Renee Graziano is the daughter of Anthony Graziano, who, according to the Federal Government, was a high ranking member of La Cosa Nostra. Renee grew up during the heyday of the mob - when things still fell off trucks and people still dropped off envelopes even when it wasn't your birthday. Immersed in the culture since birth, she embraced the lifestyle as her own and became a "mob loyalist". Renee eventually married (then divorced) Junior. Together they have one son, AJ.
When Renee was young her best friend was arrested and sentenced to many years behind bars. This was her first real introduction to prison, but unfortunately not her last. Thanks to a circle of friends living the street life, Renee has visited over 83 prisons and written hundreds of letters to comfort the many friends she had on "the inside". This correspondence gave her the idea to turn her love of the "the life" into a greeting card company called JAIL MAIL.
Renee sometimes longs for the good old days, but thanks to her friends she is slowly starting to realize that this is not a life she wants her son to lead. She struggles to balance her allegiance to the street life with her hopes that her son will live a life free of it all.
Renee is hysterical, Renee is crazy, and Renee is drama, but she will be the first to give you the shirt off her back. Everyone and anyone who knows her, knows this.
Drita D'Avanzo is the wife of Lee D'Avanzo, who federal prosecutors allege is the leader of a Bonanno and Colombo crime family farm team. While Drita's husband is serving time in prison for bank robbery (for the second time), she is left alone raising two young girls, Aleeya and Gizelle. Drita, who comes from a strict Albanian household, defied her parents and married someone outside the community -- an Italian.
Drita grew up differently from the other women. She was raised in the projects of Staten Island after her family settled there from Albania. Her father, a strict soccer coach, raised her to be tough and play with the boys. She was never allowed to cry, and had to do hundreds of push-ups and sit-ups a day to meet her father's high standards. Drita was invited to play for the Women's National Soccer Team and was all set to go until she met her first love, "the streets".
She dated street guy after street guy until ultimately finding and marrying Lee. At first everything was great and she had everything she wanted. However, Lee was allegedly robbing banks (among other things), and before she gave birth to their first daughter, he was escorted away by the Feds for an 8-year prison term. Drita had their baby, and stood by her man -- who promised her that he would never leave her again.
During Lee's first prison sentence, Drita realized that she must do something to stand on her own two feet in case she was ever left in a position like this again. She studied to become a make-up artist and worked for various high-end cosmetic companies while her husband was away. Almost eight years later Lee came home and they started over. They built a new home, made baby number two, and Lee even got a legitimate job. However the good times were short lived. Again, Lee was arrested and sentenced to prison for 2-5 years for similar crimes. Needless to say, Drita was not happy. But, like so many times before, she picked up the pieces and carried on. As a mother of two with a husband in jail, she struggles to keep it all together while figuring out if this is a lifestyle she wants to continue to live. Currently, she freelances as a make-up artist and plans to develop her own cosmetic line.
Drita is tough as nails and infamous for her many fights and knock outs growing up. Now a mother, she struggles to control her anger and often feels nostalgic for times when a problem could be solved with a fist.
Seasons 1-3, 5-6
Karen Gravano is the daughter of Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, the infamous mobster who cooperated with the government to help take down John Gotti and the Gambino crime family. Karen was just 19 years old when her father turned on the mafia, a move that left Karen devastated.
While her family relocated to Arizona to start over, at first Karen stayed behind in New York -- her way of showing that she had trouble with her father's cooperation. After a couple years, she joined her family in Arizona where she became a licensed aesthetician, opened up a lucrative day spa, and had her first and only child, Karina.
After 12 years of coming to terms with who she is and understanding her father's choices, Karen returned to Staten Island. Beyond reconnecting with old friends, Karen hoped that coming back would help her stand on her own, out of shadows of her father's infamous past. In 2012, Karen published her memoir, Mob Daughter.
Angela Raiola aka "Big Ang" is the niece of Salvatore "Sally Dogs" Lombardi, a deceased captain of the Genovese crime family. Angela, a single mother of 2 was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY with her two sisters and four brothers.
Big Ang always strived to be popular with "the mob". She is what many consider a "mob moll". Owning many mafia hangouts over the years, she became like "one of the guys" - even catching a case with some high ranking members of the mob. She was loved by them all. She is like a character straight from the movie Goodfellas and lives by the lifestyle code. Ang has dated many gangsters throughout her life but has always remained independent. She is not the typical woman who would depend on a man. Big Ang has managed to make her own way and provide her own means within this world, though she was always lavished with houses, cars, jewelry, furs (you name it) by many well known mob wise guys.
One would believe that they call her Big Ang for "E Cups" or her even larger lips, but is really because of her larger than life personality. She is hysterically funny without even meaning to be. Often referring to herself as the "bad girl" she will have you laughing upon meeting her and keep you laughing until you leave.
Seasons 1-3, 6
Carla Facciolo grew up in Bergen Beach, Brooklyn, where she had a similar upbringing to Renee Graziano. While her father went to prison when she was young, it didn't stop her from living the lifestyle she grew to love.
When Carla was 17 she started dating street guys and really got a taste of the life. She hung out with girls like Renee, and others -- whose parents were either in the life or extremely wealthy. Carla fancies herself a Manhattan girl. She is used to the finer things in life and has no desire to give them up. She thought she'd met her match when she married Joey Ferragamo, a stock broker.
Although Carla thought she had finally gotten away from the lifestyle she lived growing up, her husband eventually got indicted and convicted for a boiler room scandal and Carla once again found herself dealing with the ins and outs of prison. Carla's ex-husband Joe is now out of prison after serving 88 months. The couple has twin 8-year olds, Joseph and Carmen, but that doesn't curb Carla's desire to party like there's no tomorrow. She is a stay at home mom and sales rep for a juice company. She takes good care of herself and prides herself on her hair and great body.
Brittany is the only daughter of John Fogarty and Andrea Giovino, an Italian mother and an Irish father, who were both heavily involved in the mob. John ran the streets in Sammy "The Bull’s" "muscle crew", and Andrea managed all the NYC mobsters' underground card games. When Brittany was a young girl her parents were arrested but her mother convinced her father to cooperate so she could avoid jail time and raise the kids.
Now at twenty-four, Brittany is a stunning, sexy, up-and-coming model. While she might look delicate and poised - don't be fooled. Brittany has a mouth on her and she's not afraid to use it. She is out-spoken and well spoken, which causes the other ladies to quickly feel outwitted.
Brittany was raised by a strong mother and a fierce grandmother, who themselves were no strangers to the life, so Brittany pulls no punches. Growing up in a house with three older brothers, Brittany was forced to speak her mind – which can be tricky in a male-dominated lifestyle.
After his release from prison, Brittany and her father's relationship seems tumultuous at best. John may be out of jail but with Brittany he's still on probation. John is old school and opinionated while Brittany is new school and opinionated. Their daddy/daughter dynamic is more like dynamite – highly explosive. Only time will tell if they'll be able to move pass their past and forge any kind of a future together.
Marissa is the half Italian, half Chinese bombshell who has been making her own money since she was 14. While her beauty is undeniable, she grew up a tomboy with six brothers who taught her how to fend for herself. Although she was born and raised in Staten Island, Marissa prides herself on thinking "outside of the box" that is Staten Island.
Marissa is dating reformed street guy and mob muscle OZ, who she has known for almost a decade. When they first met she was traveling for modeling gigs and didn't want to be tied down to a guy who was always in the streets. Marissa's instincts were accurate - OZ wound up getting pinched in a bust that earned him a five years bid. In Marissa's words, "OZ took his bid like a man. He kept his mouth shut and stayed loyal - that's what I love about him." OZ grew up as a close friend of Drita and her husband Lee as well as Renee and Karen. After getting out of jail, OZ and Marissa reunited. OZ has since turned his life around and is a full time foreman in the union.
These days Marissa continues using her sex appeal to brand herself. She is doing a Playboy magazine spread in the near future and she has even been used as a muse for a comic book. Destiny, Queen Of Thieves is a character based on Marissa's look and attitude that was created by an artist who met her. Marissa admits, "Destiny is like me. She uses her bad-ass looks and sometimes illegal connections to take anyone down who is trying to make a move in her territory."
Marissa prides herself on being real, honest, driven, and someone you would want in your corner. She has patience but if you push her past the point, you are going to wish you never met her. "Not only is my tongue as sharp as knives, but my fists are even sharper."
Seasons 4 + 5
Growing up in the heart of South Philadelphia, Natalie Guercio has been surrounded by the mob lifestyle her entire life. Since the 1950s Natalie's family has lived in, owned, and operated the Carto Funeral Home, known on the streets as Philly's preferred funeral home for connected men and their families. Over the years Carto has buried a virtual who's who of the Philadelphia underworld including Michael "Mikey Chang" Ciancaglini, Chickie Narducci, Frankie Baldino and Anthony "Blonde Babe" Pungitore. Natalie and fellow new Mob Wife, Alicia, run in the same Philly circles and their families have been connected through the years.
A single mom to her 9-year old son, Nunzio, Natalie took over the family business in 2011 with plans of returning it to its former glory. Attracted to street guys all her life, Natalie's currently trying to date someone a little less connected. At least for now. While this sexy Sicilian siren gives off a cool first impression, under the surface she is pure fire -- prepared to burn anyone who gets in her way.
Natalie DiDonato (aka "Nat D") is the cousin of Philadelphia Bruno Crime family associate Frank "Frankie Flowers" D'Alfonso. Her cousin was murdered in the notorious Philly Mob War between the Scarfo and the Merlino clans.
Born and raised in the small town of South Philadelphia, Natalie is no stranger to the street life, but she keeps her legitimate side hustles going managing a local DJ and million dollar property listings. Nat D has worked to keep herself out of the criminal lifestyle but has a weak spot for the hot-tempered street guys who always bring her back to the life.
With the help of her uncle, Nat D has been working on her fighting skills since she was 8 years old, training at one of Philadelphia's most renowned boxing gyms. Nat D's a scrappy, quick-witted, no-nonsense chick known around town for her mean left hook and never backing down from a fight against a woman...or a man.
Alicia DiMichele Garofalo is the wife of alleged Colombo gangster Edward "The Tall Guy" Garofalo (whose father was allegedly killed by Sammy "The Bull" Gravano). Growing up, Alicia couldn't have been further removed from the mafia lifestyle. She was raised in a traditional, close-knit, working Italian family. Her father, an avid sports fan like most Philadelphians, died when she was 16 years old. In honor of him, Alicia hosts Sunday Funday each week at her house where the entire family comes over to watch sports and eat pasta. She is extremely close with her family, and has a self-professed obsession with her brother whom she sees at least 3-5 times a week. She and her brother also own a boutique clothing business together.
Married at a young age, Alicia has an older son (Anthony, 18) from her first marriage. After leaving her wealthy first husband and his money behind, Alicia set out to make a life for her and her young son. While waitressing and working as an executive assistant, she embarked on a fairytale relationship with the man of her dreams -- or so she thought. It wasn't until after Alicia married Edward that she got her first glimpse at the inner workings of the mob. While her husband tried to shelter her from his lifestyle, little by little she met some of his friends and became very close to them. Eventually she and her husband started a trucking company. Alicia ran the business end of the company and ultimately ended up being arrested alongside her husband and other Colombo gangsters, "earning" herself her own charges of fraud and embezzlement (to which she pled guilty). She is currently awaiting sentencing and is facing 0-6 months in prison or house arrest.
With her husband away in prison and facing a much longer sentence, Alicia has had to learn once again to stand on her own two feet. She and Edward have two young children together, so she is now the care giver and provider for 3 young men -- Anthony, 18, Rocco 11, and Carlo 8. She is the mother, the father, the provider, the taxi, you name it. Alicia tells her boys the truth about her and their father's situation and has decided to deal with it head on, together as a family. Alicia's husband is a long-time friend of both Renee and Ang, but now that he's behind bars she is reaching out to them to get some guidance on how to deal with her new situation -- something they both have far too much experience dealing with.
Dubbed "Wise Gal" and "Columbette" by the media because of her arrest, Alicia considers herself a warrior -- she has been through a lot. She does what she wants and she's a force to be reckoned with. She is a fun, fearless, fabulous fashionista who loves and adores her three sons and her husband, although in her mind, he has a lot to make up for when he returns from jail--and she plans to make him pay!
Seasons 2 + 3
Ramona Rizzo is no stranger to the mob lifestyle. She is the granddaughter of the infamous Benjamin Ruggiero aka "Lefty Guns" who was played by Al Pacino in the movie Donnie Brasco.
Ramona grew up with Karen Gravano and Renee Graziano as they all shared a similar mafia upbringing in Staten Island. Ramona and Karen grew up very close. They have been together since the age of two, made their first communions together, and even refer to themselves as "cousins". Although not blood related, some would say they are closer than some cousins who are.
What was different for Ramona was that although her family was connected, they tried to keep it very secret, even amongst their own community. They especially tried to keep it from their children. Ramona, who had a very close bond with her grandfather, longed for a different life as she was very turned off by the fact that he had to spend so many years in prison.
Enamored by the finer things in life, she didn't turn too far away from her upbringing, even though she married a man of Arab descent. His business dealings were also connected to "the lifestyle". Ramona's family was not happy with her choice as they wanted so much more for their daughter - a doctor, a lawyer, a legitimate man. Ramona ran off with her soon-to-be husband and father of her four kids. They lived the high life until Ramona discovered that her husband's business was still built on lies and deception. They moved from mansion to mansion in the United States to palaces in the Middle East. When Ramona tried to divorce him, he refused to let her leave his country. Stuck in Jordan for two years, she fought tooth and nail to get herself and her kids back to the United States, even though her husband told her that if she leaves, she leaves with nothing. But this master manipulator could not stop Ramona, and she has returned to the U.S. so that she can give her kids a "normal" lifestyle.
Upon returning to the States, she was faced with the repercussions of her husband's business misdeeds and had two criminal cases against her. She is now on her own raising four kids without the means she was accustomed to her entire life. Tough as nails, Ramona is determined to get her life back on track, make amends with her parents, trust a man again, and give her kids the lifestyle she had growing up. Nothing can stand in her way...'cause she will knock it down.
With the addition of Love Majewski, a hot-tempered mob moll engaged six times (often to notorious criminals) but, never married -- jealousy is in the air igniting new Staten Island scuffles. A scrappy, quick witted loose cannon known about town for stabbing, slicing, and poisoning ex-lovers, Love is searching for love in all the wrong places -- but, she won't take sh*t from any man...or woman.
Born and raised in Staten Island, Love Majewski is no stranger to "the life". Of Puerto Rican and Polish descent, Love was introduced to the underworld as a very young girl. She met childhood friends, Karen Gravano and Ramona Rizzo, in high school and they've been connected ever since.
Over the years, Love was engaged six times and romantically involved with noted wise guys including mob turncoat Chris Paciello who brought down several high ranking members of the Bonnano Family, and Ray Merolle, the head of The Untouchables - the Staten Island car theft ring said to have inspired the movie Gone In 60 Seconds.
Love ultimately ran away from a life of crime to avoid arrest and imprisonment. Fearing the FBI would make her testify against her former lovers, Love fled the United States and lived abroad for several years to avoid cooperation. Once her two notorious exes' trials were over and both were in prison, Love deemed it safe to return to New York. In spite of movie and book offers alike, she has maintained her silence and kept their secrets.
While back in the U.S., Love established a new identity as a make-up artist and engaged again living under the radar. It was a simple knock at the door that would end it all. The authorities found her and came once again for information on her exes. Worried about the danger she could bring by hiding her past, Love confessed to her fiancé. He insisted she leave with nothing. Armed with just $20 in her pocket, no car, and no home, she reclaimed her past and returned to the place where it all began - Staten Island.
Angelina Jolie's character in the feature film Gone In 60 Seconds was based on events surrounding Love's former life. Today, Love is single and the owner of her own cosmetic line, Veritas Cosmetics.