September 30, 2013 10:04am PT by Hilary Lewis
'Real Housewives' Stars Break Silence on Fraud Charges, Say They Never Lived 'Beyond Our Means' (Video)
Real Housewives of New Jersey stars Teresa and Joe Giudice have spoken out about their legal troubles for the first time since they were indicted on 39 counts of fraud this past summer.
The couple pled not guilty to charges of exaggerating their income and hiding their fortunes in a bankruptcy filing as well as submitting fake tax returns. The two face hundreds of years in prison and millions of dollars in fines if convicted.
On Bravo's Watch What Happens Live, Joe Giudice said that his family never lived "beyond our means."
STORY: 'Real Housewives' Stars Teresa and Joe Giudice Plead Not Guilty to Fraud Charges
"Whatever I could afford to buy, I would buy," he said. "We work hard, so what. We are allowed to make money. It's part of what we do. I'm a businessman and I make money."
Teresa Giudice, who looked tense and clutched her husband's hand throughout the interview, said that she's not running away.
"I am not crawling under a rock and hiding. That's not me," she said. "I am still going to be the person who I am today and the day I go to court, when we resolve this, everyone will see who Joe and I really are."
Teresa Giudice added that she wanted to return for another season of Real Housewives of New Jersey but hoped that the other women on the show would respect the fact that she can't talk about legal issues.
But one of the other women on the show, Melissa Gorga, would not take care of the Giudices' children if the couple went to prison, Joe Giudice said, claiming that the kids would stay with his sister and brother-in-law.
"I don't think my kids would even want to go with Melissa and Joe after all the things they say on television about their mom," he added.