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Mob Wives


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.

CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO READ THE REST!


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?

CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO SEE THE PREVIEW!

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!

Sometimes it is easy to forget that the ladies of Mob Wives are called “mob wives” for a reason. However, due to the recent drama with Renee Graziano’s father and ex-husband, the women seem less like reality stars and more like the products of their crime family pasts.

Renee’s mobster father Anthony “TG” Graziano was just indicted on racketeering charges… charges that were a result of Renee’s ex-husband Hector “Junior” Pagan going all Benedict Arnold on Renee’s family by wearing a wire to get information from his former father-in-law.

A recent article from the online edition of the New York Post spoke about Renee’s breakdown outside the New York courthouse this week after her father was charged. She talked openly about her ex-husband (who she had hoped to reconcile with on the current season which filmed months ago). Her ex, as you know, ratted out her father by becoming an FBI informant.

As Renee’s father was taken away by U.S. Marshals, the Mob Wives star couldn’t handle the pressure of the given situation. And who can blame her? It was during this real life “Usual Suspects” moment that Renee realized perhaps Junior’s promises of a stronger relationship were nothing more than an attempt to get closer to her father to garner information for a DEA investigation, which would send her father back to the clink. Shame on you, Junior. Not that I’m pro-mobster, but I am totally against betraying your loved ones in exchange for immunity for your own misgivings.

A tearful Renee told the magazine, “They’re in ‘The Life’ with you one day, and then cooperating the next.”

Renee hasn’t seen Junior, who is reportedly in the witness protection program, but she is devastated by the potential effect on AJ, her 17-year-old son, with Junior. She reveals, “My son is taking this very hard. He loves his father.” Continuing, the mama bear is adamant that she “won’t forgive [Junior] for what he did to my son.”

Renee admits that had she known of Junior’s intentions she would have tipped off her father, regardless of the pair’s tumultuous relationship. She cites Junior’s actions as an “immense betrayal.”

“I would have told my father — 100 percent,” Renee promises the magazine.

The article points out that had Renee tipped off her father, she likely would have sealed her ex-husband’s fate. According to the New York Post, the mob is quick to extinguish government informants. As someone who has always been indifferent about Renee on the show, I do hate to hear that she could have potentially been put in such an explosive situation.

With the cameras still rolling for the VH1 hit, Renee chooses to focus on the positive things the series has done for women in her position. While she’s the star of a show which highlights the feminine side of the Mafia world, Renee wants to point out, “This is not about the men. It’s about what women go through.”

And speaking of turncoats, everyone’s favorite overly-enhanced second season addition, Angela “Big Ang” Raiola, gave an interview to Good Day L.A. explaining the seemingly counterproductive concept of having a reality show about people whose family members are literally trying to remain anonymous… you know, because they’re hardened criminals and all.

Huffingtonpost reports on that appearance, saying that in this reality world of the mob, according to our love Big Ang “everybody rats” and the series is in no way on La Cosa Nostra’s radar.

Big Ang can relate to the world of informants, as she herself was arrested in a cocaine bust in 2001 because of one. She admits, “A girlfriend of mine, an informer, had a wire … She went into witness protection and then we all got arrested. I did house arrest … We had parties every day for six months.” Sounds kind of fun, right?

It certainly makes people wonder why these women would do a show when most of their family and friends are involved in a very secret–and very dangerous–crime ridden world. However, Big Ang believes that the secrecy involved with being part of a mob family rarely exists nowadays.

She explains, “How could it be secretive? Everybody’s rats … There’s no more secrets, they’re all ratting each other out. It’s over.”

Of course Big Ang is in the perfect place to call out the turn-coating ways of infamous Mafia crime families. Of her own family, linked to the mob, she admits, “Thank god they’re dead.” It’s definitely hard to hate on a show that exposes your family secrets when your family isn’t around to watch it!

[Photos Credit: WENN]

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF JUNIOR TURNING ON RENEE’S DAD? IS HE JUSTIFIED TO EXPOSE A CRIMINAL OR DID HE OVER STEP THE BONDS OF FAMILY LOYALTY? THOUGHTS ON BIG ANG’S INTERVIEW?

In the world of Mob Wives, too much is never enough and the criminal lifestyle doesn’t stop just because the cameras are rolling.

In a new interview, Angela “Big Ang” Raiola dishes on wanting more surgery. Clearly she isn’t paying much attention to co-star Renee Graziano’s recent debacle! She speaks to Radar Online about her desire to go under the knife a few more times.

The 52-year-old breakout star of the season says, “I would like to have other surgery, like my eyes done and a slight face lift and my love handles removed by liposuction… I just need to get this liposuction fast around my bra and my backsides, and I’ll feel much better after that cause my age is kicking in.” Her sister even found her a doctor–on Facebook of all places!–who she will be consulting with this month.

No stranger to procedures, Big Ang confesses that her first foray into plastic surgery was in 1985.“I had a tummy tuck, liposuction, my lips injected and my breasts done three times,” Big Ang said. “The first time I had my breasts done was 27 years ago, and they put sponges in them. That was in 1985.”

CLICK HERE TO SEE PHOTOS OF BIG ANG BEFORE PLASTIC SURGERY!

Do what? In 2005 the sponges were replaced with saline implants, and then silicone implants were substituted for the saline a few years later.

Big Ang admits that she is done enhancing her chest, saying, “I’m good now, I have a 36 J and that is perfect. I think that when men look at me, they notice my height and my boobs. I am married to a 38-year-old and I am 52 and he is 6-foot-7.”

In other Mob Wives news, Renee Graziano’s father was recently subject to a sting. As she’s had a great deal of stress going on in her everyday life, this family drama can’t be helping. Nydailynews elaborates on the situation.

Anthony “TG” Graziano, a top Bonanno gangster who was secretly taped by his ex-son-in-law Hector “Junior” Pagan, was in a seemingly good mood at his recent arraignment when he pleaded not guilty to charges of extortion, the evidence of which was garnered from Junior’s taped conversations.

On Tuesday, the mobster, 71, waved to his daughter Lana and wife Veronica before greeting the Magistrate with “Good afternoon, ya honor.” He then asked Magistrate Marilyn Go, “Can you talk a little louder? I’m deaf in one ear.”

Go responded, “You look pretty good.” To which Graziano retorted, “What I got left.”

In November Graziano was arrested while living in a halfway house in Brooklyn as he was finishing out the sentence for a prior conviction. Additionally, he is named in an indictment against acting boss Vincent “Vinny TV” Badalamenti and capo Nicholas Santoro.

Patrick Parrotta, Graziano’s attorney gave an interview outside the courthouse, insisting everything was fine between the Graziano and his Mob Wives daughters. While Renee stars in the show, it is the brainchild of her sister Jennifer. Parrotta stated, “He does not hold what Hector did against his daughters.”

His lawyer further asserted that any animosity Graziano may have had about VH1′s hit show is in the past. “There’s no estrangement, everybody’s talking,” Parrotta said. Also, don’t expect to see Graziano pulling a Pagan any time soon. While he is currently in plea negotiations, his lawyer is adamant that he would never cooperate with the feds. Good to know!

Parrotta claims that he is unsure if the FBI directed Junior to go on the show in an effort to regain closeness with the Graziano family. Junior, who appeared in an episode filmed last summer, began wearing a wire last August.

Renee’s struggles with depression have been shown on the show, from her surgery-gone-so-wrong to her relationship with Junior and her father. Not to mention all her friends and co-starts are feuding. She recently tweeted the following earlier this week:

Like me, I am sure many of you are waiting with baited breath for the next installment of the drama. Unfortunately, we must be patient for yet another week. For some reason the Mob Wives don’t think they can compete with the Super Bowl. Thankfully there is a light at the end of our mafia tunnel, as Carla Facciolo tweeted, “To all my #MOBWIVES fans we will not be on this Sunday!! :((( Enjoy the SUPERBOWL and we will be back next Sunday Feb 12th!!”

DO YOU THINK BIG ANG SHOULD HAVE MORE SURGERY? THOUGHTS ON TG’S ARRAIGNMENT? WAS JUNIOR USING RENEE TO GET TO HER FATHER?

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!

As it turns out, Mob Wives break out star Big Ang is more than well qualified to be on the show!

In a new bombshell report by the Smoking Gun, it turns out Big Ang, age 51, (real name Angela Raiola) is a convicted felon.

Back in 2001, Big Ang was indicted on six felony counts after an undercover investigation and drug bust targeting a mob-tied drug ring operating in New York City. She was one of the 15 defendants named in the criminal case after she was caught repeatedly selling cocaine in the undercover operation by the DEA and New York Police.

According to federal agents, Big Ang was as an associate of the drug ring’s leader, who was sentenced to almost 13 years in prison (and is currently in prison). Big Ang is said to have provided cocaine for “street level distribution” selling the drugs in the Brooklyn bars where she worked.

The charges against her included conspiracy to distribute and five other charges related to separate cocaine sales she made to undercover cops. In fact, her handbag contained 14 small plastic bags containing cocaine during her arrest.

In March 2003, Big Ang — out free on $100,000 bond– pled guilty to some of the charges. In October 2003, she was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to spend four months under home confinement. And nine months later, in July 2004, a federal judge ordered her to enroll in “an outpatient and/or inpatient drug treatment or detoxification program.” Wowzers.

Moving on, as no Mob Wives family is more dynamic than on-again/off-again/married/separated/divorced/reconciled couple Renee Graziano and her ex-husband/new “roommate” Junior Pagan. In an interview with HollywoodLife.com, Renee opens up about how the couple’s roller coaster relationship has affected their 17-year-old son AJ.

Renee reveals, “AJ told me, ‘Protect your heart.’ He wanted it to work out, but he didn’t want to see his mother hurt, cry and see me go through the motions that I am now.”

After forgiving her ex-husband, who during filming was awaiting sentencing, Renee recalls, “AJ was nervous for me because he knows the amount of love I have for his father. He was happy, because I was happy. He was happy as well because he had his mother and father in the house at the same time, something he hasn’t had since he was 5 years old.”

Renee explains that her relationship with her son is very close and she doesn’t sugarcoat her past with Junior. She admits, “My son was my adviser. I speak freely with AJ. I want him to not do what his father did [in the past]. I’ve taught him to respect women.”

Discussing her tumultuous relationship with Junior, Renee shares, “We got married very young. I hold him accountable for his actions, but do I blame him this far into the game? No really. We all make mistakes.” However, when the pair reconciled on the show, Renee admits to feeling “ecstatic, overwhelmed, and at peace,” citing, “I was happy to have my family. It was something I waited for, for a very long time.

Unfortunately for Renee (or fortunately, depending on your take of the situation), her relationship with Junior didn’t remain happy for long. She reveals that viewers are going to see the duo do a 360 as the season progresses.

VH1 recently announced Mob Wives has secured a talk show-esque spin off, which sounds very similar to the Teen Mom’s after episode sofa chats. Apparently, “Mob Wives: The Sit Down” will feature celebrity guests discussing freshly aired episodes. Dear VH1, this has been done before, only Bravo calls it Watch What Happens Live.

I jest, because if any group of ladies warrants a post-show conversation, it’s this dysfunctional mix! The show will be hosted by “Big Morning Buzz Live’s” Carrie Keegan. Vh1 is banking on the fact that the Mob Wives’ sophomore season has averaged 2.2 million viewers, 1.3 being the coveted 18-49 age group, which equals a ratings gold mine. In its time slot, it’s the number one show in this demographic with viewership up 67% from the first season. Those are some numbers my friends!

The mobster talk sensation has already been slated for seven episodes, and it will be the second spin-off for the often talked about series. The first spin-off, Mob Wives: Chicago, will premiere this spring.

Also, because it’s Friday and I love y’all, I’m leaving you with some Big Ang before photo amazingness courtesy of VH1. Those pictures are below for your viewing pleasure. TGIF!

[Photos Credit: Demis Maryannakis/PacificCoastNews.com, SPLASH]

TELL US – SHOCKED BY BIG ANG’S CRIMINAL PAST? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF RENEE’S INTERVIEW? SHOULD SHE HAVE LET JUNIOR MOVE BACK IN TO HER HOUSE? WILL YOU BE WATCHING THE MOB WIVES SPIN-OFFS?

CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO SEE THE BIG ANG PHOTOS!

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