Karen stayed in New York while her family moved to Arizona — and when her dad, Sammy the Bull, got out of jailed he joined the witness protection program and followed his family to the Southwest!
Mob Wives star Karen Gravano wants to clear up some rumors about her past. Karen tells HollywoodLife.com exclusively that unlike her father Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano — former Gambino family underboss turned FBI informant and ratted out John Gotti — she never entered into the witness protection program.
“People have it confused,” Karen tells us. “The way it was, this was my father’s life, it didn’t have to do with me. I didn’t understand why he cooperated, he felt John betrayed him. I thought it wasn’t my life. I was going to stand on my own — that’s why I didn’t go into witness protection.”
“I moved to Arizona because my family was there and I thought it was a better way to raise Karina,” Karen says of her young daughter. “And my brother [Gerard Gravano] was in prison, so I helped raise his son as well.”
Karen remembers how it all went down. “After my father cooperated, my whole family stayed in NYC,” says Karen. “My mother [Debra Gravano] had left in 1994 — she wanted to get out, and my brother wanted to go to culinary school. He had a baby, and she opened a business.”
“When my father got out of prison, he went into witness protection for eight months and moved to Arizona and joined my family,” explains Karen. “I was very reluctant to leave New York, [but] I missed my family and was fed up with the lifestyle in NYC. I moved there in 1997.”
Fourteen years later, Karen is back in Staten Island working on her book — and trying to clear her name.
- Lindsey DiMattina, reporting by Jessica Finn
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