Joe Giudice says he has a harder time than his daughters do when they say goodbye to Teresa Giudice after every visit to her in prison.
The 45-year-old made his comments in an exclusive interview with E! News. Teresa, star of Bravo's Real Housewives of New Jersey and mother of their children Gia, 14; Gabriella, 10; Milania, 9; and Audriana, 5, began a 15-month federal prison sentence in January, handed down after she and Joe were indicted on fraud charges. Her husband, who was also convicted of failure to file federal income tax returns, is set to begin a 41-month sentence after her release, which is set to be early, on Dec. 23.
Joe, who had described himself as the "cheer mom" at home, talked about what the prison visits have been like.
"We sit down and we talk. There's a snack menu and venues or whatever that you buy from and the kids go crazy because it's like one big room there, so they got a little toy room but they get a little antsy, you know, the young ones," he said. "It's kinda hard to like, talk to her, so the last 15 minutes, I just kinda send them on their way so can talk for a little bit and just hang out, me and her."
"I have a harder time saying goodbye than they do," he later added. "Well, now it's, you know, better, but I mean...when you go to her in the beginning, it's rough, you know, watching her stay there. It sucks. But what are you gonna do? It's almost over, thank God."
He said that once in a while, Teresa, 43, wants to take a picture.
"She loves taking pictures, even in there," he said.
In July, a photo of Teresa with her family at the prison was released. It was believed to have been taken on Mother's Day.
Joe said their family visits last about three hours and the girls bring things to show their mom, such as letters they've written her, pictures and their homework.
"At the beginning it was hard," he said. "Now it's like kinda routine and they go just to see her, which makes her happy."
Watch more of E!'s exclusive interview with Joe Giudice on E! News tonight at 7 and 11 p.m. Also, watch The Real Housewives of New Jersey: Teresa Checks In, on Sunday at 8 p.m. on Bravo.
(E! and Bravo are part of the NBCUniversal family.)