Mob Wives Star Karen Gravano: "Being a Gangster Was Like Being Brad Pitt in Hollywood"

Mob Daughter COVER.JPG
When mob heiress Karen Gravano was in her late teens, her father Salvatore "Sammy The Bull" Gravano, who was second in command in the Gambino crime family, became an FBI informant and fed juicy bits of mafia info to hungry agents that eventually took down boss John Gotti.

And apart from Gravano's own brushes with the law (including involvement in her dad's Arizona ecstasy ring, for which he's now serving time in Colorado and Karen was put on probation), that scandal is what has defined her. And much like her father gave up mob secrets, Gravano gives up her own in her new memoir Mob Daughter.

Not that Gravano is a stranger to putting the spotlight on her family and its history.

Quite the contrary: Gravano is currently starring in the second season of Vh1's Mob Wives, a "Family"-friendly reality program that seems destined for a third season. In the vein of other spousal shows like Bravo's Real Housewives franchise and Vh1's Arizona-based Baseball Wives, the show features women with varying ties to organized crime including Renee Graziano, whose father is consigliere for the Bonanno family, and spinoff-worthy Angela "Big Ang" Raiola, a Staten Island bar owner whose late uncle was a high-ranking member of the Genovese family.

Gravano, who splits her time between New York and Arizona, talked with us about reality TV, her book, which she'll sign at Barnes & Noble on Satuday, April 14, and her relationship with her incarcerated father.

Are you a reality TV fan?
I don't even really watch TV that much. I went a whole year without it. But, when I decided to come on board [with Mob Wives] I started watching a little bit.

It's something that just draws you in and lets people relate to us. Being on the opposite end, I know it takes a lot. It definitely has a positive effect on my life and a negative. This has been a struggle for me my entire life. So sometimes I feel vulnerable. For so long I put up this wall trying to be tough, and now I can see [costar] Renee [Graziano] go through what I went through, and seeing her break down made me break down.

Did you watch Growing Up Gotti?
I did a couple of times. I watched it. John [Gotti] was probably doing back flips in his grave. You know. I understand now what sells and what doesn't sell. When we beat each other up [on Mob Wives] we get our highest ratings. And then we'll get along and nobody's interested.

Do you keep in touch with your dad?
Absolutely. My father is a very prominent person in my life. I run decisions by him. He'll tell me if he didn't like something I did on the show.

How would you describe your relationship? Are you close?
We're definitely close. We came to terms with everything. He has to pay the price for his decisions and at the same I do, too. It's unhealthy to hold onto the past.

I believe he could've done so much more in life, but he chose what he chose
When I did do the book, that was something he was against. Then i explained to him what I wanted the book to be. And he said okay. He read it from cover to cover. He called me and said, "I'm sorry." I didn't write it for an apology, but he said that he realized he didn't know how it affected us. He chose a life of crime before i was even born.

How and when did you figure out what he was doing?
As early as 10, I suspected that there might have been something different. But I didn't know what a gangtster was. It wasn't until I was about 16 that everything was setting in. [Gambino family head] Paul Castellano was murdered. My dad was climbing to the top.

I knew it was bad stuff. But it was like an out of body experience because my life was something people wanted to be a part of. In New York at that time, being a gangster was like being Brad Pitt in Hollywood.

Location Info

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Barnes & Noble

21001 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

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36 comments
Jc_stick
Jc_stick

What you D Bags obviously aren't aware of is for people who don't like "snitches" or "rats" you all have spent an aweful lot of time talking about her or the other ladies on the show & nothing sells more than gossip which makes you guys either just as bad or supporting their cause. Either grow up or shut f*** up! Personally putting their lives on the line like they do is probably more than you will ever do. They are putting the good & bad out there & owning up to it, so until you can do that don't be hypocrites!

FreudsNightmare
FreudsNightmare

Man, you psycho Mother F, ppl who think like you are a public danger. Stay away from illegal actions, I bet you would get caught immediately. THe idiots you are tslking about, are not putting their lives on the line, they are putting other lives on the line, stupido. And what can sby own on good or bad when he even can´t differ the one from the other, (again) stupido? You´re a waste of time

NO SHOW MIKE
NO SHOW MIKE

Trust me brad pitt wants nothing to do with this fat loud slob  who acts like a ghetto hood nigger on that tv show she is on. I know brad pitt ad he hangs out with the hells angels in arizona california and las vegas.

Yoshiko-1
Yoshiko-1

Watch ya mouth bird. Ghetto hood N@#!, let me find out. So many computer thugs.SMH

alehound
alehound

So, you are saying he's just like her??

Killian Bird
Killian Bird

Go ahead all you haters. Most of us understand they're just trying to make a living like the rest of us. I love these girls and show my support by wearing my Team Karen tee I got from cafepress.com/mobwivesfanclub

77 East 3rdst NYC
77 East 3rdst NYC

 I have known her dad sammy for 34 years and I keep in touch with him in Colorado where he is doing his time at super max prison up there. Sammy does not like his daughter Karen doing this tv show  at all but he can do nothing about it. he said its an embarrassment to him but to her its all about making money. she is shameful and has no family respect loyalty honor or dignity. its all about her making an easy buck. kids today dont know what those words mean and this is proof of that.

Kelly
Kelly

if you wanna be a real women you should get a support your local Hells Angels t shirt.  at least they are the real thing and are not posers.

Yoked
Yoked

Your probably Karen herself or one of the loud ugly guinea cunts from the tv show or a family member.

Bobby
Bobby

  You forgot fat cunts.

Yoked
Yoked

 Any cunt who supports this fat dago douchbag is also a loser. that means you killan bird.

Margie
Margie

  Maybe she should suck cock and fuck johns for a living like her dads hookers did for him. thats making a living mob style.

Roman_rebecca
Roman_rebecca

If she sucked Dick for dough Her big mouth would be usefully. More respect then Her an Her pop get now. Give It a shot.

BRIAN HAMC PHX AZ
BRIAN HAMC PHX AZ

Your a brainless ignorant naive bimbo groupie and groupies are good for nothing! to bad her dad didnt squeeze a bullet off into your head.

CHARTER OAK
CHARTER OAK

Snitches Deserve Stitches = Karen Gravano

Old School
Old School

She is selling out her dad. my daughter would never do this to me.

Herb Budman
Herb Budman

All the broads on this tv show are disrespecting the men in their lives. why do the men put up with it and why dont they put a stop to it?  loose lips sink ships. snitches are a dying breed!

Snitches and Bitches
Snitches and Bitches

Real Gangsters wives or kids dont go around talking about things like this  they know running your mouth can get you killed quick. and you dont draw unwanted attention to the gang or the family. you keep a low profile and fly under the radar out of site and out of mind.

RETIRED GANGSTER
RETIRED GANGSTER

 Thats why you never see a Hells Angels old lady doing shit like this. they keep their women in line.

Herb Budman
Herb Budman

 I know every once and a while you gotta beat your old lady like an old rug to keep them in line. lol  im still politically incorrect and I love it. politically incorrect is also known as politically submissive. I dont bend over for nobody!

Laffing Devils mc
Laffing Devils mc

  Say what you mean and mean what you say. lol there is very few of us left my friend from the days that used to be. so hang in there and dont let the bastards get you down.

Control your women
Control your women

Im surprised the macho italian men behind these broads dont smack them around and keep them in line. running their big loud mouths is not good for business. they make the men look bad like they cant contol their daughters or their wives. thats a sign of weakness in the italian world. it makes them all look more trashy than they already are.

Roman_rebecca
Roman_rebecca

What a joke these broads aré. Her old man is an embarasment an u would think that crew could sink no lower. Heres karen an them other douce bags ratting for ratings. Trágico.

RATS
RATS

Her dad was a local ecstasy dealer and he was a RAT. never support a RAT!

Good for nothing
Good for nothing

She was never a gangster is gonna be a gangster she is a wannbee diva. her dad was a gangster not her. thats a very misleading line in your top story line. if you support this douchebag you are supporting crime. alot of the money from her book goes back to her dad in prison. if a crip or a blood gang memeber or an outlaw bikers old lady or kid wrote a book like this would they get this kind of attention? Nope! this bitch is a fat nobody who has done nothing good in life at all except run her loud punk ass mouth and live off of and in her dads shadow.

Good for nothing
Good for nothing

LOOK AT ME im famous only because my dad was a mafia killer and a known criminal and now a federal prison inmate till he is dead.  other than that im good for nothing in life.

HAMC PHX AZ
HAMC PHX AZ

All of those Dago cunts are some fat ugly spoiled loud soft out of shape Guineas that are good for nothing in life! send um over to the local Hells Angels Phx clubhouse  and we will have our old ladys slap them around and show them what real outlaw biker women are.

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