Joe Giudice is officially out of the U.S.! The Real Housewives of New Jersey was reportedly freed from ICE custody Friday and flew to Rome, where he will continue to appeal a judge's rule for his deportation. The father of four is said to be overjoyed to finally be "free" after he finished his prison sentence in March and was immediately detained by ICE.
"He is en route to Italy right now," Giudice's lawyer James J. Leonard Jr. said in a statement released by PEOPLE. "He spoke to Teresa and Gia from the plane and he is extremely happy to be released, more than words can describe."
"We are still fighting and it is his desire to return home to the United States to be reunited with his family," he added.
Sources told TMZ Joe would be flying economy on his trip to Rome. The reality star was originally denied when he requested to be released to the New Jersey home he shares with wife Teresa Giudice and four daughters Gia, 18, Gabriella, 15, Milania, 14 and Audriana, 10. Joe then filed a petition last month to be released so he could go to Italy and continue his appeal from there.
PEOPLE reported lawyers for the reality star claimed he wanted to be released in the hopes of doing back to work and make money for his family. They also said Joe is hopeful his appeal will be granted and he will be allowed to return to his home. Should he be allowed to return, Joe reportedly requested ICE to facilitate his journey back to his family.
Joe has been out of his house since the start of his 41-month prison sentence for mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud in March 2016. The former businessman was released from prison and asked to be held in custody at the Clinton County Correctional Center in Pennsylvania while he awaited a decision on his deportation.
The reality star's immigration problems began last October, when an immigration court ruled to deport him after his prison sentence. Joe has lived in the U.S. since he was a child but never obtained American citizenship.
Teresa reportedly did not travel to Rome to meet with her husband. The report comes as no surprise, however, as she said several months ago she would not stay married to Joe should he be deported. However, a source told the outlet she still hopes he can make it back home soon.
"Teresa and Joe have had their arguments in the past few months, but Teresa doesn't want Joe to get deported," the source said. "She wants him to come home for their family. She loves Joe and it hurts her to see how he is being treated."