Jennifer Graziano has spilled that she is adding two new cast members for upcoming season of the hit show. Jennifer remains mum on the names of the two new ladies, but did share that one newcomer is a friend that she's known since they were teens.
So, I had conversation that I don’t get to have everyday. I was granted the opportunity to speak with Mob Wives Chicago’sNora Schweihs, and she is truly a gracious and kind lady. I’d call it an “interview,” but it turned out to be more of a chat. It began by me asking if there was anything in particular she didn’t want to discuss or anything she wanted to make sure we covered. Nora was basically an open book, but she did want to make sure to thank Jennifer Graziano for giving her the opportunity to be on the show. For her, the show was a platform to get the closure with her father’s death she has so desperately been seeking. Nora also spoke with me about her upcoming endeavors and life off camera.
“[Jenn Graziano] turned my life around, and was able to give me the closure that I will hopefully have,” admits Nora. “When I was filming I was going to school…I just got my Masters. That was really stressful as well as filming. [The show] was very real and I’m just looking forward to moving forward and getting closure with my life.”
As for her wine, The German, she hopes it will be a tribute to her father and leave him with a legacy that doesn’t have such a poor connotation. It has about six more months of aging before she will be marketing it to distributors. Created with her friend Desiree, she has been part of each step of the process to ensure it is exactly what she wants. “I want to have The German be not such a negative name. That is my goal with my wine,” Nora reveals.
Jennifer sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to dish on both of her new shows.
Jennifer shared a little insight into Big Ang’s upcoming series: “She’s larger than life, and there’s going to be a couple of characters added to her show that are really going to make a splash. So I think that this show is going to be much different than Mob Wives in the sense that it’s going to be a lot more lighthearted and a lot more colorful and fun. Given the circumstances of what’s been going on with Mob Wives and the intensity, I’m looking forward to some of that colorfulness.”
She explains why she waited until season 2 to introduce the world to Big Ang. “I did know going into this that Big Ang was a star. I’ve known her since I was a kid, and I always had her in mind, but what I wanted to do was build the brand around the initial four women who had real close, authentic relationships. Big Ang has been a part of my family for like 25-30 years. She’s actually my older sister’s best friend. My thought was that she only really has a real connection through Renee, so let me build this first with these women who have these deeper relationships and kind of bring Big Ang in either for a couple of episodes that season and then have her in full time for the second season. And I think from a casting perspective, you always want to have something up your sleeve for the following season. Ang was my magic trick.”
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The undisputed star of Mob Wives, Angela “Big Ang” Raiola, will star in her very own spin-off this summer! Not taking any chances with a cheesy title, the network has simply titled her new show, after her nickname, Big Ang, and has ordered 10 episodes of following the most fascinating of the wives.
“Big Ang” will give viewers a glimpse into the life of one of reality TV’s most over-the-top and loveable characters. We’ll tag along as she hangs out with her family and friends, spends time at her increasingly popular Staten Island bar, The Drunken Monkey, and even hangs out with ‘da wise guys.’And yes her longtime friends from the original “Mob Wives” series will visit from time to time as will her loveable canine sidekick Little Louie.”
Dogs, alcohol, and lovable criminals? Sounds awesome! One of the VH1 suits describes Big Ang as “the definition of authentic.” Hear that, Kelly Bensimon?
In other Mob Wives news, show creater Jennifer Graziano responded to the recent revelation that her brother-in-law Junior Pagan was working as a FBI informant. On the VH1 blog, she says that she should have known something was up when he claimed he didn’t care how being on the show would ruin his reputation on the street.
She says VH1 asked if she wanted to stop production on the show, but she decided to keep going. It has created problems in her family.
“He used to tell me that he was my brother. And, it turns out, he didn’t care about me — and he sure didn’t care about Renee.”
TELL US — WILL YOU WATCH BIG ANG’S SPIN OFF? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF JUNIOR’S ROLE AS AN INFORMANT?
Mob Wives starRenee Graziano remains hospitalized after being rushed to the emergency room on Friday, just hours after her father was arrested… again.
According to TMZ, Renee suffered a panic attack, collapsed, and had trouble breathing after getting the news that her dad Anthony “TG” Graziano, had been arrested in an early morning raid.
Even worse for Renee, her ex-husband Hector “Junior” Pagan is the one responsible for helping put her father back in jail. If you recall, the NY Post broke the news last December that Junior had become a FBI informant and had been secretly taping his conversations with Renee’s dad.
Junior is said to have flipped for the FBI and DEA last summer while he was facing a long prison term for armed robbery. He then 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.
Both Junior and Anthony, 71, were arrested following a raid last November, before Junior was ultimately exposed as an informant.
Renee revealed in a recent interview that she no longer knows of Junior’s whereabouts. Even worse and probably more crushing for Renee, one has to wonder if Junior’s whole attempt to reconcile and move back in with her was simply a ruse to get closer to her father and help turn him in to the authorities.
As for Renee, her sister and show creator Jennifer Graziano told VH1 on Saturday: “Renee is suffering from complete mental exhaustion, emotional strain and physical pain due to the recent publicity regarding our father, Anthony Graziano. She is being stabilized at Staten Island University Hospital.”
Renee still remains in the hospital as she tweeted both last night and this morning. She wrote last night: “4 the gossip’n flippn floppin around. I’m laid up in a hospital bed unAble 2 c the shw or help figure out whts up!! Atay tuNed.”
And before she was hospitalized, Renee made a series of tweets about the situation. The tweets have now been deleted but a screenshot is below courtesy of VH1. On a lighter note, theBig Ang mania continues! In fact, a fan recently got a tattoo of Big Ang and a photo of that tat is below as well!
[Photo Credit: PNP/ WENN.com]
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THE LATEST? DO YOU THINK JUNIOR WAS JUST USING RENEE TO GET TO HER DAD?
Also, below is a photo of another new castmember, Angela Raiola a.k.a. ‘Big Ang.‘ The Starcasm blog reports “Big Ang” is the niece of Salvatore “Sally Dogs” Lombardi, a deceased captain of the Genovese crime family. Angela is described as a single mom of two raised in Brooklyn. She also likes to jokingly call herself “bad girl” and is best friends with Drita. Find out why they call her “Big Ang” below!
Meanwhile, the HollywoodLife blog is reporting that tension between the cast members is at an all time high! More importantly, there seems to be a division with Karen, Renee and Ramona on one side and Drita, Carla and Big Ang on the other side. In fact, the site caught up with the ladies during the VH1 event.
First, Drita reveals she doesn’t understand why Renee is hanging out with Karen and Ramona. “I think she’s confused,” said Drita who also doesn’t like newbie Ramona as well as continues to dislike Karen. “My mother said if you dont have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all so that’s what I have,” Drita added.
As for Renee, she is puzzled as to why Drita has a problem with her hanging out with Karen. “They must be confused,” said Renee. “They must be confused with their own loyalty. This is my side of the fence. You don’t pick your family.”
Seems like the battle lines have been drawn! Mob Wives season 2 debuts on VH1 on Jan 1st.
[Photos Credit: Demis Maryannakis / Splash News]
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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]
TELL US – THOUGHTS ON THIS NEWS? ARE YOU SHOCKED THAT JUNIOR BECAME A FBI INFORMANT? DO YOU THINK RENEE WILL CONTINUE TO STAND BY HIM?