UPDATE MARCH 24, 2015: Andy Cohen sat down with E! News’ Alicia Quarles on March 19, 2015 (click here for the video). When asked if the rumors about Tiki Barber’s wife joining the cast of RHONJ were true, Andy replied, “So false,” and then stated that he hasn’t seen any “Jersey casting.” He went on to explain: “Here’s the thing. They’re doing a wide net, so we haven’t cast Jersey. So anything you’ve heard about casting Jersey is not true, right now.” Andy also said he hasn’t spoken to Teresa Giudice in prison yet and that he “checks in with Dina [Manzo] to find out how she’s doing,” adding that she’s doing okay.
On March 23, 2015, a TMZ cameraman ran into Tiki and his wife outside a New York City restaurant and asked them about rumblings that Traci was joining the cast of RHONJ. He replied: “No, don’t believe everything you read.” When the cameraman asked Tiki — who already runs a celebrity booking company — about doing ANY reality show, he told them “he’s already got enough jobs.”
New York Daily News’ Confidenti@l reported on March 13, 2015 that Traci Lynn Johnson, Maxim model and wife to retired New York Giants running back Tiki Barber, is poised to join the the Real Housewives of New Jersey for its upcoming season. According to the insider for Confidenti@l, Sirens execs and Bravo bigwigs held a meeting in early March where Traci was named a front-runner.
Confidenti@l’s insider explained that a casting director for Sirens Media, producer of the show, was given a deadline at the end of February to find someone to anchor the series alongside cast member Melissa Gorga. When Melissa appeared on WWHL with Cynthia Bailey on March 8, 2015, RHONJ executive producer Andy Cohen asked her about Teresa Giudice, indicting he intends to maintain Teresa’s connection to the show via her brother and sister-in-law.
Traci and Tiki appeared along with Joe and Melissa Gorga on the ‘Bethenny’ show on September 19, 2013 [photo above]. Speaking on ‘Bethenny,’ Tiki told America that his fifth child, and Traci’s first, was due in December 2013 before rubbing his young bride’s belly as the live audience applauded (she gave birth to a daughter, Brooklyn).
With negotiations underway, sources say Traci’s “big, over-the-top personality” and tendency toward scandal fits the bill. Tiki married one-time mistress and girlfriend Traci in a civil ceremony in New York’s City Hall in 2012, eight days after his divorce from his college sweetheart and wife of 11 years, Ginny — who was eight months pregnant with twins at the time — became final. At the time of their affair, Traci was a 23-year-old intern at NBC and Tiki was a correspondent for the “Today” show [he lost his job because of the affair].
Traci, now 28, is currently pregnant. She moved with Tiki to NJ a few years ago and is next door neighbors with Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi from “Jersey Shore” fame [Snooki has refuted claims that she has been “begging” to be part of RHONJ, and Andy Cohen tweeted that Snooki will not be a part of season 7].
A different Confidenti@l source says Traci and Tiki have been interested in doing reality TV for some time, but added there’s no confirmation yet on whether Traci will appear on the show. Athough Bravo has yet to officially announce what is happening with the series, a source for E! News said the rumor is true about Traci joining the cast and said that even though Traci “isn’t officially locked down yet, it looks like it’s going to happen”:
“When producers approached Traci, they told her they were revamping the show. Their goal is to include more well-known names and make New Jersey look more glamorous, like the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”
Traci isn’t the only new face being courted for the show. Hala Kerik, wife of former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik—and good friend to Caroline Manzo—and Amber Sabathia, wife of Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia, have been approached. Amber and CC ultimately decided they didn’t want to open their lives to reality cameras.
“Potential new cast members are being told the show will take an entirely different direction. The focus isn’t going to be on Teresa and her family’s legal troubles. It’s time for a fresh start. More fun and more glam.”
But that doesn’t mean the cast from last season—or previous years—are out. “It’s still early in the process. They’re meeting with a lot of women and trying to determine what ensemble will work best for the show.”
UPDATE MARCH 18, 2015: RumorFix reported on March 17, 2015 that sources “close to production” say that Traci is a shoe-in for the gig and that Bravo, under the gun because they were scheduled to start shooting RHONJ episodes in April: (1) is interested in casting lesbian couple Rose De Jesus and Tobi Petrocelli, a real estate tycoon; (2) Maria Bach, Sebastian Bach’s ex-wife, has been considered; (3) Jacqueline Laurita and the twins Nicole Napolitano and Teresa Aprea will return; and (4) everyone else’s fate is unknown.
“Bravo is trying very hard to recast the whole show. If they wanted the old crew the contracts would have been signed by October-November and they would be filming December-April to have the show on air in July, one year after last year’s premiere. Bravo hasn’t cut the old crew 100% loose yet because they need them for backup if the test filming they are doing with new housewives doesn’t work. They want something on the air in New Jersey versus nothing, so the old cast sits in limbo and can’t say a word and have to sweat it out. Teresa may be back on Bravo at some point, but she is done on the Housewives. She attracts fans and viewers when she is funny and off the cuff with her family and friends, but she can’t do that on RHNJ because she is always the target and on edge, too cautious and that is not what people want to watch anymore. Bravo will recast and try to hit gold again and then eventually give Teresa some role on her own down the line.” [Jshappyday, March 8, 2015, Reality Tea]
On February 10, 2015, at the 12th Annual Woman’s Day Red Dress Awards, Andy Cohen shared his thoughts with US Magazine on the fate of RHONJ:
“I can’t imagine not filming The Real Housewives of New Jersey. It’s a big franchise for Bravo, and I think whatever we do, we’re going to do it the right way, so we’re still figuring that out right now.”
When asked whether there might be a way to still include Teresa while she’s behind bars, Andy replied:
“I don’t know the specifics of what they allow, but I can’t see them allowing [us to film people visiting her in prison].”
As of February 7, 2015, according to Andy, no footage has been shot for season 7. He also noted that he has taken pleasure in firing a Housewife of the franchise, but wouldn’t say who:
On January 30, 2015, PEOPLE magazine reported that Bravo may be introducing some new faces to RHONJ:
“The network wasn’t happy with last season,” says a source. “They want a new vibe with fresh Jersey faces.”
But that doesn’t count out all of the show’s season six cast members.
“Some older faces will for sure come back to keep the viewers happy,” adds the source. “It could get interesting.”
A second source says the network isn’t even sure when the show will air again.
“No one knows when it’s coming back,” says a Bravo insider.
On January 29, 2015, Tami B Casting began recruiting new cast members for RHONJ season 7:
Tami Brandel @tamibcasting · Feb 2
#NEWJERSEY #CASTING Classy ladies who live a Beverly Hills lifestyle with a Jersey Zipcode & attitude! email@example.com
Tami Brandel @tamibcasting · Jan 31
ATTENTION NEW JERSEY! Now Casting Ladies and Families who live a classy and fabulous Beverly Hills lifestyle… http://fb.me/3mLKNxlcm
Tami B Casting also recruited for RHONJ season 6 but was not credited as a casting producer, which means she did not actually cast anyone [Jim Marchese claims he negotiated the contracts for the new cast members on season 6]:
Tami Brandel @tamibcasting · 5 Mar 2013
#JERSEY HOUSEWIFE/FAMILY CASTING! Hot affluent sassy Jersey ladies/sisters/cousins/friends Please Retweet! firstname.lastname@example.org
Tami Brandel @tamibcasting · 28 Feb 2013
PLEASE REFER! JERSEY WOMEN CASTING- http://fb.me/2vDHKOh2d
Tami Brandel @tamibcasting · 25 Feb 2013
Please refer! #casting #NewJersey #Fabulous Women/Housewives http://www.tamibcasting.com/Currently_Casting.html …
Tami Brandel @tamibcasting · 24 Feb 2013
#Casting #Jersey women/ housewives please refer email@example.com
On January 29, 2015, RadarOnline reported that Christina Caparoula (@ccaparoula) is “a casting director/producer who worked on the fifth season of the show,” who is casting for RHONJ season 7. She tweeted on January 26 that she is “Casting Season 7 of Real Housewives of New Jersey,” with a link to her gmail account. She also posted an ad on her Facebook page, Caparoula Casting.
However, on her IMDb page she has no credits for producing or casting. Since the report from Radar, Christina has deleted the tweet from her timeline and removed the posting from Facebook. Also, she tweeted on January 29, 2015: “Talk about some #buzz that I wasn’t even aware of…..”
Gia Giudice’s manager also jumped into the mix by tweeting that a network TV channel is “seeking affluent women in New Jersey living a Beverly Hills lifestyles:”
Regarding returning Housewives for season 7, Amber Marchese’s chances of getting offered a contract are looking slim. On November 6, 2014, RHONJ executive producer Andy Cohen tweeted her husband, Jim, telling him: “We need to talk about you on Twitter.” Jim tweeted a nonsensical reply: “No Andy…we need to talk.”
Jim has gotten into a nasty Twitter exchanges with fans of the show. The most notable one was with OldJeresyLady on November 23, 2014:
Photoshop credit and caption on the image to the left: StoopidHousewives.com
On November 11, 2014, during a Q&A on Reddit, Andy was asked about Jim: “Is Jim really that big of a douche?” Andy replied: “He is exactly as he appears on television.”
The photo above recently circulated on the internet as Teresa Giudice’s mugshot from Danbury prison. However, it has not been confirmed that it is authentic and could be photoshopped. Federal inmates’ mugshots are considered the property of the federal government and, therefore, are not made available in the public domain, so this photo is either a hoax or it was leaked by someone within the Bureau of Prisons and later scrubbed from the internet.
In the “mugshot,” Teresa isn’t wearing her usual false eyelashes and heavy makeup, and her hair is a little shorter than normal. She has been wearing her hair long for the past few years, probably 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 the alleged mugshot.
Giudices’ Mansion in Foreclosure and Removed from the Market; Teresa Could Be Released from Prison to a Halfway House or Home Confinement by December 21, 2015; Teresa Sues Bankruptcy Attorney and Hires Leonard Law Group
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. However, NJ Advance Media spoke with the Giudices’ realtor, Frank Cooney of Stonebrook Realty, who said: “We are taking it off until the snow melts.” He explained that the market is “very slow” for homes at the price point. As to whether the couple plans to drop the price further, Cooney says he hasn’t discussed it with them yet. The Giudices also placed their vacation home in Manahawkin and a rental property in Lincoln Park on the market in September, but those prices are standing firm at $315,000 and $179,900, respectively.
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 below; 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 21, 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 21, 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.