Teresa Giudice’s prison memoir, “Turning the Tables: From Housewife to Inmate and Back Again” (Gallery Books, $26), hits the streets Tuesday, after Monday’s announcement that America’s favorite ex-con will return to her reality show, “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” for Season 8.
Due to constant media coverage during her sentence for a fraud conviction — her diary from Federal Correctional Institution Danbury was published in Us Weekly, her workout regime is up at People.com, and a Bravo special checked in on her husband, children and other family members — there’s not a lot of fresh news here. But true fans have these enlightening tidbits to look forward to should they pony up cash for the book, written with K.C. Baker:
1. Jail is a good place to learn to keep your temper.
Though Teresa rose to fame for flipping a dinner table, pushing a talk-show host and other over-the-top freakouts, in prison she realized this behavior would only bring her trouble. She learned to laugh and walk away from an argument when “the old Teresa would have wanted to grab her and drag her down to the sidewalk.”
2. You can’t escape the paparazzi.
Aside from the authorized coverage Team Teresa arranged, there was plenty of spying and lying. A low-flying plane buzzed the prison for video footage, and some of Teresa’s fellow inmates sold photos and stories to the media. This, as Teresa has had ample opportunity to realize, is the unending price of fame.
3. Teresa got the spot Martha Stewart wanted.
Though Martha Stewart requested FCI Danbury, she spent her five-month sentence in 2004 at Alderson in West Virginia. Celebrity alumnae of Danbury include Piper Kerman (author of “Orange Is the New Black”) and Lauryn Hill, both of whom get shout-outs in “Turning the Tables.”
4. Jail is a great place to get in shape.
The food is literally rotten and the exercise equipment dated, but there are good workout DVDs and nothing much to do but exercise around the clock. Teresa not only got down to a size 2, she discovered yoga in prison and it has become a central part of her life.
5. Everything you ever wanted to know about sex is in the next bunk bed.
With two of her roommates pursuing very active romances, the cell Teresa shared was known as the Boom Boom Room. “Wow, did I learn a lot, too,” she reports. Unlike those who became “gay for the stay,” Teresa saved it up for the interlude she’ll have with husband Joe before he goes in to serve his 41 months.
6. Jail is a “low-budget spa.”
Teresa was able to trade with other inmates for manicures, hair treatments, a hand-tailored eye mask for sleeping and best of all, massages. “The massage was definitely worth a couple of bags of chips, Diet Coke, mascara and shampoo. I would have never, ever dreamed that I, Teresa Giudice, would literally be bartering.”
7. Jail is a lot like “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.”
Though the constant back-stabbing, gossip, arguing, physical fighting and “drama, drama, drama” was business as usual for the old Teresa, the new Teresa is a better, calmer, stronger and more mature person. We’ll have to watch Season 8 to see how all that plays back in Jersey.
Teresa Giudice signs copies of “Turning the Tables” on Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. at Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington; 631-271-1442, bookrevue.com
Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified the prison where Martha Stewart served her sentence.