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

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Mob widow is furious at her own kids for suing her

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The widow and children of a deceased lawyer to mobsters have settled their lawsuits against each after a sit-down with a mediator, but the family matriarch says she's ashamed of her children for suing her.

"How do you do this to a mother?" Elinor Gravante, 81, told the Daily News. "It's a terrible, terrible thing they did to me. It all has to do with greed. This is a mother's worst nightmare."

Elinor's three children — including high-powered lawyer Nicholas Gravante, Jr., a partner at the firm Boies, Schiller, & Flexner — filed a lawsuit against their mother last year in Florida over ownership of a vacation home in Connecticut and rental income from valuable properties left by her late husband, Nicholas Gravante Sr., who represented many Brooklyn gangsters in real estate transactions.

Elinor Gravante responded with a suit of her own in Brooklyn Federal Court last spring, alleging she was tricked into signing away the deed to the Connecticut home.

Informed that her son, Nicholas Jr., said he looks forward to family relations getting back to normal, Elinor said that's not how she feels.

"I want nothing to do with my three children," she said. "They went around telling people I had dementia so I went to be tested and I passed with flying colors. I play bridge with my friends, in fact I'm playing today, and most of the time I come in first."

Nicholas Jr. said the terms of the settlement are confidential, but sounded like a litigator when asked about suing his own mother.

"I have no regrets," he said. "The only way to get it resolved was to file a lawsuit. In order for it to end, it had to get worse before it got better. After 10 months of distasteful arguing, no matter how sad I was that it had reached that point, filing a lawsuit to bring this to a head was, in retrospect, the best move I could have made. It delivered a much needed wake-up call, and now, less than five months later, all disputes have been settled on terms acceptable to everyone."

Nicholas Jr. professed love for his mom, adding that they had found out that she was getting bad advice from an old friend of their father.

Elinor and her lawyer said that simply not true.

"He's (Nicholas Jr.) a spinner, he'll make you believe anything," Elinor said. "People tell me my husband must be turning in his grave."

Her lawyer Barry Kingham told The News: "Any notion that Mrs. Gravante's mind was poisoned by anyone is nonsense. She had independent legal advice from lawyers in New York and Florida throughout the dispute and its resolution."

Elinor's late husband testified as a defense witness for Salvatore "Sammy Bull" Gravano at the then-Gambino underboss' tax evasion trial in 1988.



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