Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Junior Gotti's wife Kim makes rare appearance in court to support husband

John A. (Junior) Gotti's wife made a rare appearance in Manhattan Federal Court Wednesday to support her husband as his lawyers tried to shred the government's star witness.

Kim Albanese Gotti, 41, gave her husband a little wave as she took her seat among Gotti's supporters in the audience.

She wore a black sweater poncho and a long string of white pearls and smiled at her husband when he could turn around.

Junior Gotti, 45, who is on trial for racketeering for a fourth time, has been behind bars for a year.

His wife, with whom he has six children, showed up as defense lawyers try to portray Gotti as a Long Island family man who ditched his mob ties years ago.

The couple was married at the New York Helmsley Hotel in 1990 at a lavish reception in which 173 guests ponied up $348,700 for the newlyweds. The two-page invite list became a prosecution exhibit in a 1998 court proceeding.

She shook her head often as mob snitch John Alite testified against Gotti, and politely declined to comment at the end of the court day.

Gotti's lawyers went after Alite, presenting a pathetic letter he wrote to Gotti 15 years ago to show he wasn't the big shot he claimed to be and how he kept trying to suck up to the son of Dapper Don John Gotti.

"I miss ya! I'll always keep writing. I hope you at least read these before you throw them out," Alite's letter said.

Too bad for him, Junior Gotti not only read it - he saved the letter handwritten on yellow legal paper for 15 years.

In the letter, Alite talks about getting a job putting up drywall to make some extra cash and joining an "over-30" baseball team "because I had nothing else to do," and explains why he was blamed for vandalizing a gym.

The letter throws into question Alite's claims that he remained an integral part of the Gambino criminal organization after his friendship with Gotti cooled that year.

In previous testimony, Alite had said Gotti told him to vandalize the gym.

Confronted with the letter by Gotti lawyer Charles Carnesi, who said it was a transparent bid "to ingratiate himself," Alite claimed it was actually code.

"I'm saying it in code," Alite testified.

Gotti just shook his head.

Carnesi, who has been working hard to portray Alite as almost incapable of telling the truth, said the letter proves Alite was frozen out of Gotti's business.

The day was not without humor.

At one point, the judge mistakenly called lawyer Carnesi "Mr. Carneglia" - confusing him for Gambino killer Charles Carneglia, the man who killed Albanese's pre-Gotti boyfriend, Salvatore Puma, in 1983. "Forgive me!" Judge Kevin Castel said, clutching his head.

But he was far less solicitous later when he imitated one of Carnesi's questions and shut down his line of questioning as "wasting time."


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