â€œMob Wivesâ€ is a new reality show following the lives of the wives and daughters of notorious crime bosses, who are currently behind bars or tied to the mob, in Staten Island. These Italian-American women struggle to live a normal life while their loved ones are â€œawayâ€ (aka in prison).
The Mob Wives are: Renee Graziano, Karen Gravano, Drita Dâ€™avanzo and Carla Facciolo (cast bios and pictures below). They all claim they want to pass a message of perseverance and resilience, showing how hard and glamorous it is to be a Mob Wife.
These women all know each other. Some of them are best friends and best enemies. Mob Wife Carla described the show as “half reality, half comedy but filled with tons of drama”.
“The message I’m portraying, and maybe the other girls also, is that I was a single mother for six years of my husband being away, and I had to deal with a lot, taking care of my kids on my own and doing everything myself. I’m making it through it and I’m staying strong. I’m keeping myself together, keeping my kids together. I want people to see that,” Carla says.
“We’re both in the same world and we both have different perspectives. … I don’t agree with everything she says and she doesn’t agree with everything I believe in,” Gravano says. “We’re strong women, so we probably butt heads sometimes.”
“We want to let people know there’s a downside to the lifestyle, and we’re kind of taking them inside of this world,” says Gravano, a mother who is writing a book about her life. “I felt like so many people have ideas and opinions of what goes on in this world, but for me, I’ve seen both sides and to me there is a down side. … and you do have to deal with the consequences of loved ones’ decisions.”
The show premiered on Sunday and it was a huge hit. â€œMob Wivesâ€ had more than 1.4 million views (2.2 million with the rerun later that night) and was the most watched non-sports cable show at 8 pm for woman between 18-49.
Italian group UNICO National slammed the show, claiming itâ€™s ruining Italian-Americansâ€™ reputation just like â€œJersey Shoreâ€. A rep said, “We were mobsters and mafiosos with ‘The Sopranos,’ bimbos and buffoons with ‘Jersey Shore,’ and now we’re back where we started. It’s a disgrace.”
VH1â€™s â€œMob Wivesâ€ Cast Bio & Pictures Below
Renee Graziano is the daughter of Anthony Graziano, who according to the Federal Government was a high ranking member of La Cosa Nostra. Renee grew up during the heyday of the mob — when things still fell off trucks and people still dropped off envelopes even when it wasn’t your birthday. Immersed in the culture since birth, she embraced the lifestyle as her own and became a “mob loyalist”. Renee eventually married (then divorced) Junior. Together they have one son, AJ.
Renee is hysterical, Renee is crazy, and Renee is drama, but she will be the first to give you the shirt off her back. Everyone and anyone who knows her, knows this.
Karen Gravano is the daughter of Sammy “The Bull” Gravano, the infamous mobster who cooperated with the government to help take down John Gotti and the Gambino crime family. Karen was just 19 years old when her father turned on the mafia, a move that left Karen devastated. She became a licensed aesthetician, opened up a lucrative day spa, and had her first and only child, Karina.
Strong, driven and business minded, she has already inked a deal to write a book about her life and is ready to revisit her old stomping grounds and reconnect with her old friends.
Drita D’avanzo is the wife of Lee D’avanzo, who federal prosecutors allege is the leader of a Bonanno and Colombo crime family farm team. While Drita’s husband is serving time in prison for bank robbery (for the second time), she is left alone raising two young girls, Aleeya (9) and Gizelle (3). Drita comes from a strict Albanian household who defied her parents and married someone outside the community — an Italian.
Drita is tough as nails and infamous for her many fights and knock outs growing up. Now a mother, she struggles to control her anger and often feels nostalgic for times when a problem could be solved with a fist.
Carla Facciolo grew up in Bergen Beach, Brooklyn, where she had a similar upbringing to Renee Graziano. While her father went to prison when she was young, it didn’t stop her from living the lifestyle she grew to love. Carla likes the finer things in life and thought she’d met her match when she married Joey Ferragamo, a stock broker. She is a stay at home mom and sales rep for a juice company. She takes good care of herself and prides herself on her hair and great body.