Karen Gravano On 'Mob Wives' To Clear Her Name, Says Cousin — Exclusive!

Thu, April 21, 2011 4:35pm EST by 25 Comments

Karen — daughter of a notorious mob killer turned informant — is trying to defend her whole family’s reputation, her cousin Frances Garafola tells HollywoodLife.com!

All of her life, Mob Wives star Karen Gravano has been known as the daughter of Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano — the Gambino family underboss who betrayed the mob when he turned FBI informant and ratted out John Gotti. But her cousin Frances Garafola tells HollywoodLife.com that after years of living in Arizona under the witness-protection program, Karen came back to Staten Island to defend her family’s honor.

“That shows loyalty, no matter what they say her father was,” Frances tells us. “That’s her dad, bottom line. And [I’m] tired of years going by and people commenting about him and making up lies and saying things. She should be there to stick up for him — let everybody know that’s not the way it is.”

Karen and other Gravano family members shouldn’t be held responsible for what Sammy did, her cousin says: “Karen is an amazing person. She has a big heart. If you know her, she’s like your best friend.”

By participating in VH1 Mob Wives, Karen feels she has a chance to set the record straight. “When they can see her tears and her story — what her days and nights were like — they’ll have a different outlook on it,” explains Frances. “You will see — she’s [doing this] because people have a totally different look on her than she really is.”

Frances also thinks that the whole series will clear up misconceptions about families of Cosa Nostra members. “Everybody thinks that they know the Mafia and the lifestyle — they have no  idea,” says Frances. “There are jobs that you have to hold. There are struggles that you do. There’s money and then loss of money — then not knowing if your family member is going to come back. It’s all of those things. Everybody has the same fear.”

But, she adds, “we are normal people like everybody else, just the lifestyle that you got into, that’s it. Look in your own household. People have bad things that happen in their family. It just not recognized. It’s not out there for the world to see. It’s in every culture, this just happens to be the Italian mob.”

For Karen, this show is the chance to redeem herself and her family.

“I knew everything, but now it’s out there for everybody to see,” says Frances. “I hope that it’s taken in a good way — that Karen can open up other people’s eyes and not keep them so narrow-minded and keeping one way of thinking of them. Hopefully it changes people’s minds.”

BFFs — do you think Karen will be able to live down the fact that her killer dad ratted out the mob?

– Lindsey DiMattina

More Mob Wives Stories:

  1. Mob Wives Disgrace To Italian-Americans!
  2. Karen Gravano & Renee Graziano BFFs?
  3. Renee Graziano’s Family Ties To The Mob!