Theresa Giudice is officially a "free" woman -- well, sort of. The star of Bravo's "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" has been imprisoned at Danbury Women's Correctional Facility since January for fraud charges. She was sentenced to a full 15 months, the remainder of which she will serve on house arrest.
— People magazine (@people) December 23, 2015
According to a report from E! Online, Teresa, 43, was released from the prison early Wednesday. Almost immediately after being released she met with her lawyer, James Leonard. The pair then headed for her New Jersey home so she could reunite with her four daughters: Gia, Gabriella, Milania and Audriana, as well as her husband, Joe Giudice. People magazine was able to obtain photos of Teresa being driven back to her home.
"She is free," Leonard told People.
Although the reality star has remained tight-lipped on her release, members of her family, as well as her close friends, have spoken out in support. Her eldest daughter, Gia, 14, took to Twitter Wednesday morning to welcome her mother back home. She kept her message short and to the point, leaving out her mom's Twitter handle. "Real Housewives" creator Andy Cohen also welcomed Teresa home on Twitter along with "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Kyle Richards.
— Gia Giudice (@TrueGia) December 23, 2015
— Andy Cohen (@Andy) December 23, 2015
— Kyle Richards (@KyleRichards) December 20, 2015
Teresa's family has been waiting for the moment for several months now. On Dec. 9, it was reported that the children had started a countdown to their mother's release and couldn't wait for the opportunity to "hug her." Sources told E! that her entire family was "very proud" of the way she handled this less-than-perfect situation and how strong she was throughout. They were said to be "thankful" that she was able to procure an early release date.
Of course, it seems Teresa's lawyers comments on being "free" are strictly figurative. The reality star may not be in prison any longer, but she is far from a free woman. It was revealed by Leonard in April that Teresa would be coming home early. He told fans she would be returning home to spend the holidays with her family, though she would be on house arrest until February 2016. Shortly after her release her husband Joe, 43, will begin his 41-month sentence.
Teresa has yet to comment on her release.