The Mob Wives Cast's Biggest Secrets

Of all the reality TV shows out there, VH1's Mob Wives may take the cake for the most legitimate cast scandals. Murders, bank robberies, drugs — it's shady with a chance of meatballs among this gaggle of ladies and their oh-so-connected family trees. The controversial series, which ran from 2011 to 2016, took place on Staten Island in New York and — if the title didn't give it away — it starred women who were all associated with the mob in some way. 

Some critics raved about the show. Entertainment Weekly called it a "floridly funny, vicariously vicious reality series [that] exerts a vulgar charm." Others derided it. The New York Daily News described it as "unpleasant people in an unwatchable show ... a glimpse into another world — a world where a glimpse is enough." Love it or loathe it, there could be reboot in your future, so now is a great time to take a look back at the biggest secrets and most shocking scandals from Mob Wives – a show whose cast made The Real Housewives franchise look like Barney & Friends.

Drita D'Avanzo allegedly attacked a woman

Cast member Drita D'Avanzo was well known for getting into fights with her fellow "Mob Wives" while the show was on the air, but that drama apparently followed her off-screen as well. In February 2016, TMZ reported that D'Avanzo was arrested for misdemeanor assault after brawling with a woman over a parking spot. The other woman, Mary Bratti, told the tab that D'Avanzo's husband, Lee D'Avanzo, was "frequently" using her parking spot. When Bratti confronted him about it, well, things didn't go well, as indicated by video footage shared with TMZ. Bratti said she suffered a minor concussion from the punches Drita landed, and she also claimed Lee had been harassing her since the fight took place. 

However, according to the New York Daily News, the assault charges against Drita were dropped because Bratti reportedly decided not to cooperate with the district attorney's office. Interesting, no?

Drita claims she didn't know her hubby's 'business' involved robbing banks

As Mob Wives fans well know, Drita D'Avanzo's husband, Lee D'Avanzo, has a long and complicated history with the law. The couple wed in 2000, but according to the New York Daily News (via Starcasm), he was indicted in 2001 for crimes dating all the way back to the 1980s, including drug dealing and bank robbery. Some honeymoon, right? 

Lee was released from prison in 2006, but arrested again in 2008 when he and a "small band of crooks" were nabbed "trying to knock off a Staten Island bank in an elaborate scheme gone awry that included tunneling through the wall of a store next door," reported the New York Post. When Mob Wives launched in 2011, Lee was reportedly still in jail. He was released in 2013. 

Drita told Hollywood Life that she had no idea her husband was involved in any illegal activity when they met. "When I started dating Lee, I knew he had a business," she said. "As for bank burglary and stuff like that? No way!" 

Renee Graziano comes clean about her past

Mob Wife Renee Graziano has decided to come clean about her battles with substance abuse and depression. Instead of hiding her struggles, she has opted to seek professional help and share her that journey of recovery with fans. 

According to her spokesperson, the reality star entered rehab in 2012 "to improve her physical, mental and spiritual health," reported People. It had "been a difficult year for Graziano, whose ex-husband, Hector 'Junior' Pagan, gave information to authorities that helped put her father in prison." Graziano later spoke to VH1 about that intense period. "My life was just really out of control," she said, noting that she had to come to terms with her past "I mean I'm embarrassed but I'm human. I think that's why going to rehab on camera was even better for me because I wanted people to know that I'm not superwoman." 

Graziano checked into rehab again in December 2016 and in October 2017, but as of May 2018, she was reportedly clean, sober, and helping others get help. "I still battle with my addiction and my depression and it helps people now," she told Page Six. "It used to destruct me, but now I work in a rehab called Transitions Recovery. I get people placed."

Karen Gravano took the fall with her family

Alongside her father, mother, and brother, Karen Gravano was arrested in Arizona in February 2000 for her alleged involvement in an underground drug ring that supposedly sold "20,000 to 25,000 tablets of Ecstasy each week in the Phoenix area," according to The New York Times. Gravano pleaded guilty to "the use of wire or electronic communications and drug-related transactions" and was sentenced to probation, reported ABC News. Her dad, Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano, was slapped with a 20-year-sentence in a federal prison, but released early in 2017. 

Salvatore achieved infamy when he defected from the mob in 1991 and testified against his former cohort, the infamous John Gotti. According to the Times, Salvatore's "turncoat testimony helped convict more than 40 mob figures, including [Gotti]," who was sentenced to life in prison in 1992. Salvatore also reportedly confessed to killing 19 people, including his brother-in-law

Natalie Guercio can allegedly throw (and take) a punch

In December 2013, Natalie Guercio was a relative newcomer on Mob Wives, but she certainly made a name for herself when she got into a bloody fight inside a New York City nightclub while celebrating the show's Season 4 premiere. 

According to Page Six, the brawl occurred after a woman named Alexis Crinion Genovese tried to break up a scuffle near the dance floor between Guercio and Genovese's cousin. During the confrontation, Guercio allegedly smashed a bottle of alcohol over Genovese's head. Genovese needed stitches and reportedly called Guercio an "animal." Another witness described the reality star as "a loose cannon" with "beer balls." 

In March 2014, TMZ reported that Guercio fought a bouncer at a strip club, allegedly calling the guy "every name in the book." In this case, Guercio reportedly wound up getting punched in the face but didn't press charges. 

Big Ang did time in the slammer

In 2001, Angela "Big Ang" Raiola was indicted on multiple felony charges following an 18-month joint investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the New York Police Department, reported The Smoking Gun. Raiola — who possessed "14 small plastic bags containing cocaine" at the time of her arrest — was reportedly part of a "mob-tied drug ring" doing business in NYC. She pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to distribute charge and was sentenced to three years' probation and four months of home confinement. Raiola's sentence was later modified to require her to attend a drug treatment program. 

In her 2012 autobiography Bigger is Better, Raiola confessed that she got involved in selling cocaine because she was a single mom who needed to support her family. "I did it for the money," she said. "I wouldn't do it again and haven't since. I learned my lesson. It's not worth the risk." 

Sadly, Raiola died Feb. 18, 2016, after a lengthy battle with cancer. She was 55.

Ramona Rizzo is apparently 'about that life'

Ramona Rizzo, who appeared in Mob Wives' second and third seasons, was accused in 2013 of ordering "armed thugs to abduct a man off a New York City street so she could shake him down for cash and jewelry," reported the New York Post. She allegedly wanted to recoup $10,000 she'd given him in a "failed moneymaking scheme." The alleged victim, Shonte Gibson, claimed Rizzo threatened to kill him and his family and said one of her "goons" stole his Rolex and 1,600 bucks. Just hours after the alleged incident, Rizzo just so happened to tweet: "When U Steal or Rob From Any1.... Make sure Ur About That Life.....If Not Get Real Job!!!" That sounds a little suspicious, no?

But get this: the New York Post later reported that Gibson never showed up to a meeting he was supposed to have with police at a local precinct, so it's unclear what, if anything, became of that Rizzo ruckus.

Alicia DiMichele admits to role in embezzlement scandal

Mob Wives alum Alicia DiMichele broke down in tears when she was sentenced to four years probation in 2014 for her involvement in an embezzlement scandal. According to the New York Daily News, DiMichele admitted to knowingly preparing false invoices and paperwork while running a trucking business with her husband, Edward "Tall Guy" Garofalo, who was pushing union pension funds through their company. "I knew that my husband and his partners were doing something wrong and I helped them," she said in court. Garofalo was reportedly locked up the previous year for extortion, witness tampering, and murder conspiracy charges.

DiMichele has since divorced Garofalo, opened a clothing boutique in New Jersey, and remarried restaurateur Rob LaScala. And file this under "Things That Don't Look Shady at All" — former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell officiated the wedding. 

Karen Gravano can smell a rat

Mob Wives fans know there's no love lost between co-stars Karen Gravano and Drita D'Avanzo. For starters: Gravano dated Drita's husband, Lee D'Avanzo, for years before Drita married him. According to The Wrap, the ladies had their fair share of fights on the show, but it seems the drama between them continued even after the series concluded. 

In March 2017, TMZ reported that Gravano's Mercedes Benz had been vandalized with the word "RAT" spray-painted in giant orange letters along its side. Gravano believed it was Drita's doing, telling the tab she suspected it had something to do with a "beef" on Mob Wives involving Drita and Lee. Prior to the attack, Gravano claimed she saw Lee "circling around my house and then all of a sudden my car mysteriously gets vandalized. I heard through a couple of people that it was him."

Drita responded to that theory via Instagram: "truly feel sorry for this thirsty a** delusional lonely old woman ... Vandalism is not my style...punching lying dumb b**ches in the face is."

Big Ang's son was also accused of dealing drugs

Big Ang reportedly put her drug dealing days behind her, but the past came back to haunt her when her son, then-23 year old A.J. Donofrio, was busted for selling cocaine and oxycodone in 2012. According to the New York Daily News, Donofrio was arraigned for conspiracy and drug dealing with four friends after selling two bags of cocaine to an undercover police officer during a covert sting. He faced up to 25 years in jail, but wound up heading to rehab instead. According to the New York Daily News (via Reality Tea), the court determined that Donofrio was dealing drugs as a way of feeding his own addiction. 

He seems to have stayed out of trouble since. In fact, he got married in 2015 in a giant ceremony in New York City that concluded with the newlyweds driving off in a Lamborghini, so it looks like he's getting by. 

Mob Wife vs. Teen Mom

According to the Daily Mail, the beef between Mob Wives alum Drita D'Avanzo and 16 and Pregnant star Farrah Abraham's began in June 2018, when the two co-hosted a party at a strip club. Abraham allegedly posted stories to her Instagram decrying D'Avanzo's lack of professionalism at the event. D'Avanzo retaliated, of course, with an explanation of her own: "I no longer assault anybody, okay? 'Cause the last time someone tried to test me, they ended up putting me in jail ... I'm not gonna closed-fist punch your face in. I'm gonna open-hand smack the f*** out of you straight-up on sight." Subtle, right?

Things got even crazier when Us Weekly reported in July 2018 that Abraham was filing a restraining order against D'Avanzo, but a month later, TMZ reported that Abraham's management reached out to D'Avanzo to arrange a celebrity boxing match between the feuding reality stars. However, Abraham allegedly backed out of the deal, prompting D'Avanzo to post this much-watch message on her Instagram in August 2018. Think: meatballs with a side of menace.

Brittany Fogarty grew up in the Witness Protection Program

Model Brittany Fogarty joined the cast of Mob Wives for its final season, and like the other ladies, she was no stranger to serious family drama. According to the New York Post, her parents were involved with "the life." Her father, John Fogarty, was reportedly a notorious mob affiliate and served time alongside Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano (remember him?) in Arizona. Fogarty's mother, Andrea Giovino, has been referred to as the "real-life Carmela Soprano." She published a tell-all in 2004 titled Divorced from the Mob and shared some memories of married life with The Guardian in 2002 — you know, like that time her husband supposedly "came home for dinner with two bodies in the trunk of his Lincoln Continental." 

Mr. Fogarty reportedly "confessed to an undisclosed number of murders and served six years in a federal penitentiary before joining the Witness Protection Program," The Guardian reported. When Brittany was a baby, she moved with her mother from Staten Island to Pennsylvania, also as part of the Witness Protection Program. According to the New York Post, Brittany doesn't have much of a relationship with her dad. "I don't think that as a young child you really understand what it means to murder someone, so as I got older and as I was a teenager, and as these things were becoming more real for me, I think I took my anger out on my father," she told Bikini.com (via Bustle).