Teresa Giudice is "devastated" by the news that her husband Joe will be deported after he finishes his current jail sentence, a source tells ET.
Joe Giudice was sentenced to 41 months in jail in October 2014 and checked himself in to the Federal Correctional Institution in Fort Dix, New Jersey, on March 23, 2016, after both he and Teresa pleaded guilty to multiple charges of fraud. On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice confirmed to ET that Immigration Judge John Ellington ordered Joe removed from the United States at the end of his prison sentence. He has 30 days to appeal the decision.
According to our source, Teresa -- who also served jail time but was released after nearly a year behind bars in December 2015 -- is hopeful that the couple can win the appeal and Joe will be able to stay instead of having to go back to his native Italy. However, the source says their relationship is in jeopardy if Joe won't be able to stay in the U.S.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey couple share four daughters together -- 17-year-old Gia, 14-year-old Gabriella, 13-year-old Milania and 9-year-old Audriana.
"The deportation has always been a thing in the back of the family's mind, but now it's a harsh reality," the source says. "As much as Teresa said she would live in Italy with Joe in the past, that most likely won't happen as her father is in the States, and so is her family and friends. If Joe doesn't win the appeal, his relationship with Teresa is in question."
According to a second source, the deportation ruling is a a dose of harsh reality to the pair.
“This news was a huge blow to Teresa and Joe," the source says. "They had spoken with their lawyers several times about the possibility of Joe being deported, but they didn’t truly believe that this day would ever come. For the most part, Teresa and Joe have been able to withstand the storm, but this time it looks as if they can’t get out of this.”
“Teresa and Joe both felt they could do their time and then be free to continue their lives, but this is a game changer for them," the source continues. "Their lives will never be the same. Teresa’s closest friends often wondered how Teresa and Joe lived so well even after their trouble. Nothing seemed to make sense, they didn’t alter their lifestyle at all. This news was a shock to Teresa mostly because she could never face this as an option in their lives.”
But the source says Teresa has been standing by her man when it comes to what she tells her loved ones.
“Many of Teresa’s closest friends wonder why she has stuck by Joe throughout this process," the source says. "But she tells them she loves him and wants to ensure her children grow up with their father.”
ET spoke to Teresa last October, when she talked about the future of her relationship with Joe, who is expected to be released in 2019.
“I'm not predicting the future anymore,” Teresa said. “You know when they ask you that question, where do you see yourself five years from now? Or, where do you see yourself 10 years from now? I'm never answering that question again … wherever, you know, life takes me, it'll take me. I'll embrace it fully. Whatever my journey is, it is.”
Still, she said she was “hoping for the best.”
“I want us to always be together,” she shared. “That's what life's about. ...He has to do the right thing when he comes home and better himself. That's what I did and I think that's what he should do, and we'll do it together, as a family.”
In January, Teresa appeared on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, and said that she was not considering divorcing Joe, despite Instagramming a picture of herself having dinner with her friend and divorce attorney, Loren La Forge-Kyriakoulis.
For more on Teresa explaining to ET how she's seen a lot of "growth" from Joe while he's been in prison, watch the video below:
-- Reporting by Adriane Schwartz
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