‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ star Teresa Giudice has given her first full interview since being released from prison on December 23rd, ahead of the publication of her memoir. Giudice spent nearly a year behind bars after pleading guilty to fraud charges and last week she ended her period of house arrest.

Teresa GiudiceTeresa Giudice has spoken about spending nearly a year in prison.

Describing her first days in prison, Giudice told People: "I was in a fog. I thought I was going to be in a cell with a toilet, but it was nothing like that. It kind of reminded me of college, with bunk beds – even though the beds were stained with urine and blood. But ultimately, I felt lucky. I was never handcuffed, and I wasn't behind bars."

Giudice also described saying goodbye to her four daughters last year as she prepared to begin her sentence. “Of course we cried and it was heartwrenching," she said. "It was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my whole entire life.”

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“I thought I was going get them off to school, which that's what we discussed and then Mommy was going leave. But because of the circumstances, all of the paparazzi and everything, I thought it was better to leave the day before – at night. In the middle of the night.”

But despite her ordeal Giudice maintains that she has never blamed her husband Joe, who is due to begin his prison term next month. "I never blamed Joe for any of this," Giudice said. "I mean he had no intention whatsoever to hurt me in any way and that's the reason why.”

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"I took full responsibility and tried to do what I could to keep her out of there,” Joe Giudice explained to People. “We worked on it until the last day when she went in, not really thinking she was really actually going until she actually had to go.”

"It's not pleasant for any husband to see their wife in a place like that no matter what, but I'm just glad it's over,” Joe added. Giudice’s memoir, Turning The Tables: From Housewife to Inmate and Back Again is released on February 9th.