The New York Daily News reported on December 11, 2015 that the ‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ has a “new deal” where the cast “only gets paid if they get air time” by “making ratings-grabbing TV.”
The “Real Housewives Of New Jersey” better be ready to bring some weapons-grade drama to the next season — or risk a pay cut.
Until now, the stars had been paid a lump sum for the whole season. But Confidenti@l is told that producers will now only pay them for episodes they appear in.
Sources say the idea is to encourage the ladies to make ratings-grabbing TV, rather than coast and cash their paychecks.
We’re told the show’s longest running stars, Melissa Gorga and the soon-to-be-released-from-prison Teresa Giudice, will each be paid $50,000 per episode — if they make it in that week.
It’s unclear how much a third Housewife, Jacqueline Laurita, will get, but sources agree it is likely to be less because she skipped last season.
“The problem is you could sign a contract for an $800,000 salary and then sit back and do nothing,” said a source, “This way, you really have to bring it.”
“Across all the (“Housewives”) series there are people who are more committed and people who are less committed,” said another insider. “People sign up to do it and then lose their enthusiasm.”
This new plan is intended to combat that problem by encouraging maximum participation.
We’re told the new system doesn’t necessarily mean a pay cut for the combustible cast. Since the previous six seasons have had an average of 19 episodes, a Housewife deemed worthy of screen time in each episode could bag nearly $1 million at the end of the season — that would come close to the salaries of highest-paid Housewives across the whole franchise, like Nene Leakes and Bethenny Frankel.
Some of the “Real Housewives of New York” cast members moved to a per-episode pay plan last season and insiders say the same carrot-and-stick approach may add some zing to other series, like Atlanta and Beverly Hills — so we may see the plan rolled out to other shows when contracts are next negotiated.
Three part-time members of the cast — known as “friends of the Housewives” and heavily tipped to be matchmaker Siggy Flicker and couple Robyn Levy and Christina Flores — are expected to stay on a salary, somewhere around the $50,000 mark for the whole season.
Teresa Giudice’s mugshot above was published on the internet in early January 2015, and I was able to save a copy before it was quickly scrubbed. It must have been leaked by prison staff because federal inmates’ mugshots are considered the property of the federal government and are not made available to the public.
UPDATE 2/9/2016: Teresa confirmed in her prison memoir that the mugshot above is real:
“After I got dressed, it was time for my prison photo shoot. For a moment this reminded me of the many photographs I had posed for in magazines and promos for the show. But here I was getting my mug shot. Me? Getting a mug shot? Oh my God… Someone did end up releasing it to the media later on, but I didn’t care because I thought it was a good picture.”
In the mugshot, Teresa isn’t wearing her usual false eyelashes and heavy makeup, and her hair is a shorter than normal. She has been wearing her hair long for the past few years with the help of extensions.
She was photographed at the 3KT concert at iPlay America in Freehold, New Jersey, on December 26, 2014 (image below), with her long hair, so she was still wearing the extensions a week before her prison surrender date.
Also in the mugshot, Teresa appears to be wearing a necklace, which could be the “necklace with two medals” that her attorney, James L. Leonard, Jr., says he gave to her just before surrendering to prison:
Leonard told PEOPLE magazine that he presented Teresa with a set of rosary beads and a necklace with two medals – one for St. Christopher and one for St. Teresa. “They let her keep all of that,” he says. “She was very happy with that, and she told me she would keep them with her all the time.”
The photos below, published by TMZ, were taken of Teresa at a diner about a mile away from Danbury prison, where she ate before surrendering at 3 AM on January 5, 2015. She reportedly was wearing a black sweat suit. Her hair is these photos matches her hair in mugshot.
UPDATE 1/6/2016: The photo below was taken at Danbury federal prison on December 23, 2015, the day of Teresa’s release. It is clear from the her mugshot, prison photo, and prison-release photo that Teresa wears hair extensions for the show and public appearances.
Teresa will finish out the rest of her sentence, until February 5, 2016, on house arrest. She will be permitted to leave her home for work, doctor’s appointments and court dates. According to a source for RadarOnline:
Teresa “is required to check in daily with the Federal Location Monitoring program that is overseeing her house arrest. The ankle bracelet Teresa must wear until February also gives officials her exact location. While under house arrest, Teresa must be home no later than 9 pm. If she has a work commitment later than that, she must get prior approval.”
UPDATE 4/1/2015: The photo below of Teresa Giudice with Joe and their daughters was taken in the visiting room of Danbury federal prison. The Giudices sold the story and the first photos of Teresa in prison to Us Weekly as an exclusive (daughters Gia and Gabriella were cropped from the tabloid magazine’s cover). If the Giudices didn’t sell photos, the paparazzi or someone else would have done so, and it would have been others making money off the Giudices without any of it going to the family, and it would have been outside of their control. The problem is not that they are selling stories and photos, but that the haven’t used any of their earnings over the past five years to pay off their debts other than the $414,588.90 in restitution that they were ordered to pay toward their Wells Fargo mortgage debt as part of their plea deal (the couple still owes more than $10 million to other creditors). It also rubs many people the wrong way when Joe and Teresa include their children in the photo spreads.
E! News reported on the story:
With her tan fading and her naturally curly hair flowing freely, Teresa puts on a happy face for the camera as her husband shares new details about her life in prison. Teresa puts on a smile for her family, too. “She comes out with her smile, with a little wave,” Joe says.
According to Joe, the girls make nightly phone calls to Teresa and drive 80 miles a week to visit her in Connecticut. “I cry more than the girls,” he says. “I pretty much cry every time I leave. Like a little baby.”
During their six-hour reunions, Teresa, 42, helps her daughters with their homework while the younger ones take turns sitting on her lap. “It’s not a horrible place,” Joe explains. “She never says anything bad.”
While Gia, Gabriella and Milania realize Teresa is in prison, Joe says Audriana “thinks she’s working.”
Incarcerated since Jan. 5, Teresa—AKA Inmate No. 65703-050—begins each day with a 6 a.m. wakeup call. After putting on her khaki uniform, she reports to the cafeteria for breakfast and then hits the gym for the first of three workouts. “She exercises after every meal. It’s like a low-budget spa. They do spin classes, ab classes. She’s getting pretty ripped up,” Joe says, adding that other inmates “give her space.”
“Everyone I encounter—from the inmates to the staff—tell me the Teresa they have come to know is nothing like the Teresa they’ve seen on television,” her attorney, James. J. Leonard Jr., tells Us Weekly.
Teresa has made a “little group of friends,” and they watch TV shows like Empire and Scandal.
“I miss Joe and my girls terribly, but we are going to get through this as a family one day at a time,” Teresa says (through her lawyer). “We will be stronger because of this. Nothing can break us apart.”
Giudices’ Homes Are in Foreclosure; Teresa Could Be Released from Prison to a Halfway House or Home Confinement by December 23, 2015; Teresa Sues Bankruptcy Attorney and Hires Leonard Law Group
UPDATE 4/16/2015: On April 16, 2015, NJ.com reported that the bank which holds the mortgage on the Guidices’ Montville Township home started foreclosure proceedings against the couple, and that the couple’s other two homes are in pre-foreclosure:
Community Bank of Bergen County filed a notice of foreclosure in Morris County Superior Court Wednesday, April 15, on their Indian Lane property, according to court papers obtained by NJ Advance Media. The couple had returned to the mansion to the market this week with a $2.99 million listing price.
Community Bank was listed as one of the couple’s creditors in its 2010 bankruptcy filing, with a $1.7 million claim on the property. The couple eventually abandoned their bankruptcy claim after the trustee representing their creditors alleged they hid assets and income, which led to a federal prosecution that netted Teresa 15 months in prison and Joe 41 months. The trustee closed out the bankruptcy proceedings last year after only collecting $7,500; the end of the proceedings gave banks and other credits free reign to seek repayment.
The couple also had two other properties on the market since last year: a vacation home in Manahawkin and a modest three-bedroom home they rented out in Lincoln Park. But they pulled those homes off the market earlier this month. According to Zillow.com, the two homes are in pre-foreclosure, although there has been no notice of foreclosure for the Manahawkin home filed with Ocean County Superior Court. In May 2014, a mortgage holder on the Lincoln Park property filed a notice in Morris County Superior Court, but no further action has been taken.
UPDATE 4/23/2015: NJ.com reported on April 20, 2015, that the Giudices’ 1,350 SF shore home at 49 Sylvia Lane in Manahawkin, NJ (Stafford Township), will be go to action on May 19, 2015 (see image above). According to the Giudices’ October 2009 bankruptcy filing, the couple took out three mortgages on the property, which they purchased for $347,000 in December 2005 (near the peak of the real estate bubble). America’s Servicing Company holds the first mortgage and initiated the foreclosure proceeding.
Shore House at 49 Sylvia Lane, Manahawkin, NJ (Amount Owed – $550,266):
- 1st mortgage of $266,365 with America’s Servicing Co. (in Teresa’s name)
- 2nd mortgage of $33,903 with Ocwen Loan Servicing (in Teresa’s name)
- 3rd mortgage of $249,998 with Wachovia (in Teresa’s name)
6 Indian Lane, Towaco, NJ
UPDATE 3/1/2015: On March 1, 2015, the Giudices took their home off the market. It was on the market for six months, with two price reductions of $500,000 each. According to RadarOnline, Teresa and Joe are planning to let the house go into foreclosure, and multiple sources have confirmed the plan to stop making mortgage payments on the home and allow the bank to take back the property. The Giudices also placed their vacation home in Manahawkin and a rental property in Lincoln Park on the market in September. The Lincoln Park property is in default and has also been removed from the market.
On January 5, 2015, Joe and Teresa Giudice, for the second time, reduced the asking price of their home in Montville/Towaco, NJ, by $500,000. The new price is $2,999,000. The first $500,000 price cut was on November 6, 2014, which lowered the price to $3,499,000. The original asking price was $3,999,000, about twice the home’s estimated market value (Zillow estimates the home to be worth $2,036,408). The Giudices have a $1.72 million mortgage on the property.
According to TMZ:
The latest cut brings the asking price to a relatively reasonable $2.99 million. Their realtor believes that should do the trick. Teresa and Joe are cash strapped after their conviction and they want to radically downsize.
On September 8, 2014, just weeks before their sentencing hearing, the Giudices listed their mansion for sale. They also put their shore house and a rental property in Lincoln Park, NJ on the market (click here and read the last comment for more details).
In October 2009, when the Giudices filed for bankruptcy protection, they briefly listed their home for sale for $3.99 million, but they pulled it from the market on June 11, 2010. They withdrew their bankruptcy petitions in late 2011 after the court determined they both committed fraud by failing to disclose all their assets.
Given the chance to respond to the Trustee’s allegations, Joe Giudice had a change of heart about his bankruptcy. When questioned about hiding the family’s assets, Joe chose to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination; and, soon thereafter, he settled his dispute with the Trustee. [Source]
According to the consent order, Teresa agrees to waive discharge of her debts, and acknowledges that she wishes to resolve the Trustee’s proceedings against her “without the need for further inquiry or litigation, and without her making any further admissions.” [Source]
Since 2011, the Giudices have added the carport and detached garages (see photos above; click here for more photos of the home).
Teresa Giudice reported to federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut in the early morning hours of January 5, 2015, to begin her 15-month sentence for mortgage fraud and bankruptcy fraud.
While federal statute calls for an inmate to serve 85% of the sentence imposed, under BOP calculations the inmate will serve approximately 87.5% of their time. Under the Second Chance Act, an inmates may serve the last 10 percent of their sentence (up to six months) at a halfway house or on home incarceration. If Teresa earns her maximum of 60 days credit for “good conduct time,” she would serve 11 1/2 months in Danbury prison and then she would be released around December 23, 2015 to a halfway house or under house arrest to serve out the last 45 days of the 13 months to complete her sentence (15 months minus 60 days equals 13 months). Parole applies only if the sentence is for five years or longer.
When asked by Good Morning America about any possibility of early release, Teresa’s attorney, James L. Leonard Jr., said that would be “up to the judge and the Bureau of Prisons.” However, Leonard told the New York Post and ET that Teresa could be home by next Christmas:
“We project Teresa will be home sometime before Christmas.”
“Your expectations are you will serve 85% of your sentence and that then you will be able to get out… on house arrest at some point prior to the 85%,” Leonard revealed. “Right now, barring any change in her sentence, she is probably there until December.”
For Teresa, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) calculated her release date with “good conduct time” credit as February 5, 2016.
At the beginning of a prisoner’s sentence, the full amount of “good conduct time” is credited (awarded up front) and reflected in the projected release date. “Good conduct time” is subject to forfeiture if the prisoner commits disciplinary infractions.
Good conduct time is credited at 54 days per year, prorated, pursuant to PS 5884.03. In reality, the BOP gives an inmate 47 days per year after the first year’s credit. So while the statute calls for an inmate to serve 85% of the sentence imposed, the BOP credits the amount of time actually served. So the BOP makes the inmate serve approximately 87.5% of their time. In other words, inmates who earn their “good conduct time” end up serving 87.5% percent of their sentences.
In Teresa’s case, approximately 60 days of “good conduct time” can be earned (approximately 4 days per month x 15 months), so the calculation by the BOP for her projected release is two months less than her 15-month sentence.
In addition to “good conduct time” credit, the BOP may award “extra good time” credit for performing exceptionally meritorious service, duties of outstanding importance, or for employment in an industry or camp.
“Extra good time” is awarded at a rate of three days per month during the first 12 months, and at the rate of five days per month thereafter. Furthermore, any staff member may recommend to the Warden the approval of an inmate for a “lump sum award” of “extra good time.” Such recommendations must be for an exceptional act or service that is not a part of a regularly assigned duty. The Warden may make “lump sum awards” of “extra good time” of not more than 30 days.
Under the Second Chance Act, inmates may serve the last 10 percent of their sentence (up to six months) at a halfway house or home incarceration (inmates can serve half of this period at the halfway house and half of this period on home incarceration). Ten percent of Teresa’s 15-month sentence is approximately 45 days, or about a month and a half.
The BOP calculated release date is the date the inmate is released from BOP custody, which includes prison time and halfway house/home confinement under the Second Chance Act.
Parole applies only if the sentence is for five years or longer: 18 USC4206(d) requires the Parole Commission to release an offender after he has served two-thirds of the sentence, unless the Commission determines he has seriously violated BOP prison rules or regulations or there is a reasonable probability he will commit a crime.
If Teresa earns her maximum of 60 days credit for “good conduct time,” she would serve 11 1/2 months in Danbury prison and then she would be released around December 23, 2015 to a halfway house or under house arrest to serve out the last 45 days of the 13 months to complete her sentence (15 months minus 60 days equals 13 months). She would then be on supervised release for two years.
For example, Bernie Kerik, a former New York City police commissioner and Al Manzo’s best friend, spent the last five months of his four-year federal sentence on home confinement (he pleaded guilty in 2009 to eight charges, including criminal conspiracy, tax fraud and lying under oath).
Leonard, who has “been involved with Teresa now for more than a month,” is a criminal defense attorney turned entertainment lawyer (Leonard Law Group, LLC) who is making the rounds with various media outlets, putting a positive spin on things.