'Real Housewives of NJ' stars Teresa and Joe Giudice: 'We have never lived beyond our means'

Real Housewives of NJ-Fraud Charges
FILE - This Sept. 13, 2009 file photo originally released by Oral-B Pulsonic shows "Real Housewives of New Jersey" stars, Teresa Giudice, left, and her husband Joe Giudice at the Caravan Fashion Show sponsored by Oral-B Pulsonic in New York. Teresa and Giuseppe ìJoeî Giudice were charged in a 39-count indictment handed up Monday, July 29, 2013, in Newark, N.J. The two are accused of submitting fraudulent mortgage and other loan applications from 2001 through 2008, a year before their show debuted on Bravo. Prosecutors say they made false claims about their employment status and salaries. (AP Photo/Oral-B Pulsonic, Gary He)

Teresa and Joe Giudice are known for their confrontational behavior as stars of Bravo's Real Housewives of NJ- frequently clashing, interchangeably, with cast-mates and family members on the show. However, the normally-outspoken couple has remained silent following a 39-count indictment served by the feds in July that leaves the two facing up to 50 years in prison.

That is- until Sunday night- when their interview with Andy Cohen aired on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live.

"I'm a big girl and I have an attorney and we are going to fight this," said Teresa, 41, who described her current situation as "devastating."

Fighting back tears, the mother-of-four told Cohen that she is currently dealing with "anxiety" and "sleepless nights," adding, "I used to sleep like a baby, now I get up."

Clutching her husband's hand throughout the interview, she shared, "I am not crawling under a rock and hiding. That's not me."

"I am still going to be the person who I am today and the day I go to court, when we resolve this, everyone will see who Joe and I really are."

Though the Giudices were indicted in July with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements on loan applications and bankruptcy fraud, in addition to failing to file tax returns from 2004-2008, Joe Giudice, 43, claims he and his wife "never lived beyond our means."

The couple, however, filed for bankruptcy in 2009.

"Whatever I could afford to buy I would buy," says the father of four young daughters. "We work hard, so what, we are allowed to make money. It's part of that's what we do, I'm a business man and I make money.”

On the possibility of jail time, Teresa Giudice says, "I don't even think about that, because I haven't done anything."

However, if the two end up behind bars, the four Giudice girls will not be living with Teresa's brother and sister-in-law, Joe and Melissa Gorga. "They wouldn't want to go there because of all the things they say on television about their mom," says Joe Giudice. The girls, he adds, will be taken care of by his sister and brother.

The couple, who pleaded "not guilty" in August have expressed that they believe the government is targeting them because of their celebrity status. Teresa Giudice's lawyer, Henry Klingeman, said in a statement that the feds like to target "high-profile" individuals.

The Real Housewives brand has been used as a platform to help promote Teresa Giudice's cooking and lifestyle brands. She currently has several cookbooks and a special food line called, "Skinny Italian." During the interview, Teresa expressed that she would like to return to the Housewives for another season, but hoped that her cast-mates would respect that she cannot dicuss her current legal woes.

Their trial is set to begin in Feb. 2014. The two are slated to appear next on the reunion special of the Housewives series on Oct. 6.