"I do need to read things [and] understand things before I sign them," Giudice said Monday night on a special Watch What Happens Live in which she and her husband, Joe – who was sentenced to 41 months in jail – were interviewed by Andy Cohen.
"I'm a trustworthy person and sometimes I take what other people say … I can't do that anymore."
Continued the mother of four, who stated she was scared and depressed: "I gotta make sure I fully understand something or fully read it or find a lawyer – like a contract lawyer – that can help me because I don't read contracts every day, so I wanna get better at that."
Joe Giudice called his sentence "devastating," and said, "I actually felt like I got hit in the back of the neck with a bat."
When Cohen asked Teresa how it was possible for such omissions – which likely led to her stronger sentence – to occur with such a large legal team surrounding her, she offered no clear explanation.
"I was shocked. Believe me, whatever I needed to do I would do," Teresa responded, adding that she "didn't talk to my attorneys" after the judge had made her decision. "I just left court … It was done."
Cohen pressed Teresa, asking her what role she played in the fraud and if she was aware of what was occurring.
"Whatever Joe told me to sign, I signed," she said.
Joe admitted to Cohen that he was "taking out false loans" and that he used his wife because "she had better credit."
But the reality star, famed for her over-the-top makeup, gowns and hair, who once stated she would never live in someone else's home and recently carried a $3,000 purse on the show, insisted she "was not trying to keep up with the Joneses."
"I work on the Housewives. I get paid if I wanna go buy something … I'm not trying to keep up with the Joneses. I'm not trying to spend money that I don’t have."
She continued: "I'm going to do fine [in prison]. I don’t care about [my appearance]. I'll just slick my hair back and go about my day."
When Cohen asked the infamous table-flipper, who once pushed the host during a reunion taping, if she was worried about losing her temper in jail, she said, "Not at all. I've grown since then, and I'm not that same person."
Teresa said her biggest fear about prison – the couple is serving staggered sentences, with Teresa's beginning on Jan. 5 – was that her "daughters are okay." Joe promised his wife he would step up.
"It's going to be a lot of work, but they are my daughters, and I gotta do what I gotta do," said Joe, who stated he planned to bring his daughters to visit their mother in prison twice a week. "I guess I'll be the housewife."
Teresa said her main goal now was to "become a better person."
"A lot of the things that [the judge] said … really hit home. It bothered me so … I am just going to take it and become a better person."