Melissa Gorga finds the photos of Joe Giudice living freely in Italy just as "bittersweet" as everyone else.
When the "Real Housewives of New Jersey" star initially saw the pictures, the first of which came via Joe and Teresa Giudice's daughter, Gia, on her Instagram Story, she was driving and had to pull over to let her emotions out.
"When Gia posted on her Story about Joe being out and seeing his smiling face on FaceTime, I literally had to pull over in my car. I started crying," Melissa told AOL's Gibson Johns during an interview promoting the upcoming tenth season of "RHONJ." "I had to pull over because I had so many emotions, and I was crying and I was happy and I was sad at the same time."
"I was so happy to see him out and smiling and that Gia was excited, but it’s also sad because he’s still not with his family," she added. "I had chills, and it was the most bittersweet moment for me. I had to call Gia and cry to her for a minute."
While Joe has since joined Instagram and took part in a revealing sit-down interview with Andy Cohen and his wife on "WWHL" via satellite, in which he shared updates from his three years behind bars and five months in ICE custody, it was those first few photos and videos that really struck family, friends and fans of the long-running show.
For now, Melissa tells AOL that she's just "happy he’s not in that awful place anymore," referencing the ICE detention facility that Joe had been held at following his release from prison.
"It was a terrible experience. I don't wish that on anybody. For five months I was locked down in a room. I was going bonkers," Joe told Cohen during their interview. "That place should be shut down."
While the Joe's release from prison and his family's subsequent struggle with his deportation ruling will be documented on season 10 of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," there are plenty of other storylines to keep viewers interested this year. With the entire season 9 cast returning (Melissa and Teresa will be joined by Margaret Josephs, Dolores Catania, Jennifer Aydin and Jackie Goldshneider) and "friend" of the cast Danielle Staub around, there will be no shortage of drama.
"Everyone knows Danielle Staub is good at coming in and ruffling everyone’s feathers and saying something outrageous that makes no sense," Melissa told AOL. "Just know that there will be a lot of that going that going."
This season will also seemingly see the continuation of a natural divide that happened last year, with Melissa, Margaret and Jackie on one side and Teresa, Jennifer and Dolores on the other.
"I think it’s a lot about our lifestyles. We also all think the same: We’re a bit more of the rational thinkers in the group and we think a bit more before we speak, which helps us get along better and agree with each other more," Melissa said of her friendships with Margaret and Jackie. "It wasn’t like a planned thing, it was just that no matter what was going on in the group, the three of us would say, 'Yeah, no, we don’t see it that way.' The other three would feel differently, and it was just such a natural split with personalities. It’s also the way we run our families and are in our relationships that are the same. There’s a lot that happens to be similar."
Season 10 of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" premieres on Bravo on Wednesday, November 6, at 8 p.m. EST