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Mob Wives

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!


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!


    We all saw it, but we all have different takes on what happened. To what am I referring? If you must ask, the most recent episode of Mob Wives! We can all agree we saw a smack down of epic reality proportions, but all viewers have their own take on what led up to the brawl at Renee Graziano’s birthday party and who was at fault. Some think that Drita D’avanzo was sincerely trying to make amends with nemesis Karen Gravano. I’ll be honest… that’s how I viewed it.

    Some saw it as Drita’s guilt for marrying her former friend Karen’s long time love Lee D’avanzo. And after the initial conversation between Drita and Karen? That’s where it really gets dicey in the eyes of the beholder. No one can argue that Drita threw the first punch, but did she do it after so much verbal turmoil and the addition of Karen’s ride-or-die-friend/self-pro-claimed cousin Ramona Rizzo?

    In an interview with Hollywoodlife.com, Drita explains her side of the cage match — and by cage, I clearly mean balcony. She recalls, “I definitely think they had the intention 1000 percent to do the tag team on me. I’ve gotten jumped. I know body action, motion, feeling — and I saw it. I saw the whole f*cking sh*t going on. I really did feel set up.”

    Despite intuition, Drita did believe that her initial chat with Karen was not going to end badly. Quite the contrary, she was hopeful the combative pair could bury their differences. Drita reveals, “I was told she wanted to talk to me. I was so happy [she wanted to make up].”

    Citing footage from that fateful episode, Drita continues, “If you see me, you see my body language. My gesture is genuine. I’m not trying to be a f*cking asshole. It’s crazy to me that she reacted the way that she did and changed and just turned the whole thing into a bad f*cking situation.”

    Drita, however, is adamant about how the fight escalated. “Who started it? Karen. Who instigated and made it worse and then put me on defense mode? Ramona. She was told not to be there and she got involved. She knows I got nobody there,” Drita remembers. She recounts, “I was the one getting bullied. I felt cornered. I felt they had bad intentions. I’m going defend myself.”

    Drita in no way is trying to pawn off her culpability in the situation. She is quick to admit, “I hit Ramona first. I punched her across the mouth. She shouldn’t have been there running her mouth. She knows I don’t trust her. And, Karen could have turned around and said, ‘Listen Ramona, this has nothing to do with you.’ Instead she got louder and nastier.”

    Clearly these ladies are not people I want on my bad side. Drita tells the site, “I didn’t want to go to the party [in the first place]. I promised myself to never fight again on television. This is what I went in thinking. I never had intentions to ever touch her again. And, I specifically told everybody to keep Ramona far away from me.” You have to admire the fact that Drita promised herself never to fight again “on television.” Off camera everything is fair game, I presume?

    Drita is not shocked by how things went down at the party, citing, “Karen and Ramona did this same thing to one of Carla [Facciolo]’s close friends. They jumped her. They don’t have a great rep when it comes to this.” I am hard pressed to find a “great rep” when it comes to any of these women! Joking aside, Drita wants to rid herself of the drama and violence, stating, “Fighting, I’m f*cking done with it man. I’m trying to put that behind me.” Good luck with that, dear lady. Good luck.

    Turning to the woman on the receiving end of Drita’s right hook, Ramona Rizzo is the newest cast member who has a strong pseudo-family alliance with Karen. She speaks to the same site about why she is deserving of a spot on Mob Wives.

    Going back to the family tree she discussed on last week’s episode, Ramona boasts, “I had somebody by the name of ‘Lefty Guns’ Ruggiero, who was my grandfather. The movie Donnie Brasco was based on his life. The only person I’m willing to speak about is my grandfather. We’re the real deal.”

    While the family secret was that her grandfather was the member of a notorious crime family, it was kept just that — a secret — Ramona says,“I was extremely close with my grandfather. His going away affected me really bad. When I was making my communion, that’s when things started going on…My grandfather went to jail for 13 years, but they still didn’t tell me.”

    She wants viewers to know, “My family hid it from me. I grew up differently. The word ‘mob’ was never used in my home. … I saw all the news with my grandfather, and that’s how [I] found [my] family’s secret out.”

    Ramona’s revelation led to different choices. She explains, “Everything I went through, I didn’t want to marry Italian. If [I had] a boy, he could possibly be in the lifestyle.” Or his mother could be right in the thick of it, fighting on a balcony!

    While Ramona’s former married life sounds like something out of a movie, it’s hardly a mob flick. After spending a decade married to a man from the Middle East, she struggled to get a divorce and fought to get her kids — Giovanni 13, Anissa, 12, Melina, 11, Gianna, 7 — out of the country of Jordan. Now raising her children in the U.S., she remembers, “The last time I was in Jordan was to get divorced. I went there for two-and-a-half years.”

    That said, it’s clear Ramona is loyal to family… and that includes faux cousin Karen. I mean nothing negative by referencing her as faux, it merely means they aren’t blood related — I am fortunate enough to have more faux family than blood relatives. :)

    Of her infamous Mob Wives family member, Ramona says, “I met Karen at 4 years old. I called her mom and dad ‘aunt’ and ‘uncle.’ We did frequent holidays together.” And that, my friends, is why sometimes water is thicker than blood.

    [Photos Credit: SPLASH]

    THOUGHTS ON DRITA’S INTERVIEW? DO YOU BELIEVE SHE WAS JUMPED? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT NEWCOMER RAMONA?


    Last night’s Mob Wives was an all out war — the weapons of choice? Acrylic nails, silicone and weave. It was quite a battle!

    At Big Ang’s request, Drita D’Avanzo agrees to try to mend fences with Karen Gravano. Drita attempts to apologize, but Karen isn’t having one second of it. They are back to the conversation on the rooftop last season. Big Ang mistakenly thinks things are copasetic as she watches from a distance. Um. Karen accuses Drita of claiming she put Karen in the hospital. Drita never said that… but she did hear it, and it seemed plausible as Drita typically puts people in the hospital.

    Ramona approaches, reminding the ladies that Renee’s birthday isn’t the time of place. Drita swings at her and it is an all out hair pulling brawl. Ramona won’t let go of Drita’s hair, no matter how much Derek Tobacco (what a great name!) tries to stop her. Ramona’s mouth is bleeding (or is that smeared lipstick? Nah, totes blood) and Karen is threatening Drita with “her bloodline.”

    CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO READ THE REST!


    On the New Year’s Day premiere of Mob Wives, reality star Renee Graziano was looking forward to what she called her fully body makeover. Going into surgery, Renee was anticipating a flatter tummy and a rounder tush. What she got was a near death experience and more than two weeks in the hospital after she lost over six pints off blood when the stitches on her back ripped open during an attempt to sit upright.

    In a recent interview with HollywoodLife.com, Renee recounts what it felt like before she was rushed to the emergency room. She recalls, “I knew something was wrong. I felt my life slipping. I felt everything drain out of my body. I knew I was dying. Thank God from up above [that I didn't].”

    As for her continuing recovery, Renee admits, “I wake up every day in pain. There was a lot of scar tissue that was left inside. It’s painful. It’s very uncomfortable.”

    With her pain comes a warning. “Research your plastic surgeon. I would do it again, but know who you are dealing with,” Renee advises. “You are making a life decision.”

    While her wounds heal, Renee is still hurt that her (seemingly former) friend and co-star Carla Facciolo made no attempt to come see her or even call during the difficult time. Renee tells the site, “I’ve always said that Carla is the ice princess. Now, she went from being the ice princess to being a plain, cold block of ice. Carla is block of ice. As boring as it is to watch it melt is as boring as what it is to be in her company. I have nothing to say to that girl.”

    Renee continues, saying she has no regrets about Carla not receiving an invitation to her birthday party. “It was a very good decision. It was my party. I wanted to celebrate my life,” Renee states. “I didn’t want anybody around me that gave me conflict.” Um, that would be great if it weren’t for the giant free-for-all that is going to erupt at Renee’s party in the upcoming episode.

    We all know Karen Gravano and Drita D’avanzo are about to let the insults and fists fly, picking up lots of other brawling participants along their way. Renee reveals she was clueless about the ladies’ impending throw down, claiming, “I was minding my own business. I was having a good time laughing, dancing and singing at the party. I was unaware of what was going to happen. I would never put anybody in that position. As the story unfolds, you will understand who hits who. It’s just a crazy old bunch of girls.” Takes one to know one?

    Of course, Renee tends to be the mother hen with her cast mates. While Karen and Drita clearly ruined her party she’s willing to overlook their drama. She says, “It would be really nice to see them make up.”

    What I’m sure was nice for Renee and her fellow mob ladies to see was their show rating as the second most watched show on New Year’s night. Over 2.36 million viewers tuned in to see the smackdown premiere of the second season! This marks a 56% increase over the first season’s premiere episode.

    With the drama we’re about to see unfold, there is no doubt the viewers will keep flocking to their televisions every Sunday of the season!

    [Photo Credit: SPLASH]

    WHAT DO YOU THINK OF RENEE’S INTERVIEW? SHOULD CARLA HAVE REACHED OUT AFTER HER SURGERY? DO BELIEVE KAREN AND DRITA WILL BE ABLE TO RECONCILE?


    The last season of Mob Wives ended with a throw down and from the previews it seems like there’s more of the same this time around. I can’t wait! Last night, the ladies of Staten Island dealt with near death experiences and a celebration of life party that quickly turns sour.

    The episode begins with Renee Graziano heading to the plastic surgeon to get a full body makeover. She wants a flat stomach and new bum. It looks like it’s going to be A LOT of work. Once she’s on the operating table Renee begins to get nervous. Her son checks in with the receptionist to see how she’s doing, and the camera man is kind enough to show us a giant piece of skin and fat they have removed from Renee’s body. Something tells me this isn’t going to end well.

    CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON TO READ THE REST!

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