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

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Talking to one of the ‘Mob Wives’

Think the Real Housewives shows push the envelope? VH1’s Mob Wives, which follows four Staten Island women as they cope while the men in their lives are behind bars, makes the Bravo hit look like Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. We caught up with castmate and divorced mother of one Renee Graziano, whose father Anthony Graziano is the reputed consigliere of the Bonanno crime family, on a recent conference call. Graziano talked about the season finale, airing 8 p.m. Sunday. The ladies will meet up again for a surely feisty reunion special July 10.
Was there any concern that the show would have a negative impact on Staten Island?
I don’t think this is a show about Staten Island. This is a show about four women that happen to live on Staten Island. If we did it somewhere else, it’d be a negative somewhere else. There are people that have negative views, absolutely. Sometimes I even look at my own life in a negative light, but I’m learning from this experience. Hopefully as it goes on, people will learn that I’m as human as the next person.
What have you learned from the first season?
I learned that I might be much more outspoken than I need to be. I’m very passionate about my friends. That will never change. What I’m taking into Season 2 is the same person you met in Season 1. [But] I will be thinner because there is my plastic surgery coming up. So I will be wearing clothes a little bit more snug than I normally do.
Do you have any fashion advice for voluptuous women?
My advice is never wear anything that doesn’t fit. Don’t be uncomfortable. Listen, not everybody has the same body. The thinner girl gets to wear that little stick dress. A fuller woman gets to wear a fuller woman’s dress. But God made each and every one of us beautiful. So, be who you are, just don’t wear it too tight.
Are there any moments that you wish they had edited or handled differently?
I wish they would have edited out some of the crying, though that’s all real. I wish they would have added more like the bits and pieces that make me so I’m not as rough. I’m definitely not a tough girl; I’m a strong personality. I’m really like Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett. That’s who I wanted to be growing up. I wanted to be a comedienne, Joan Rivers. I just felt for me that you see a very loud-mouthed, sometimes rude and a very indignant person. So I’m a little upset over that. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe people are seeing the fun side of me.
What are some other misconceptions about “Mob Wives?’’
I don’t think [viewers] expected us to be as harsh and as toxic at times as we are with each other. I do believe that they are under this impression that we’re a part of a world that we’re not. We’re women taking care of our children and our home. Sometimes you just don’t ask questions.
How did you first find out what your father did?
My first experience for finding out, according to the government, that my father was involved in illegal activity, was in fourth grade when these kids glued an article from the Staten Island Advance to my desk. I knew I was different from the other children. I never questioned it; I just left it alone. I went home and I said, ‘What’s this?’ They were like, ‘Oh, newspapers, they don’t always write the truth.’ I said, ‘OK. I love you, Daddy.’ And I walked out, like I was too young to comprehend.


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