Even more shocking, Junior, who reportedly flipped for the FBI and became their informant last summer, has now helped put Renee’s father — Bonanno crime family capo Anthony Graziano — back in jail. Anthony, 71, was just recently released from prison after finishing up a long sentence.
The drama began last week after Junior and his former father-in-law were arrested on Staten Island during filming for season 2 of the VH1 show. But late last week, Renee and the other cast members discovered Junior’s secret after a report in the online mob newsletter ganglandnews.com revealed Junior had been secretly taping conversations with Renee’s dad Anthony for the FBI.
Renee’s sister and show creator Jennifer Graziano opened up about the shocking ordeal to the NY Post. “The first inclination is always to say, ‘Shut it down,’ ” a shaken up Jennifer told The Post of the show. “It is a reality show, and I knew this was going to be personal to me going into this,” she said. “But I didn’t know this was going to happen.”
Reports state that Junior, who was facing a long prison term for armed robbery, agreed to wear a wire and record conversations with his ex-father-in-law. Those recordings reportedly caught Renee’s dad Anthony instructing Junior to collect a $150,000 loan shark debt from an unidentified man.
Junior, who has a 17-year-old son with Renee, was reportedly set to have a bigger role on the VH1 show this season. In fact, the NY Post reveals that on the first episode of season 2, set to debut Jan. 1, Junior can be seen pacing outside a federal courthouse in Brooklyn, telling Renee over the phone that he had been offered a deal by prosecutors on an earlier arrest.
Renee’s sister Jennifer, however, makes it clear the show must go on as they have only filmed seven out of the 12 episodes scheduled for season 2.“We’re making a reality show, and this is the reality of what’s going on,” said Jennifer.
As for how Renee is taking the news, Jennifer states: “Renee is an open book and lets people into her life because she wants people to understand what she’s going through.” Renee has also been quoting bible verses on her Twitter page as she tweeted over the weekend, “Evn whn I hve troubles all around me U, GOD will keep me alive! Whn my enemies r angry U, GOD will reach dwn n sve me w ur pwer. Psalm 138:7.”
When it comes to her father, Jennifer says, “He spoke to my mother and he just said he wished he could have had Thanksgiving with his family. He’s [locked up] and he’s going to deal with it.”
Pretty shocking news indeed. Oddly enough, Renee and her cast members have always made such a big deal about their dislike for “rats.” In fact, Renee did not want to rekindle a friendship with costar Karen Gravano last season due to the fact that her father Sammy “The Bull” Gravano also became an informant for the FBI.
So will Renee, who has admittedly had a hard time letting go of her ex, continue to stand by him? There have been reports that the two had in fact reconciled and were dating again. We will have to wait and see on the upcoming season. But safe to say season 2 will be GOOOD.
Below is a picture of Renee with her son AJ, her sister Jennifer and her son, alongside her ex-husband Junior. Also below is a pic of Renee’s parents.
[Top photo credit: PNP/WENN.com]