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Renee Graziano and son AJ PaganMob Wives Karen

It seems Mob Wives star Renee Graziano is still working hard to break away from the mob princess mentality. This was witnessed on the most recent episode of the show when Renee called her ex-husband Hector Pagan Jr aka Junior for back up after a bar patron insulted her.

In a new interview with the HollywoodLife, Renee opens up about wanting to create a better lifestyle for both her and her 17-year-old son AJ Pagan, adding that AJ has inspired her to want to change. “I wouldn’t want my son to go to jail,” Renee says. “AJ is going in a completely different direction. He’s going to make himself a better life.”

Renee adds that she is tired of seeing AJ go through the heartaches of the mob lifestyle such as watching his father Junior possibly get locked up again. “It breaks me emotionally,” explains Renee. “Watching your child feel pain makes you angry, very angry. It’s probably harder than anything anyone has to do.”

Renee states that raising AJ has given her strength to become more independent. “I lived an empty life,” she admits. Now, “I’m trying to change my life and define myself outside of the way I was brought up.” Renee also adds that her renewed friendship with co-star Karen Gravano is helping her leave her old ways behind.

And speaking of Karen, she is now clearing up the rumor that she was ever in a witness protection program, which was sort of insinuated on the show no? Also talking to the HollywoodLife, Karen reveals that unlike her father Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano — former Gambino family underboss turned FBI informant — she was never in the witness protection program.

“People have it confused,” Karen says. “The way it was, this was my father’s life, it didn’t have to do with me. I didn’t understand why he cooperated, he felt John betrayed him. I thought it wasn’t my life. I was going to stand on my own — that’s why I didn’t go into witness protection.”

Karen then explains why she moved away from New York to Arizona. “I moved to Arizona because my family was there and I thought it was a better way to raise Karina,” Karen says of her daughter. “And my brother [Gerard Gravano] was in prison, so I helped raise his son as well.”

Karen states, “When my father got out of prison, he went into witness protection for eight months and moved to Arizona and joined my family… I was very reluctant to leave New York, [but] I missed my family and was fed up with the lifestyle in NYC. I moved there in 1997.”

As revealed on the show, Karen is now back living in Staten Island to both work on her book and clear her name.

Meanwhile, Mob Wives is proving to be a big hit for the ailing VH1 network. The premiere brought in close to 2 million viewers and the show continues to average a healthy 1.33 million viewers a week.

TELL US – DO YOU THINK RENEE WILL BE ABLE TO BREAK AWAY FROM THE MOB LIFESTYLE?

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