"This is not reality TV, this is Teresa's life, involving her husband and her four kids," insisted close friend Jennifer Dalton in an exclusive interview with E! News. "Regardless of the outcome, the kids will be affected by this."
In a 39-count federal indictment handed down July 29, the couple were charged with bank fraud, bankruptcy fraud, conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and making false statements on loan applications, while Joe is also facing five counts of failing to file income tax returns on roughly $1 million in earnings between 2004 and 2008.
The parents of four daughters are expected to plead not guilty on all counts at their arraignment hearing Aug. 14 and are currently each free on $500,000 bail.
"They're not taking it lightly, but at the same time they're doing their day to day. They're spending time as a family," said Dalton, who has known the Real Housewives of New Jersey stars for about five years and speaks with Teresa frequently. "They haven't stopped doing what they do on a daily basis."
Teresa and hit the beach over the weekend, and she spent time in the Hamptons with Dina Manzo and their respective kids last week.
Asked about the real Teresa vs. the decidedly fiery version people see on TV, Dalton said that her friend is "the most loving person, but she will fight for what she believes in. She's not going to just sit back and let people talk about her or disrespect her or her family."
Teresa, in fact, took to Twitter
"The world needs to know this side of her," Dalton added. "People that are close to her, that have known her for a while and know this side of her...it's heartbreaking. It's heartbreaking what she's going through right now and it hurts me."
For more exclusive details from Jennifer Dalton about how Teresa and her family are coping, tune into E! News tonight at 7 p.m. & 11:30 p.m.