Thursday, July 21, 2011

I Married A Mobster: Giovino’s “Working Mom” Recap

Author and Speaker, Andrea Giovino

Andrea Giovino’s I Married A Mobster episode, entitled “Working Mom,” aired last night and boy does she have a story to tell! I know from all my research that they were only able to cover a slice of her life in 30 minutes. There is so much more to know. But, if you missed the show or any part of it, here is my recap.

Andrea grew up in Brooklyn, New York during the 1960’s. Her father was a bus driver, but with 10 children in the family, his salary did not stretch far enough for all their basic necessities. Andrea’s mom was very resourceful in making ends meet. She taught her kids to be “street kids” at an early age. Andrea, for example, was sent out early in the mornings, at the age of 5, to steal from the bakery so they could have breakfast.

Andrea says she was taught to be a good care giver and marrying a husband who was a good provider was her ticket out of poverty. The “street guys” were the ones who had the money and respect in the neighborhood, they were considered the “elite.”

Andrea married young, but was divorced at the age of 21. She meets an older man, Frank Lino, who invites her to dinner and a show. She accepts the invitation. The following Friday she was fired from her job and finds out Lino was responsible. When she questions him about it he says, “no girlfriend of mine should be working.” Her older brother tells her that Lino is a capo in the Bonanno crime family. This is her meal ticket, her way out of poverty. Soon Andrea is living “larger” than her mother ever dreamed. Frank teaches her all about the good life and the mob life, including extortion, prostitution rings and drugs rings. She heard it all.

The men in the mob used women as trophies. One day Frank introduces Andrea to a man named Bruno. Andrea witnesses him talking down to his girlfriend and then, for no reason, he throws her down a flight of stairs. This bothered Andrea and she thinks, that could have been her. Andrea doesn’t like Bruno. One day he comes into her home looking for pills while Andrea is in bed. He gets on the bed and starts touching her hair and talking--she was terrified. She picks up her telephone and cracks him in the head with it. Then her girlfriend, Julia, returned and he left. She never told Frank Lino what happened that night. After a time Andrea wanted to leave Frank because she didn’t love him. She talks to him and he accepts the fact and lets her go. She decides there and then that she no longer wants to be with criminals or live that lifestyle.  The incident with Bruno scares her straight. She wants to settle down with a nice decent man, who will treat her right and doesn’t hurt others. Andrea falls in love and gets marred. She misses the excitement. Her resolve was short lived.

After divorcing, Andrea goes to Club A with a friend to dance. A club often frequented by mobsters.  Before long she is approached by a very handsome man, Mark Reiter. Mark worked for John Gotti, but was not a made man because he was Jewish. Andrea meets Gotti through Mark and says Gotti was always a gentleman, he never allowed men to use profanities in front of women. Mark was a drinker, a gambler and a mobster and Andrea hangs out with him and Gotti night after night, partying at club and spending money. One night she is at a club with Gotti at her side, when a woman starts to bad mouth Andrea’s friend. Andrea warns her to stop, but the woman keeps it up. Andrea is fed up. She pushes a table in to pin the woman down. She then hits babble mouth over the head with a bottle of champagne and pounds her to finish the job. When she is done she earns the nickname “Rocky,” which stuck with her. Mark gets in trouble with the law. He had hidden his money at Andrea’s apartment in Queens. He picks up his money one day and goes on the lam. Eventually he gets caught and is sentenced to life in prison.

Andrea moves on to a guy from Staten Island, John Fogarty. He had a construction company and was also running cocaine from Florida to New York, by the kilos. John is the “love of her life.” She wanted to be with one man and settled down, so she moved to Staten Island to be with him. Then the chaos started.

Andrea is settled with her two boys when she discovers that John is abusing his own coke. She wanted him in rehab. John attends a rehab in Tennessee where he meets a guy and cuts a drug deal with him there. John ends up in prison and Andrea had two babies to take care of. She does what she has to do, she goes out on the street to collect the money that is owed to John so her family can survive. Andrea was shaking people down for the money like she was the Godmother. When they pay up, Andrea uses the money to become a loan shark, to make more money on the street.

One day her brother tells her that a guy won’t or can’t pay back the loan. It was for $20,000. Andrea gets extremely upset. She tells her brother to get that money and do whatever he has to do. Her brother understands, so does law enforcement. The DEA hears her 1982 conversations through wire taps. Andrea and 22 other crew members were arrested.

The Feds take Andrea into an interrogation room. They know her history and all the mobsters she had been with. She can’t play dumb. The Feds say either she tells them everything she knows or she will be facing 10 years in prison. They play her the tapes they have, including some that have recorded threats on her life. If she goes to prison she is sure to lose her kids. The mob wanted her dead. So , Andrea tells the Feds everything she knows. Andrea cannot go into the witness protection program because she shares joint custody of one of her children with her ex-husband, and that child would not be allowed to enter.

The Feds reneg on their promises to Andrea of $75,000 and relocation of her family. She goes home angry and feel she has nothing to lose. She calls Mary Jo White’s office and tells her what she plans to do. She is making up signs, “Marked For Death,” and placing them on her babies, she is calling all the news media people, and she is staging a huge protest. She is going to get the message out there that if you inform the government will leave you high and dry and a target to be killed. She tells her office when I am done no one will ever speak to the government again! That convinced the Feds to help her by extending her funding for 18 more months. The Feds were defeated, Andrea managed to extort the government.

Andrea goes legit and becomes a model citizen. She makes sure her kids do not repeat her mistakes; the cycle is broken and her kids were saved.

Great episode! I am going to order a copy of Andrea’s book, Divorced From The Mob, and read what I am missing!

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4 comments:

TheOneTheyCallJoshyy said...

Wow, very nice sum up Chiara!! Knew you would this justice. Now you've got my attention to the show!! Andrea's story is very interesting to read and watch. I love a woman who is strong and does what it takes, to get what she wants! ...Even if it may be the government! Im most defenitely will be searching for this epiosde and many more to come!

Mob Mistress said...

It aired last night Joshy. Next week I think Linda Schiro the mistress/common law wife of Scarpa. I Married A Mobster airs on Discovery ID @ 10:30PM.

VERITAS COSMETICS said...

Andrea looked so fantastic!From her hair to her dress to her smile she looked so glamourous & Brittany was so articulate & intelligent that she's a walking tribute to Andrea's skills as a mother. In light of how heavy the subject matter is Andrea displays her strength with grace & gives women that feel trapped an inspiration.

ThisIsJustMe... said...

I am sooo going to start watching this!!!! Sounds very interesting!!! Thanks!!