Attorney James J. Leonard Jr, is seeking to clear up misconceptions surrounding his most gabbed about client, “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star, Teresa Giudice. Teresa has been behind federal prison bars for almost four months now, but the tea is still being spilled by various “insiders,” to gossip sites that hold fast to the notion that reality felon dirt still sells.
Leonard decided to speak to People Magazine in order to address the biggest questions that have led to the broadest misconceptions about the ex-Bravo star, in order to set the record straight, Leonard tackles seven of the biggies, the first being the rumor that Teresa has met with a divorce lawyer, to set the stage for a split from husband, Joe.
“I can state unequivocally that I am the only lawyer that Teresa has met with since she has been in prison,” Leonard says. “While we have discussed many things, we have never discussed her divorcing Joe. If anything, as bizarre as it may seem, this experience of them being apart has only brought them closer. She has also talked about her future with Joe and the girls.”
Leonard refutes the released story regarding Joe meeting with the feds, and supposedly blowing any chance of an early release date for Teresa.
“Several months back we were able to secure an early release date of Dec. 23,” Leonard told PEOPLE earlier this year. “That means Teresa will leave the prison on Dec. 23 and go home and sleep in her own bed. Two days later she will wake up and celebrate Christmas with Joe and her girls,” noting that the rest of her sentence would be served as a period of home confinement, ending in February, 2016.
He responds to accounts of Teresa acting like a diva inmate, and asserts just the opposite is actually true.
“Let’s be clear,” he says. “She is in a correctional facility. She’s in a federal prison. She is not in a country club or some resort. She is surrounded by women from all walks of life, many of whom have violent backgrounds, and she has adapted extremely well to her surroundings.”
“If you’re in prison and you have problems with another inmate, the other inmate doesn’t anonymously go to a gossip blog and report the problem. They step to the inmate and they confront the problem and it gets dealt with one way or another.The truth is she had not had a single incident or infraction since she arrived at Danbury. She has been a model inmate in every sense of the word.”
Will Bravo have Teresa back as a Real Housewife?
“Anyone who has watched that show since the very first episode understands that Teresa Giudice is the central figure around which the show revolves,” he says. “That’s not to take anything away from any of the other women, but Teresa has been the focal point for the last six seasons, and I don’t expect that to change moving forward, assuming both sides can agree on a contract.”
What is the real state of Teresa’s relationship with her sister in law, Melissa Gorga?
“I know it is contrary to popular belief, but Melissa doesn’t hate Teresa and Teresa doesn’t hate Melissa,” he says. “Do they see eye-to-eye on everything? Absolutely not. Show me two sisters-in-law that do.”
“What you see on television are snippets of their life that are edited and pieced together to fit the format of the show. But the truth is they can and often do co-exist without any problems in their everyday lives. I think that the Teresa/Melissa dynamic makes for good television and will likely continue in season 7, but hopefully in a less dramatic fashion.”
Is the Giudice NJ mansion indeed in foreclosure?
“I have been told that Joe is in the process of reconfiguring their mortgage with the bank,” he says. “I do know that the house has been on the market for quite some time. I think they will either refinance their loan and keep the house or they will find a buyer and move into a new house. I do not envision a scenario in which their home will be foreclosed.”
How are the four Giudice girls faring while their is mom locked up?
“They are holding up surprisingly well, but they miss their mother terribly,” he says. “This is a very difficult situation, but this is a very strong family. I know the girls can’t wait to have their mother home.”
Leonard knows that even indignant clarifications keep his reality star client relevant. As the weeks and months tick by, one of the challenges is to keep the public interested and talking, in order to one day revive a criminally battered career. Colorful rumors dulled by either truth or spin, would seem to fit the bill, as Teresa Giudice waits it out.