I just got off the phone with Karen Gravano. She reached out to me because she wanted all her fans to know how much she genuinely appreciated their support throughout season 4 and especially on her return to Mob Wives season 5. She thanks you all for defending her when she and her family have been attacked. And she couldn’t express to me how overwhelmed she is by the outpouring of love that is on her Twitter timeline every day. Karen is glad that fans can see situations for what they really are on and off the show.
Karen explained that having the last name Gravano makes her a target. She has always been judged for the things her father did. We are seeing a lot of that on the show, with GNATalie, who seems to be attacking Karen’s family and her past to make herself more relevant. Karen says it won’t break her, it just makes her stronger. Karen addressed some of the things that have been said about her on Twitter, by Gnat, such as “dead beat mom” and What kind of mother leaves her daughter to do a show?”
She wants fans to know that making the choice not to bring Karina here, when the show first started filming in 2010, was the most difficult decision of her life. They discussed it as a family. People in Arizona are not as involved with Mob Wives as the people in New York, where the show is filmed, and where the mob history occurred. She had no idea what kind of reaction people would have to her when she returned to New York. She didn’t bring her daughter with her because of people like GNATalie. Instead, she traveled back and forth from Arizona regularly to be with Karina. She felt her daughter would be safer with family there. Now that Karina is older and understands a lot more, she has brought Karina here to live with her. And, she says, what happened is exactly what she thought would happen. Karina has seen nasty tweets by GNATalie and feels she has to defend her mother and their relationship. Karen never wanted her daughter to feel that she had to protect her. They have a great life and a close relationship. And they are both here because this is where Karen works and earns a living. Karen asked Karina not to respond to any of the negative tweets.
As for her past mistakes, Karen says she owns them and has discussed them with her daughter. Before she had Karina she was involved in an ecstasy ring, and she makes no excuses for her bad choices. Everyone in her family paid the price for something she did in a weak moment in her life. Karen adds what she did, the life she lived, made her who she is today. She isn’t a victim of the “lifestyle.” Being on Mob Wives has turned her thought process around. She feels we are all victims of our choices. She shared that what bothered her about Alicia last season was that she was always playing the victim. She didn’t take ownership of anything. She didn’t know her husband was working for the mob and she didn’t know she was embezzling money? Karen says it’s more like she was exploiting her father in-law to be on the show. As for Alicia's attacks on Karen and her father, Karen says there is a lot more to the story that we never heard.
As I had Karen on the phone, I wanted to ask her a few questions about season 5. What are we going to see?
Karen laughs and says I will tell you this, season 5 is going to be very interesting and full of surprises. She made a point of saying we are going to see a lot of people’s true colors. Karen wants to make it clear she has no issue with any professionals, including police officers. But, GNATalie has a double standard for a lot of things. Gnat accuses Karen of having half of Staten Island locked up, but at the same time her brother is a cop and locks people up every day. Gnat says Karen left her daughter in Arizona to move to New York for a show, but she moved from Philly to New York to be on the show, leaving her child behind. Gnat judges Karen for things her father did, but is friendly with Victoria Gotti’s family when it was her father, John Gotti, who gave Sammy Gravano the orders to carry out.
She gives me another example of true colors concerning Drita. When Drita questioned Renee about Gnat saying Renee called her a “rat” she didn’t accept what Renee said, but said she had to see it for herself. Yet, at the Drunken Monkey Party, Drita sees that London is friendly with Storm, it contradicts Gnat’s story and she doesn’t say anything to Gnat about it. Drita also says she can’t be associated with a cop caller, but she continues to hang out with outsider GNATalie aka cop caller. Karen wants to know where is the loyalty and respect?
Karen tells me in the last episode there was a lot of tension at the Drunken Monkey. She and Storm were on one side of the room and Gnat and London on the other. London came over to say “hi” and “welcome back” to break the ice. It wasn’t awkward at all. She didn’t understand how Storm’s comment meant he was “jerking off” GNATalie. He just said we don’t talk about people we don’t know. He wasn’t even directing his comment at her. Next thing Karen knows is everyone and the camera crew is going outside. She decides to go out and see what is happening. She wasn’t expecting Gnat to get in her face, she didn’t even know anything was wrong. Karen says she doesn’t condone violence, but Gnat just provokes to the point you can’t help getting physical.
So I ask is there a point where Gnat doesn’t run away and you get to tell her off? Karen says yes, there comes a time she doesn’t have a chance to leave.
I asked Karen about Alicia, mainly if she will return because they have some unsettled business. Karen says doesn’t know if she will return, but she thinks Alicia may have been asked to come back to address the can of worms she opened last season about Karen and her father. Alicia wasn’t let go, she resigned supposedly because of her court case. There is nothing stopping her from coming back. Karen says she is ready for her; she is sitting in the “Room of Truth,” and has no problem having it out with Alicia. The Room has been empty. No one wants to talk about the truth and Karen says she is all about the truth.
Finally, I can’t help but ask her opinion about the new Natalie Didonato. Karen says she is definitely a firecracker. She adds excitement to the show and seems like a cool stand up girl. She is established in Philly. She had 200 friends show up for her charity event. She has history. Gnat came out of nowhere, no friends, no history.
So, with that, I thank Karen for her time and for sharing a few things with us. She tells me we will talk again as the season progresses. I told her I’d be ready any time. Then I remember one more question, where is book number two? We are all waiting for it. Karen laughs and says she is working on it. The hold up is that right now she in involved with something that needs to be in the book, but it's still in progress. When that business concludes she may be able to finish her second book.
Then, once again, Karen wants to make a point of sincerely thanking all her fans for their continued support. I could hear in her voice how much it has meant to her. I don’t think she expected or realized how much we care and how devoted we are and she appreciates it more than words can say.
And, in saying our good-byes, we ended our call. Is it any wonder Karen is so beloved by fans?
P.S. If you haven't gotten your copy of Mob Daughter yet, you really should. It's a great read and it gives a lot of insight into Karen's life that you won't get anywhere else. If you want to know more about Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, and the mob history referred to on the show, you should check out his book, Underboss, as well.