For Teresa Giudice, the past few months have been the roughest of roller-coaster rides. Now a household name, thanks to her star-making turn on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Teresa saw it all marred by the shock of learning that she and her husband, Joe, were $11 million in debt - and needed to file for bankruptcy. And as if her financial turmoil wasn't enough, the 37-year-old mom has, in recent weeks, been subject to a slew of insults and unsavory rumors - including talk that Joe has fathered a love child with her sister-in-law and an embarrassing article in Steppin' Out magazine, in which fellow Housewife - and arch-enemy - Danielle Staub compared her physically to "Cornelius from Planet of the Apes."
Teresa admits that, emotionally, this has been the most difficult period of her life. "First the bankruptcy thing and then all the rumors," she tells In Touch in an exclusive interview. "It's like people have nothing better to do - it's pretty sad." But as upset as she's been by it all, Teresa remains strong. And she credits her four children with keeping her that way. "I mean look at them, they're just amazing," she says of her daughters, Gia, 9, Gabriella, 6, Milania, 5, and Audriana, 1. "They're just so beautiful, and they make me happy. I live for being a mom."