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Karen Gravano


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?


In today’s Mob Wives update, the castmate everyone seems to love to hate, Karen Gravano gave an interview to the Huffingtonpost.com about her new book, Mob Daughter: The Mafia, Sammy “The Bull” Gravano, and Me!

During her chat, she opens up about the drama on the show, her take on what she calls “the lifestyle,” and the rift between her and father due to her involvement with the VH1 hit.

PHOTOS – RENEE GRAZIANO SHOWS OFF BIKINI BODY!

Read her interview below.

Why did you decide to write this book?
I just felt like my life came completely full circle and I realized why everything happened. I realized who we are as a family. I realized who my father was. I understand why he got into the lifestyle he did. For a long time, I didn’t understand why he cooperated [with the authorities].

You write that you were furious that your dad cooperated with the police.
All my life I was taught that it was something you never do. I was thinking, “That’s something you taught me all my life not to do. Why are you doing it?” When we grew up, in our circles, that was the worst thing you could do. It wasn’t like I had friends who had normal fathers. All my friends’ fathers were gangsters. Everyone I was around was into that life. When he did it, I knew people would turn their backs on us. I didn’t know [it would be] to the extent that they did. I felt like my whole life was over.

Why do you think he cooperated?
Because he felt that he was double-crossed. He heard the Gotti tapes and once he listened to those tapes he realized that John double-crossed him. His first initial thoughts were, “I’m going to fight my case and when I get out I’m going to kill him.” You know that’s how it’s done in that lifestyle. But then he felt disgusted by the whole lifestyle, so he decided to turn his back and walk away.

Do you think “Mob Wives” glamorizes the gangster lifestyle?
The show was pitched to me to show what the women go through, the struggle. All of us are single moms because our partners are in prison.

The show also focuses on a lot of bickering between the cast members.
That’s why my book is so important to me. Again, when you’re on a show and there’s four women, you’re kind of caught up in the situation. I’m definitely not saying it’s other people’s fault because I definitely contribute to a lot of the drama. I felt like I came home and got sucked into it. I’m sick of the bickering, it’s not who I am. For me, I can be that person, but I feel like my story is so much bigger than that and I feel like out of all the women on the show, my father, Sammy the Bull, he’s the biggest name. The show isn’t scripted by any means, but you realize there are cameras and you kind of get caught up in the moment. It’s all very new to me to talk about the lifestyle, admitting it. We never said the word “mob” growing up.

Does your dad like the show?
He definitely didn’t like the name, but after he started watching it, he realized it’s about the women, so he was okay with it. But now he’s like, “I hate the fighting, I hate the arguing, the cursing,” so I’ve also had to deal with that. My father is totally disgusted and hasn’t spoken to me over the show. Hopefully I can make up for it.

So, he’s not talking to you now?
He’s angry, [but] it’s not like we’re never going to talk again. He’s really pissed off about the show. So he doesn’t want to talk to me right now. He’s just mad. He doesn’t like watching the show. He doesn’t like the arguing, the cursing.

Don’t you want to say, “Who are you to give me etiquette lessons?”
No, even though he did that, he always wanted better for me. It’s not like he’s not talking to me because he doesn’t want anything ever to do with me. He feels like I’m bigger than that. It’s not that he’s saying it because he’s judging me; he’s saying it because he cares about me. It’s two different things.

In other Mob Wives news, everyone’s favorite addition Angela “Big Ang” Raiola is channeling her inner Marilyn Monroe on a recent photo shoot for NEXT Magazine. VH1 shares some of her best shots from the spread on its site. I could swear in the third picture she’s humming “Happy Birthday, Mr. President!” but I can’t be sure. Enjoy those pictures below!

WHAT DO THINK OF RENEE’S INTERVIEW? DO YOU BELIEVE THAT SHE’S ABOVE THE DRAMA? COMMENTS ON BIG ANG’S PICTORIAL?

CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO SEE BIG ANG AS MARYLYN MONROE!


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.

CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO READ THE REST!

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.

CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO READ THE REST!

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.

CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO READ THE REST!


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?

CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO READ THE REST!

Mob Wives star Renee Graziano is taking a break from all the drama the show brings to reveal her battle with depression.

In an interview with HollywoodLife.com, Renee talks about her horrific struggles with the disease that affects so many lives. “I’ve been in therapy on-and-off for the last 20 years.  It comes from an abusive relationship when I was 14 with my boyfriend, Frank. No one was aware of the fact that he was abusive in every sense of the word, both physical and emotional.”

Renee’s depression continued to worsen. She states, “It set the ball for me for unhealthy relationships. It got increasingly worse throughout my next two serious relationships and did roll over into my marriage.”

Renee admits, “I also know that I’ve had entitlement issues from a young age because of my father gave me everything. When my father was incarcerated that had something to do with my expectations of people.”

She knows her warning triggers as well. “The first sign for me is I don’t go out of the house. I shut down and hibernate.”  She continues, “Depression is like cancer.  It’s something we need to pay attention to. It can cause suicide if not dealt with. It is a parent’s responsibility to take care of his or her child, so step up and take charge.” Best wishes to Renee as she continues to spread awareness!

In other Renee news, it seems the reality star is everywhere these days, and well, she should — she’s celebrating life! VH1.com highlights a recent radio interview Renee did with the Breakfast Club where she dishes on a range of topics including her surgery, her own connection to Drita D’Avanzo’s husband Lee D’Avanzo and for the first time discusses the latest with ex-husband Junior Pagan, who was recently exposed as working undercover for the FBI and helping put her father back in jail.

Below are some highlights from Renee’s interview via VH1:

  • The woman that Lee D’Avanzo cheated on Drita with was none other than Junior’s own girlfriend.
  • The hole in her back that resulted after her plastic surgery was “the size of a lemon.” (Yikes.)
  • The doctor who performed her plastic surgery had a clean record… until Renee learned that his records had been concealed. Turns out, a woman who underwent the same surgery Renee had died in his care.
  • Renee says Carla and her were “on our way to making up,” but Carla made comments about Renee’s son that Renee thinks are unforgivable. Aside from Carla, Renee speaks to everyone else in the cast.
  • She confirmed that Junior wore a wire in order to cooperate with the Feds, and as a result, Renee’s own father had to return to prison. She also said that she currently does not know Junior’s whereabouts.
  • Before Junior wore the wire and disappeared, they were making plans to get married for a second time.
  • And finally, newbie Angela Raiola, better known as Big Ang, has not only won the heart of fans but also the heart of America! And below is an old/before photo of Big Ang before the plastic surgeries! This is a MUST SEE!

    [Photo Credit: SPLASH]

    TELL US – THOUGHTS ON RENEE REVEALING HER BATTLE WITH DEPRESSION & ON HER INTERVIEW? SURPRISED TO HEAR JUNIOR’S “DISAPPEARED”?

    CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO SEE THE OLD PHOTO OF BIG ANG!

    On last night’s episode of Mob Wives, Renee and Carla made amends after a series of miscommunications left them at odds, Drita took more steps towards divorcing Lee and Ramona got arrested!

    Every week I think I am going to be annoyed with Renee. Every single week. And then I love her more and more. I’m starting to feel like I might love Big Ang just as much. I guess I love an over the top broad or something. Too many years spent watching Dynasty reruns in my parent’s basement growing up, perhaps.

    The episode begins with the ladies making the rounds to discuss the throwdown between Drita, Karen and Ramona at Renee‘s birthday party. Everyone is blaming everyone else, because really, who wants Renee to be pissed at them? Drita and Big Ang grab a cocktail and discuss Ramona’s bodyguard act. Was anyone else waiting for Whitney Houston to burst out singing “I Will Always Love You”?

    CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO READ THE REST!

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