Eduardo Munoz / Reuters
Teresa Giudice and Joe Giudice arrive at the federal courthouse in Newark, N.J., where they pleaded not guilty to fraud charges.
Real Housewives of New Jersey” stars Teresa and Joe Giudice pleaded not guilty Wednesday to federal financial fraud charges — and his lawyer said the legal crisis won't drive a wedge between the couple.
Outside the federal courthouse in Newark, N.J., defense attorney Miles Feinstein dismissed as "ludicrous" any suggestion that the husband, who faces deportation to Italy if convicted, might turn on his wife.
"We're confident they'll be vindicated," Feinstein said.
"They were relieved that they could stand up in court, through their attorneys, and say 'not guilty.'"
Teresa's lawyer, Henry Klingeman, would not say if his client would consider a plea deal.
"We’e confident we’re going to put on a very strong defense and I have a lot of confidence in her," he said.
The couple, who have four daughters, are charged with using fake pay stubs, tax returns and W-2 forms to secure nearly $5 million in loans.
Joe Giudice, 43, is also charged with failing to file tax return for five years and Teresa, 41, is accused of hiding her income from the Bravo reality series that showcases her lavish lifestyle and from other business ventures when the family applied for bankruptcy.
During a five-minute hearing, they waived the reading of the charges and entered not guilty pleas on all 39 counts. They are set to return to court Oct. 3 and go on trial Oct. 8.
The pair — Joe in a dark suit and Teresa in a beige ensemble and topknot — strode into the arraignment calmly and quietly. That was a far cry from their first court appearance last month, when Joe Giudice clashed with a cameraman.
"It wasn't intentional. The camera's right in his face," Feinstein said of the earlier confrontation. "That was an aberration [and] people should not judge that."
He said he did not know how the case would affect "The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” but the Giudices plan to attend a reunion show at the end of the fifth season of the show that chronicles the dramas of five sometime-friends from New Jersey.
Teresa wasn't missing a beat in promoting her sidelines, either. Her lawyer said she planned to keep a date to sign copies of her cookbook, "Fabulicious" at a New Jersey boutique hours after the court appearance.
Her husband, who was born in Italy, could be thrown out of the country if convicted — although his attorney said he somehow went through life not never realizing he wasn't a U.S. citizen.
"He's been in this country since he's 2 years old. He works in this country. He had his family in this country," Feinstein said. "His whole life has been here."
First published August 14 2013, 12:32 PM