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Renee Graziano

Renee Graziano and son AJ PaganMob Wives Karen

It seems Mob Wives star Renee Graziano is still working hard to break away from the mob princess mentality. This was witnessed on the most recent episode of the show when Renee called her ex-husband Hector Pagan Jr aka Junior for back up after a bar patron insulted her.

In a new interview with the HollywoodLife, Renee opens up about wanting to create a better lifestyle for both her and her 17-year-old son AJ Pagan, adding that AJ has inspired her to want to change. “I wouldn’t want my son to go to jail,” Renee says. “AJ is going in a completely different direction. He’s going to make himself a better life.”

Renee adds that she is tired of seeing AJ go through the heartaches of the mob lifestyle such as watching his father Junior possibly get locked up again. “It breaks me emotionally,” explains Renee. “Watching your child feel pain makes you angry, very angry. It’s probably harder than anything anyone has to do.”

Renee states that raising AJ has given her strength to become more independent. “I lived an empty life,” she admits. Now, “I’m trying to change my life and define myself outside of the way I was brought up.” Renee also adds that her renewed friendship with co-star Karen Gravano is helping her leave her old ways behind.

And speaking of Karen, she is now clearing up the rumor that she was ever in a witness protection program, which was sort of insinuated on the show no? Also talking to the HollywoodLife, Karen reveals that unlike her father Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano — former Gambino family underboss turned FBI informant — she was never in the witness protection program.

“People have it confused,” Karen says. “The way it was, this was my father’s life, it didn’t have to do with me. I didn’t understand why he cooperated, he felt John betrayed him. I thought it wasn’t my life. I was going to stand on my own — that’s why I didn’t go into witness protection.”

Karen then explains why she moved away from New York to Arizona. “I moved to Arizona because my family was there and I thought it was a better way to raise Karina,” Karen says of her daughter. “And my brother [Gerard Gravano] was in prison, so I helped raise his son as well.”

Karen states, “When my father got out of prison, he went into witness protection for eight months and moved to Arizona and joined my family… I was very reluctant to leave New York, [but] I missed my family and was fed up with the lifestyle in NYC. I moved there in 1997.”

As revealed on the show, Karen is now back living in Staten Island to both work on her book and clear her name.

Meanwhile, Mob Wives is proving to be a big hit for the ailing VH1 network. The premiere brought in close to 2 million viewers and the show continues to average a healthy 1.33 million viewers a week.

TELL US – DO YOU THINK RENEE WILL BE ABLE TO BREAK AWAY FROM THE MOB LIFESTYLE?

Mob Wives

Last night’s Mob Wives episode was all about loyalty – and drinking. It was also about how having drinks with a girlfriend and loyalty do not often mix well if you are Karen Gravano. The episode also focused on what else: Renee Graziano’s loyalty to the lifestyle, loyalty to friendships and family, how Drita D’avanzo betrayed her, and whether or not it is worth it to stay connected to her past. Oh, and how she and Karen are now practically family again. As for Carla Facciolo, well she was pretty invisible again this episode, but her storyline was about family also.

The day after the Mob bust – and after a terrible day, in her own words, “Renee needs a drink.” We find out Junior is already out on bail and is likely only looking at 18 months for gambling (wait – isn’t that legal?) Renee expresses her frustration about the cycle of dealing with prison again and not being part of a normal family, because: “There’s always somebody missing to the federal f*cking government,” Renee doesn’t want that life anymore, but it is just so difficult to break away. By the way – did you see those amazing fur boots Renee had on? Girl definitely likes her fur from head to toe. After all, nothing says “bitch, I’ve arrived,” mafia-style like fur as we were taught last week in Renee’s Mob Wives 101 class.

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Mob Wives

Last night’s episode of Mob Wives was, again, about how life when you are part of the “the underworld” isn’t just about the glitz and the glamor, as Renee Graziano’s ex-husband (who is also her son AJ’s father) was arrested in a major FBI bust. Drita D’avanzo had more concerns about her husband’s sentence, and Karen Gravano began coming to terms with and exploring her feelings about her upbringing. Carla Faccilo was, as Nene Leakes likes to say: “Casper the Ghost” this episode because, yeah she was practically invisible. What an emotional episode this was – highs and lows galore, a total emotional roller coaster. As my mother said: “I feel like I need an anti-depressant after watching these broads.” Snark obviously runs in our family.

There was a lot of build up in the first part of the show until we finally got to the part all the previews were throwing in our faces: the FBI arrests! I waited on the edge of my seat for the juicy part and, yeah… it was pretty much a let down. The most we got to see of any FBI action was Renee crying in her kitchen about the arrests and the ladies showing CNN news footage. Foiled again by the infamous preview hype! It was nice that there was a significantly fewer number of bleeps so we could actually understand what they were saying to each other, though.

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Surprise Surprise – appearing on a reality show called Mob Wives is causing family drama for the stars of the show!

In a new interview with the Hollywood Life, Renee Graziano revealed that her super gangster father Anthony Graziano (who is currently behind bars in a federal penitentiary), no longer speaks to her since her decision to appear on Mob Wives and expose all their family secrets and scandals to the world. You don’t say?! You mean a heavy duty gangster and former consigliere of the Bonanno crime family, doesn’t want his daughter on TV bragging about how gangster she is and acting like a Mob Groupie? Hmmm…

When asked about her father’s reaction to her appearance on the series, Renee says: “He has no reaction because we don’t speak, not now, not after I made the decision to do the show. He said to me, ‘You made your bed. Now sleep in it.’ My father doesn’t agree with anyone putting their life on [TV].”

Renee goes on to explain that going on the show wasn’t about her father anyways, but about her, of course: “I think I needed to develop my own identity outside of my family life — out of the lifestyle,” Renee reveals in the article. She goes on to add, “I was also pretty tired of people judging me upon a lifestyle — not realizing that I’m a woman, I’m a mom, I go through hardships. No sympathy — that’s not something that I want from anyone. It was my way of really planting my feet and making a change in my life.”

Oh, well, that’s an original attitude for the star of a reality show – narcissism! I mean what has Renee done that would give her a reason to be on TV except be related to some gangsters? Renee also says that everyone else in her family supports her and that her father loves her anyways.

In more family dramz for the ‘ladies’, Mob Wives resident Ultimate Fighter Drita D’avanzio is facing some criticism for her parenting skills. In an article by HollyBaby, a “source” (re: someone Drita got in a drunken brawl with and punched in the face) reveals that Drita – scandal! – has been taking her nine-year-old daughter Aleeya to visit her dad Lee D’avanzo in prison. Well, I mean otherwise would this girl even know what her father looks like? He’s been incarcerated pretty much her entire life!

The article explains that the first time Lee went away, Drita told Aleeya that her daddy was off working. But poor Aleeya still had to deal with teasing from her classmates that she didn’t have a daddy. And when Lee returned home, Aleeya “had a really hard time adapting,” says the source.

“When he first came home, Aleeya told all her friends, ‘See, I told you I had a dad.’” However, the second time Lee went to prison Drita decided to tell her daughter the truth. “The second time around she decided to tell her where her dad was so she didn’t think he up and left for no reason,” explains the friend. The article also lets us know that Lee and Drita are still happily (really?) married: “She has her second thoughts every now and then, like anyone would after 12 years of marriage. But she is standing strong.” The source adds that Lee “has another 2 to 4 years left.”

I don’t think it’s a big deal for her to take her older daughter to see her father, as long as she doesn’t take her younger one. What do you think? Should Drita be dragging her fourth grader to the federal pen for visits or not? Also, if you were Renee’s dad – would you disown her?


On episode two of Mob Wives, which aired last night, it was all about loyalty and betrayal. Renee Graziano feels betrayed by her friends, she also feels betrayed by her ex-husband Junior – who barely has any involvement in their son AJ’s life. Carla Facciolo and Drita D’avanzo feel betrayed by their husbands for going to prison and leaving them to fend for themselves and raise their children while waiting for them to come home. And Karen Gravano feels betrayed by all the friends who ditched her when her dad ratted out all of their husbands and fathers to feds so he could go hang out poolside in AZ even though he killed 22+ people. So you know, that makes perfect sense!

So here’s what happened: “Bleep, bleepety, bleep, bleep, bl-ble-bleeep, bleep! Yeah?! Well, bleep, bleepin, bleepety bleep, ble – bleeeeeeeeep you!” Oh you couldn’t figure out what happened either? Yeah – this show needs to be on HBO or something – I can barely understand what’s being said because they have to bleep out every other word! My husband said I should start a “bleep tally” for each episode, but too much counting! Anyways, deciphering through the bleeps, this is what went on. Things picked up where they left off with Renee and Karen squabbling at Carla’s birthday party over who owns Staten Island – the state of NY or Renee? Renee seems to think it might be her, but you know – technicalities! Then her and Drita get into it when Drita tries to make peace with Renee, but ends up almost becoming The Hulk and punching her in the face and Carla had to intervene by grabbing Renee’s neck. Drita sums it up by saying: “If I hit you an ambulance is gonna come.” What a super classy party! So sad I missed it.

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Mob Wives
Move over Real Housewives of New Jersey! There’s newer group of classier ladies on the town. The new VH1 hit show is called Mob Wives and the press release teases “all the myths, legends and tales about “mob life” have all centered on the made men who run these wrong-side-of-the-law closed societies until now.”

Here’s the first thing you should know about the women of Mob Wives – they talk about prison A LOT. Because all the men they know are currently in one. Their fathers, uncles, brothers, husbands – whatever. So yeah – the ladies are pretty much experts on navigating the federal penitentiary system.

The other things you should know about the women of Mob Wives: these girls don’t back down. They are assertive. They fight. They cuss. They love what they call “the life” which is how they refer to people involved in the mob. And loyalty is their number one priority. Which is why things are going to get very complicated and dramatic this season as the ladies struggle with their identities, their future, and their families… Let’s meet the girls!

A new episode of Mob Wives airs tonight on VH1 at 8/7c.

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