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Teresa Giudice talks ‘horrible’ prison conditions: ‘It was hell’

Teresa Giudice of Bravo's

Teresa Giudice of Bravo's "Real Housewives of New Jersey" talks about prison with Amy Robach on Tuesday's "Good Morning America." Photo Credit: ABC / Fred Lee

Teresa Giudice says that despite its reputation as a “country-club prison,” the Federal Correctional Institution-Danbury in Connecticut, where the reality-TV star spent more than 11 months behind bars on a fraud conviction, was a difficult experience.

“I mean there was mold in the bathrooms,” Giudice, “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” star, 43, told “Good Morning America” on Tuesday. “There was not running water constantly. The showers were freezing cold . . . I mean, the living conditions were really horrible. Like, horrible,” she said, adding, “There were some nights that we didn’t even have heat . . . It was — it was hell.”

Giudice, whose memoir “Turning the Tables: From Housewife to Inmate and Back Again” was released Tuesday, said prison “was nothing like being on ‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey.’ Let me tell you . . . when you go to prison . . . there’s a lot of drama. That’s all there is, is drama. And I never lived with so many women in my life before. I mean that’s all they — they thrive on drama. It was crazy to me.”

Her prison job, she told the morning show, was “in the kitchen. I wiped tables after breakfast. Three days a week, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. That was my job. I loved my job.” The 12 cents an hour she earned went to pay for items at the commissary, she said, explaining that the prison supplied only such essentials as toilet paper and maxi pads. “My first paycheck was $1.60,” she said. She spent free time working out three times daily and practicing yoga. “Yoga changed my life. I’m going to get certified in yoga,” Giudice said.

She contended that despite her guilty plea, “There was no intent to commit a crime. I didn’t know I was committing a crime . . . I got sentenced . . . I did what I had to do and now I’m moving past it.”

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