Reality television star Teresa Giudice arrived home for an emotional family reunion Wednesday after being released from prison, where she spent a year for bankruptcy fraud and conspiracy, her lawyer said.
Giudice, a cast member of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," was released from the Danbury Federal Correctional Institution in Connecticut, where she had been serving time since Jan. 5.
By 9 a.m. Wednesday, she was back at her home in Montville, New Jersey, where she plans to spend Christmas with her husband, Joe, and their four daughters, Gia, Gabriella, Milania and Audriana. Her attorney, James Leonard Jr., said Giudice asked to listen to Christmas music in the car ride home -- and for a cappuccino, which was waiting for her in the vehicle.
Giudice was released from the prison at 5:01 a.m., according to Bravo. Three boxes of fan mail were among the belongings she took with her.
According to her Leonard, one of the first comments she made upon leaving the prison Wednesday morning was, "I can't believe this is happening."
Leonard, who drove Giudice home from prison with the paparazzi close behind, said his client is upbeat and happy to be home. He said she was met with signs from her children at the front door and a Lexus with a red bow on it.
Giudice and her husband and daughters will spend Christmas Eve at her brother Joe Gorga's house, also in Montville, and from there, she'll make time for other members of her family, Leonard told Bravo, the network that airs "Real Housewives."
Giudice will remain on home confinement until Feb. 5. Until then, she has to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet. Four days later, her tell-all memoir about her stint in prison is expected to be released, according to E! News.
"There are a lot of things that she's missed, unfortunately, and she's going to have to kind of get brought up to speed on all of that," Leonard told Bravo's The Daily Dish. "The first few days home will be kind of getting acclimated to all of that, but my expectations are it will take her a few days then she will be back on her feet. But she's really looking forward to being home being with her husband and being with her children [for the holidays], 100 percent."
The Federal Bureau of Prisons says it does not give out any information on an inmate's release, citing safety, security and management concerns.
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Giudice and her husband pleaded guilty last year to bankruptcy fraud.
They admitted hiding assets from bankruptcy creditors and submitting phony loan applications to get some $5 million in mortgages and construction loans.
Joe Giudice also pleaded guilty to failing to pay taxes. He is expected to start his 41-month sentence in March and has said he will serve his term at the Federal Correctional Institution at Fort Dix in southern Jersey.
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A federal judge staggered the couple's sentences in deference to their children.
Joe Giudice is not an American citizen and could be deported to Italy when he's released.