple owed money to “a lot of people.” "Joe loves the fact that Joe Giudice has financial issues, yet he’s in the same boat!” Despite reports to the contrary, Gorga told the Huffington Post that all claims regarding the couple's money problems were "100 percent false."
The legal troubles of "Housewives” star Danielle Staub’s were also made public --- as a main story line during the show’s first season. Staub’s history of legal problems came to light when her former co-stars discovered the book “Cop Without a Badge,” which revealed Staub’s history of kidnapping and drug-dealing. The discovery of the book was followed by multiple reports of lawsuits and money troubles.
According to the New York Daily News, Staub was sued by ex-lover Stephen Zalewski in 2010 after she allegedly filmed their sexual escapades. “She was standing there talking with her friends about how Steve hid cameras and recorded her without her knowing,” said Zalewski’s attorney Nace Naumoski, who confirmed that a defamation suit had been filed.
While Staub successfully won her legal battle against the strip club Scores New York in 2012 after fighting claims that she refused to finish her compensated legal obligations to work, she is currently facing more legal trouble. According to a report from TMZ Wednesday, Staub is accused of hiding assets following her June 2012 filing of Chapter 7 bankruptcy in which she reported being in debt in the range of $1 million. The former reality star has reportedly since agreed to pay creditors $35,000 to settle her debts in an effort to avoid charges.