Gangsters, snitches, blood feuds and offers that can not be refused are all part of a normal day for VH1's "Mob Wives." The show, which will begin its third season this month, follows six Staten Island women after their husbands or fathers are arrested and imprisoned for crimes connected to the mob. This morning Angela "Big Ang" Raiola, known as “the Godmother” of the group, and Ramona Rizzo, granddaughter of former mobster Benjamin “Lefty Guns,” join “Starting Point” to talk about the upcoming season and battles with cast mates.
Rizzo says “Mob Wives,” a docu-soap series, is “about the struggle that women go through for either relatives, men, people that they know that are incarcerated and...the other side...the family side of how we have to handle it on a day-by-day situation.”
Rizzo, who shares a similar mafia upbringing with two of her cast mates, says the show is very real. “Its on Twitter, it’s in the neighborhood. It’s awful right now. Things are bad,” she says.
Rizzo says the fights sometime depend on the subject and how passionate you are about it. "If it doesn’t happen to that the ratings go down,” she says. On the other hand, Rizzo says “when we really want to kill each other – which is real, the ratings go high.”
Raiola and Rizzo say the show is not about spilling mob secrets. Rizzo says it’s a focus on them because “we’re talking about our business [and] how it affects us.” She adds, “I’m not telling anybody’s deep dark secrets. You’re not going to call me up ‘Hey Ramona do you know where a body is?” I don’t know that. I’m a girl in this family so that’s not none of my business.”
While Rizzo says her family hates her participation in the show, Raiola, niece of Salvatore "Sally Dogs" Lombardi, a deceased captain of the Genovese crime family says her family is “all for it.” She explains her aunt, Lombardi’s wife “said it was ok and I went with it.”
Raiola says the show’s popularity has changed her life and her bar is now a tourist trap. “Everywhere I go its out of control,” says Raiola. Rizzo says, “people are always looking for you.” Ultimately Raiola says the new fame is “cool.”