Teresa Giudice had a special and very emotional reunion upon her release from federal prison on Wednesday and is looking forward to spending Christmas with her family.

The 43-year-old Real Housewives of New Jersey star had in January begun was what to be a 15-month federal prison sentence at a Connecticut prison after she and husband Joe Giudice were indicted for fraud charges. Teresa was released early on Wednesday, four months early and the day before Christmas Eve.

She reunited with Joe, who is set to begin a 41-month prison sentence in March, and their four daughters, Gia, 14, Gabriella, 11, Milania, 10, and Audriana, 6, at their home. Her lawyer, James J. Leonard Jr., drove her from the prison.

"It was very emotional," he told reporters regarding her reunion with her daughters. "It was a private moment but it was very emotional, very powerful and it was something to see."

Teresa Giudice, Joe Giudice, Gia, Audriana, Milania, Gabriella


"Gia was up early this morning and then the younger ones started to get up," he said. "I think they got a little bit of sleep. I got no sleep. Teresa says that she didn't sleep at all. Joe slept a little bit. I think everyone is going to sleep well tonight, myself included."

He also said Teresa wanted to relay a message.

"'Merry Christmas. Happy New Year....all of you should go be with your families and your loved ones,'" he quoted her as saying.

During her time in prison, Teresa received visits from her family (see pic above) and was also allowed to communicate with them and others on an approved list via phone and email and had even had people tweet on her behalf. One of her and Joe's daughters posted at least one of her messages.

"It's been very, very difficult for her and her daughters, but they've communicated," Leonard Jr. told Bravo's The Daily Dish on Monday. "They've seen one another with visits and emails and phone calls. They've been able to Skype one another. She's been a daily presence in their lives. But, obviously, there's no substitute for actually not being there. So for her to come home and be reunited with them is something that both she and the girls are very much looking forward to."

Teresa must now remain on home confinement, wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet, until Feb. 5., her original early release date. She will be allowed to work, her lawyer said. He had also told Bravo Teresa is expected to spend Christmas Eve at her brother Joe Gorga's house.

"She's very happy to be here," her attorney said. "She's very much looking forward to a nice quiet low key holiday with her family."

—Reporting by James Chairman

(E! and Bravo are part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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