Despite the stereotype that mob family members never talk out of turn, Victoria Gotti is speaking up about growing up in one of America's most infamous crime families. Not only that, she says that her late father "The Dapper Don" was fine with her writing about their family secrets.
Gotti's new book, "This Family of Mine: What It Was Like Growing Up Gotti
," chronicles her life as a Mafia princess, and she's talking to CBS's "48 Hours"
on Saturday about her family.
She describes growing up in a life of luxury, though she had mixed feelings about the source of that luxury. She admits that she had a pretty good idea of what her dad -- late Gambino crime family boss John Gotti
-- did for a living, including ordering the deaths of rivals.
Like Father, Like Son
The family is back in the news because Victoria's brother, John Gotti Jr., is on trial for the fourth time for crimes associated with his role as head of the Gambino family between 1993 and 2008. Gotti Jr. insists that he retired in 1999, and that the statute of limitations on his crimes has run out
. Seven jurors on the case are said to have asked to be dismissed
from the trial this past week, possibly out of fear of retribution.
Victoria, who's had some money trouble
, will reportedly discuss her heartbreak over the crime legacy on "48 Hours." "My brother is not in that courtroom," she told CBS's Troy Roberts. "It is my father, always, all over again, day in, day out. It's not about what John [Jr.] did, is doing or will do. It's about John Gotti." She and two siblings talked to "48 Hours" in the hopes of helping clear their brother's name by showing the world they grew up in.
Victoria says the trial is part of what inspired her to finally write her life story, and that her father gave her his blessing
to do so before his death in 2002.
A Brother Lost
One of the more notable revelations in the book is Victoria's discussion of the disappearance of Gotti neighbor John Favara
, who was involved in a car accident that killed Victoria's 12-year-old brother Frank in 1980. Four months after the incident, Favara was abducted in a van and never seen again.
Victoria admits that she initially demanded that her father seek vengeance, but that he insisted she accept that it was an accident. She vehemently denies that her father was involved in Favara's death, though she admits it's likely that someone in the Gambino crime family was responsible.
While we appreciate the candor, we've got to ask: How is any of this shocking, exactly? That John Gotti ran afoul of the law is not exactly news. (Back in the day, he was also known as the "Teflon Don" because it took four trials to convict him
, despite mountains of evidence.) Any remaining doubts about his non-involvement were more or less put to bed when he was convicted on 13 counts including murder, loansharking, racketeering and tax evasion in 1992.
We feel a little sorry for her, though. If you're pushing a book about your life with an infamous father, this was a bad week to do it. Mackenzie Phillips' revelation about the 10-year affair she had with her dad
sort of stole all the father-daughter thunder this week.
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