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Drita D’avanzo


Last night’s Mob Wives featured a getaway that I was forever thankful not be a part of, as it was cray-cray from the beginning. Renee brought the drama, Carla tried to play peacemaker, and even Karen attempted to maintain some sort of normalcy. She failed. Miserably.

The episode begins with Big Ang, Ramona, and Carla at the track. Big Ang loves some gambling. Karen joins the ladies for lunch, with Carla apologizing for not attending Ramona’s Halloween party. While Karen is convinced that Drita’s party totally sucked, she respects Carla’s loyalty. She suggests a ladies’ weekend in the Poconos, and all the women are excited about the prospect of a trip. Unfortunately for Big Ang, she’s having thyroid surgery and won’t be able to make it. Carla pretty much ends the chipper chatter when she mentions the ladies are forgetting to include Drita.

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Last night’s Mob Wives was more about tricks than treats, with the women divided between two, that’s right, TWO competing Halloween parties. The horror!

Drita D’avanzo and Carla Facciolo are taking their kids to pick out some pumpkins for Drita’s upcoming Halloween party. Carla thinks it is going to be a fun, drama-free party based on the guest list. Both hope that Renee Graziano will attend, and for a little while she’ll be able to enjoy herself and shake off the funk of Junior going back to jail. Carla and Drita are worried about Renee and all the stress she unnecessarily takes on in her life.

Ramona Rizzo is dining with her friend Lina, who has known her since before she married her now ex-husband. She reveals that she got disowned by her father because she didn’t marry an FBI—full-blooded Italian. Ramona’s first husband was Arabic, and she was hoping that because he was from a different culture, she would be so far removed from the criminal lifestyle. She was wrong about her husband, just like she was wrong about her current boyfriend.

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It’s official. The world is probably about to end. Mob WivesKaren Gravano’s book Mob Daughter, is currently number 18 on the New York Times bestseller list of hardcover nonfiction tomes. I kid, I kid…not about her achievement as an “author” but about the world ending. It can’t. I am still on the first installment of the Hunger Games, so the world is going to have to stick around long enough for me to read Karen’s book. And that could take years. And years.

Unfortunately, as it is with everyone who seeks fame, the backlash comes as quickly as the love. After hearing that some folks are boycotting an upcoming Barnes & Noble appearance to promote her book, SILive.com is reporting that Karen understands the discontent. After all, she’s a victim too, y’all. She claims to be on the same side of those who believe she is profiting off her father (Sammy the Bull)’s bad behavior (to put it mildly).

In an interview with Advance, Karen claims, “I’m on their side. I’ve said they were victims of this lifestyle, and the decisions that our fathers chose.” She continues, “I also lost a [my uncle] to this, so I just think it’s actually insulting at this point that they can sit there and call themselves victims but they don’t consider the loss that I felt — or the things that I went through because my father is Sammy the Bull.”

She’s referring to her father, Salvatore Gravano, who was known as Sammy the Bull. Sammy served as an underboss of the infamous Gambino crime family. He later turned tables and became an informant, sending John Gotti to federal prison until his death. Her book chronicles her life growing up on Staten Island and learning at young age about her father’s crime-spreeing ways.

As for people who think her book profits are blood money, Karen cites that no one seems to blame the Gotti Mafioso for their crimes. She believes her critics are solely focused on her father. She tells Advance, “I’m starting to become a little skeptical. Are they mad that he killed their fathers, or are they mad that [my father] cooperated?”

From there, Karen makes a bit of stretch. I know she probably wasn’t thinking fully about what she was saying, so I’ll give her a pass, but she compared the families of said mobsters to those who suffered on 9/11. If you think I’m wrong, please call me out, but that’s how I took her following statement. She says, “I never said families are not the victims — I will not say the men are victims. The people in 9/11 are victims. When you walk into something like that and you don’t know it’s going to happen, then you’re a victim.”

Karen does concede that her father has gotten what he deserves and is paying his dues. Rightfully, his situation doesn’t cause her to think any less of him. She admits, “I can’t help that I love my father, the same way that they love their fathers,” she said. “All of them chose the wrong path in their lives, the men.”

By “they,” Karen means others in the lifestyle who have profited off books which detail their stories. While she calls them “hypocrites” Karen is quick to state, “I didn’t write this book to have fights with them. I wrote this book to shed light on the life I went through.”

Karen also discusses her three years’ probation after pleading guilty in Arizona to helping her father sell ecstasy. She even claims her father’s past as her reasoning to seek criminal involvement. Karen cites the leniency she received in her youth from law enforcement for being Sammy the Bull’s daughter. That, coupled with the reaction to her father becoming an informant, shaped her behavior.

“I felt like you only get respect when you’re bad,” Karen asserts. “It made me feel like I want to be bad, and I turned my life over to crime.”

She continues, reasoning, “It made me who I am. I know why I made my decisions. I know why I did it. I don’t put blame on anyone else. I didn’t say, ‘I’m going to deal drugs because my father hurt me.’ I’m going to deal drugs because it’s a choice that I made.”

As for her involvement on Mob Wives, she is adamant that the idea for the book came before the show. When asked about the over-the-talk drama we see every Sunday night, Karen explains, “When we do scenes or we do shows where we’re not bickering, people find them boring.”

Furthermore, Karen defends a past comment relating Staten Island to the “breeding ground for the Mafia.” She counters, “That’s what I’ve seen. I didn’t mean the whole entire Staten Island. I think that if anything, we’re not representing a borough, we’re representing ourselves.” Staten Island thanks you for clarifying.

As for her father, Karen is quick to admit that she felt “betrayed and hurt” when he cooperated with the FBI. Her book, she hopes, is about family, saying, “I was looking at it as a little girl whose father just left her.”

Karen hopes that her true supporters will view the book in light of how she has persevered. “How can I take this and spin it into a positive, where it can work for me, instead of against me, for the rest of my life?” Karen ponders.

“I can’t deny who I am,” she continues. “I’m a hustler and if I’m hungry and if there’s food in front of me I’m going to take it and eat it.” And by food, she means Drita.

[Photo Credit: D. Salters/WENN.com]

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF KAREN’S INTERVIEW? IS SHE A VICTIM OR IS SHE PROFITING ON HER FATHER’S WRONGDOING? WILL YOU BE READING HER BOOK?


Last night’s Mob Wives had the mobsters coming clean to their lady loves about their prior bad behavior. It was quite the confessional!

The episode begins with Drita D’avanzo heading back into the boxing ring. Her trainer is upset to hear that she’s been fighting again. Drita believes she could curb her street fighting if she was able to rid douchebags in her life. Her memory of beating up d-bags extends all the way back to kindergarten. Her temper is in no way to blame for her penchant for hitting other people. Okay.

Karen Gravano and Ramona Rizzo meet for dinner. As much as they are willing to invite Carla Facciolo into their inner circle, they blame Drita for brainwashing her. The two respect the fact that Carla is loyal to a fault, even if it’s to Drita. Karen and Ramona plan to change that. Ramona chalks it up to the double-D factor…no Drita, no drama. After all my time watching this fiasco, I can honestly say that Drita may not be the only cast member who stirs the pot.

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As you know on Mob Wives, one day your archenemies, one day your having shots with the woman who was just screaming in your face. One afternoon you’re lunching with Big Ang (don’t I wish!), the next your ex-husband becomes a government snitch against your father. Such is life on Staten Island.

No one knows that better than the matriarch of the series, Renee Graziano. She’s been up and down as of late, with her horrible plastic surgery ordeal and her attempted reconciliation with ex-husband Hector “Junior” Pagan who turned tails on Renee’s dad as an FBI informant. Renee is quick to say that her show isn’t just about the mafia drama, but about showing others how to cope with extreme hardship.

Renee insists that she wouldn’t be on the show if she didn’t think it could help others. She tells Naughty but Nice Rob via the Huffingtonpost.com, “I remember the day I gave up drinking because that was the day that my father was arrested. Anthony Graziano is his name and he just came home [from prison]. My ex-husband got him arrested [again] — trust me.” Yikes. Renee gave up the Chardonnay? I guess we’ll see that next season. More power to her!

Speaking about Junior’s extremely disloyal conduct, Renee admits, The truth of the matter is, it is the ultimate betrayal. I don’t think it could have gone any worse than that. It is very hard and heart-wrenching to watch my son go through this. For me, I am strong.”

Continuing, the tormented reality star adds, “What makes [me] so strong? I think it’s the truth and I know that sounds silly to people, but I think God really put me on this earth to learn and teach so I think [H]e is letting me go through everything I have asked for. I believe I am here to help someone else and I think that’s the greatest gift.” Amen to that! I do hate Renee has been sidelined by so many awful situations. I do think that if anyone can handle the drama and strife, though, it’s her.

Thankfully, Renee has one thing going for her…her friends are reconciling their differences in order to appease her because of how much they value her friendship. The blog HollywoodLife.com spoke with Ramona Rizzo about her recent confrontation with cast mate Carla Facciolo. The women have been going at each other all season to anyone who will listen…except each other. However, on Sunday’s episode, Carla and Ramona had a terse meeting that ended in what appeared to be “frienemy” status.

In a an interview with the site, Ramona elaborates, “Whatever you need to do to smooth the way so that you know at the end of the day you made it better where everyone can be in a room together, that’s all that matters. I knew we were possibly going to have to be together because of Renee.

Citing the spa party, Ramona tells the blog that she never wants others to feel uncomfortable or unwelcome in her presence. Of that horrendous excuse for a party, she recalls, “I said ‘I don’t want anybody to ever have to say they don’t want to come to Renee’s house because I’m there.’”

Apparently, Ramona figured out that fighting with someone you’ve really never spent time with is just a drain of your own personal energy. She admits, “It just came to the point like enough. Let’s just do this. Let’s just be friends. Just nip it already or just go for it. I told her what I knew that she had said. We’ve moved on from it.”

According to Ramona, the pair is far from being biffles, but they are able to spend time together sans shouting, showdowns and table flips. While they will likely never be seen getting manicures amid giddy girl talk, Ramona reports, “We’re cordial to each other. When we see each other, we act like ladies. She has no bearing on my life and I have no animosity towards her.”

The bottom line for Ramona is that she’s happy the pair have declared a truce. Of their face-off meeting, Ramona remembers, “It went well. Honestly I didn’t expect it to go any other way. I didn’t expect Carla to get up and be crazy. If you talk, you can work out your problems. Carla is not a person that is going to raise her hand and neither am I unless someone is going to raise them to me. It went the way I expected it.” That’s good too, because I have seen Ramona once raise her hand to someone…on a balcony…at my main main Derek Tabacco. All’s well that ends well, of course, and it’s nice to hear these ladies are getting along.

On this Sunday’s episode, Drita D’avanzo has to face her toughest critic, daughter Aleeya. She’s curious about the things most young girls her age are wondering…like does mom get into fist fights and what is a “rat” if it’s not an animal who lives in the sewers and is often subjected to science experiments? Thankfully, Drita is saved by the bell from this inquisition when the phone rings…or is she? Watch a preview clip below!

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF RENEE’S INTERVIEW? THOUGHTS ON RAMONA AND CARLA’S PEACE TREATY? DO YOU THINK IT WILL LAST? IF SO, HOW LONG?

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After that pesky little football game sidelined the Mob Wives last week, the ladies were back last night with extra drama to make up for their absence.

The episode opens with Renee Graziano speaking with ex-husband Junior Pagan about how she feels an impending sense of doom.  However, she believes it is because of her loony friends having such heated arguments with each other.  She wasn’t too keen on hearing that Ramona has been talking smack about her all over town.  Renee is also stressed about Junior’s upcoming indictment.  The lady has a lot on her plate.

Drita D’avanzo discusses the state of her relationship with Lee with her daughter.  She brings up the “D” word, and while I am glad she’s talking about this to her daughter, it is irking me that she’s doing it on camera.  Her daughter tells her that Lee has promised to take all of the family on a vacation and she’d like to go to Hawaii.  Drita gets choked up by this revelation.

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Last night’s Mob Wives had everyone talking… about each other… behind their backs.

Drita D’Avanzo invites her friend over for a drink… so she can sign her divorce papers. She hasn’t spoken to husband Lee because she’s waiting for an apology. She knows the divorce is pretty much going to blindside him, but Drita believes it’s a move she should have made when he was first incarcerated.

Karen Gravano meets her pseudo-cousin Ramona Rizzo for dinner to discuss her calm, cool and collected meeting with Carla Facciolo. Sheesh, after taking shots and making peace at the end of the last episode, Karen has certainly changed her tune. Karen isn’t sure if Carla is Drita’s lackey or if she’s manipulating the situation. Ramona thinks that Drita is their main problem, but she still isn’t digging Carla. Ramona has heard that Carla has said the two are arch enemies… she threatens that Carla has kids at home, so she doesn’t need to be spreading rumors about big, bad Ramona. If Ramona hated Carla as much as Carla thinks she does (did she, or did she not just threaten Carla and refer to her kids in said threat? Am I missing something?), she’d be outside her house pinning Carla… in a voodoo doll way, not a pinterest way. Karen declares that she’s made peace with Carla, before smack talking her yet again.

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On the latest installment of Mob Wives, the ladies have calmed down just a bit — sure, there is plenty of cursing and yelling and threats, but nary a punch is thrown. That’s a step in the right direction, no?

Ramona Rizzo is heading home after her stint in jail. She explains her situation to Karen Gravano, saying she is devastated to learn that she’s fallen hard for a potential criminal. Ramona has always tried to avoid becoming romantic with a shady character, but she was just taken into custody with her boyfriend due to his dealings. Both Ramona and Karen are clearly looking at this logically. Ramona wishes that she had grown up like Karen — knowing from the get-go the rules of this lifestyle, while Karen reminds her “cousin” that regardless of why Ramona’s boyfriend was arrested, he’s still a decent guy and good with her kids. Is she for real?

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