The Untold Truth Of Mob Wives

VH1's reality series Mob Wives set out to depict the dramatic lifestyles of the wives and ex-wives of "wise guys"—and it delivered. It seemed like everyone these ladies knew was either dead or in prison, and Staten Island, N.Y. offered the perfect setting for arguably the most brutal fights in reality television history.

Of course, creating a show like this has its drawbacks. Producers walk a thin line filming mobsters' families, while protecting secrets those involved in the business do not want revealed. Let's dig into some of the most scandalous dirt from the show's six seasons.

Don't call Drita an actress

If you're a fan of the show then you know Drita D'Avanzo likes to act tough and can certainly throw down with any of the other wives, but is she truly like that in her everyday life? Many have accused her of acting rough just for the show, but one unlucky viewer learned the cold, hard truth.

D'Avanzo proudly recalled the moment for OK! magazine in 2014: "I had one hater, in the gas station talking sh*t," she said. "She goes, 'You ain't that tough.' I sprinted at the car, pulled her f**king head out the window. The gas station guy saved her life. I was like, 'B**ch, I am not an actress.' I had her [hair] extensions in my hand, and I threw them on the f**king hood." Yikes!

Renee's sister runs the show

If you've ever wondered how Renee Graziano managed to stay on the show after her storyline faded, this juicy tidbit will clear things up: Renee's sister, Jennifer Graziano, is the creator and producer of the series. Other cast members have reportedly complained about Renee receiving special treatment because of her connections (which is ironic considering that's sort of the premise of mob life, no?)

Jennifer shed some light on the dramatics after the series ended, telling VH1, "It's just difficult, everyone wants to be the center of attention and everyone wants to be the star. I guess they all at one point or another looked at me as favoring one over the other."

Trying to walk the line between boss and friend seemed impossible at times. Most of the original cast had known each other since they were kids. "I think all [the women of the cast] didn't understand the business of it and I think they all, especially Drita, felt that I could whip out the VH1 checkbook out of my back pocket and write them a check for whatever they wanted," Jennifer said. "When they didn't get what they wanted, they blamed me...when it was good I was the best, when it was bad, I was the worst."

Drita and Karen shared more than one man

If you've seen the show, then likely you already know that D'Avanzo's husband, Lee, used to date Karen Gravano back in the day. Gravano constantly brings that up, and D'Avanzo has even gone so far as to say that she and Lee feel bad for her, since she seems to be having trouble moving on. Regardless, Lee may not be the only man the two have swapped beds with. According to D'Avanzo, Gravano cheated on Lee in their early twenties with D'Avanzo's then-boyfriend. Jennifer Graziano has mentioned that D'Avanzo and Gravano used to go on double dates and even lived with each other in Brooklyn, so if the heresay is true, these friends-turned-enemies have plenty of shared history.

Big Ang wasn't a mob wife

Since the title of the show is Mob Wives, you may have assumed every cast member is or was married to a mobster, but that's not exactly the case. Angela "Big Ang" Raiola might have dated a few wise guys in her day, but she was married to Neil, who was reportedly a sanitation worker on the up and up. Raiola, who split from her husband before she passed away from cancer in February 2016, was open about her dating history, even revealing that a connected ex had once gifted her a beachfront home worth $1.5 million. Raiola may not have married a mobster, but she was certainly intertwined in the lifestyle. According to the New York Daily News, she was the niece of the late Salvatore "Sally Dogs" Lombardi, who was a captain of the Genovese crime family.

Ramona may be tougher than she looked

On the hit reality show, Ramona Rizzo rarely added much excitement to the storyline, but off camera, her lifestyle was far more dramatic. According to the New York Post, Rizzo allegedly "ordered armed thugs to abduct a man off a Chelsea street so she could shake him down for cash and jewelry." The supposed victim, Shonte Gibson, claimed he was stuffed into Rizzo's SUV where she threatened to kill him and his family. Why was she so miffed?

Gibson reportedly told police that "Rizzo gave him $10,000 to book blocks of hotel rooms for the NBA All-Star Game—intending to then rebook the rooms at a massive profit...Gibson never got the rooms, and also didn't return Rizzo's cash." At the time of this writing, it's unclear what became of the case because Gibson reportedly "clammed up" after his story hit the press.

Some crewmembers couldn't handle the job

There was rarely an argument that didn't escalate into a physical fight on Mob Wives. Sit-downs did squat to settle beefs. Understandably, some crewmembers who worked behind the scenes supposedly found the ladies' behavior unnerving, or downright terrifying, and fled the show. D'Avanzo told OK! magazine that a cameraman from Season 1 told her, "I cannot. I have anxiety. I've never been on a show this real. This is nuts. I can't handle it." Let's hope this fellow is now relaxing somewhere collecting worker's comp and not swimming with the fishes.

Drita feared for her life

At least one of the show's stars reportedly feared for her life, believing she were going to be killed by a co-star's family. Karen Gravano told Radar Online that castmate D'Avanzo was trying to keep her off the show because she feared Gravano's father was "going to come home out of jail, have nothing and start killing people." Gravano even posted some unaired footage to her Instagram account to try to make her case.

"Drita made up these stories that she got these prank calls and basically it was going around Staten Island that my father put a hit out on her and Lee, and she was petrified to work with me," Gravano told Radar Online, dismissing the story as a lie for what she viewed as an obvious reason. "If my father was going to kill someone, he would never warn you first," she said.

The show ended with unsettled business

True to form, Mob Wives concluded its sixth and final season with plenty of behind-the-scenes drama and unsettled business. According to the New York Daily News, the rest of the cast was so adamant about ousting D'Avanzo—the show's most popular character—that "bodyguards were hired in case a brawl broke out" during filming. According to insiders, producers were eating it up, but the ladies? They all just wanted a bigger piece of the pie. "If they kill [D'Avanzo] off," said a source, "they get more TV time." More time equals more endorsements, which equals more money.

While many viewers voiced disappointment that the show seemed to end abruptly, others surmise the mounting feuds and Raiola's death were simply too much to overcome, even for reality TV. At the time of this writing, D'Avanzo is reportedly still working on her memoir (she's been doing so for more than a decade), which will certainly reveal juicy new dirt on the ladies. We're still waiting for that release date, girl!