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.
While all moms are busy- VH1 “Mob Wives” star is juggling complications in her life that go far beyond balancing PTA meetings and soccer practice. Immersed in the mafia culture since birth, Renee embraced the lifestyle as her own. Renee’s son AJ is coming forward as well to share his personal feelings on what he has seen and heard of his mother’s abuse.
While family comes first for this VH1 starlet and former celebrity stylist-- fashion is a close second. And whether it’s her Mob Candy line of show-stopping shoes for J’Taime or her glitzy Mob Candy jewelry- looking great is part of a mob wife’s job description-- and Renee’s bold style is rivaled only by her bold attitude. Renee also has a Mob Candy make-up line, sold at Luminique MedSpa, and the Lunatickle line of Bath & Body products (available on her website) to help women look- and feel- their best. Make sure to watch season 3 of “Mob Wives” Sunday’s on VH1 at 10/9c! Read my full interview with Renee below:
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): How would you describe this season of “Mob Wives” in three adjectives?
Renee Graziano: “Painful(for me)…eye-opening…and scandalous!”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): From the last season of the show, there have been many changes, what were some of the biggest changes for you?
Renee Graziano: “The biggest change for me, was my recovery, which is no secret. When the show first started, I had just come off of recovery and then I relapsed unfortunately…In this season and in this time of my life, I have no love for my son’s father, but I have forgiven him as crazy as that might sound.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): How hard was that process of forgiveness?
Renee Graziano: “I was at the end! It was incredibly difficult…after all the damage and everything that we’ve went through, at times, I didn’t want to wake up. My father who is 73, with cancer, and just lost 70% of vision in one of his eyes, he could die in there, and never complain…it was about my mother, who waited 11 years for my dad to come home. But what he did to my son, oh God…But I had to make the decision to forgive him for what he did to me, after suffering physical abuse for 16 years. But I have not forgiven him for what he has done to my mother, my son, and my sister. If I had to carry around for what he did to me, I will never be where I am now…I’m okay with what he did to me, because in the long run, someone else is going to learn from it.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): You're seen as a woman of great strength, does that come from your father?
Renee Graziano: “I’m going to tell you something that many people don’t know about me…as strong as I come off…I’m also very vulnerable at times. I think that it is more of a defense than it is strength at times. I’m Anthony’s daughter, so I have to have that up to protect myself. I’m strong and I think that in the public eye, I’m stronger for strangers than I am for other people…I’m strong for my son and my father, no doubt…but for the rest of my family they know that a lot of it is putting on a face, because they know people will say, “Anthony’s daughter broke down” and you know what, she did, and I’m okay now.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): How is your son doing and with your decision to forgive?
Renee Graziano: “He is amazing, but he has not forgiven his father. He’s very torn in between that, and he has added Graziano to his last name, and you’re the first person I’ve told! He is okay, he knows I battle with my addiction…also last week my best friend died, and I had to go to the hospital because my heart was going crazy…they sedated me and I was under doctor’s care and it was really hard, and my son has been there with me every step of the way. Back to forgiveness and my decision to forgive, I was so happy that my father respected my decision and was there for me when I needed to talk to him about the abuse. I’m in a good place now, and it’s healed.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): Have you reconciled with any of the women that you had previous issues with?
Renee Graziano: “I’ve had issues with Carla, and those are issues that will remain. I have a better understanding why she did it…but if she was to call me a “junkie” to my face today, I would just look at her and be like what’s your point? I’ve accepted the fact I was an addict.
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): What’s the biggest misperception about you and Mob Wives?
Renee Graziano: “Biggest perception is that I will fight for my family, and it just so happens that I am fighting with everyone this season because of my family…also people see that I’m close with God, but I don’t think that they really understand how important my religion is to me. The biggest misperception is that some people, think that I’m a bitch…I think that because I come off very hard, people think that I am just a nasty and mean person, and that couldn’t be further than the truth, and the truth is that I am a loving person…I think Karen is the most rational person, but when she’s talking about something that really gets her upset, she can’t get the words out, and she becomes angry and people think that she is an angry girl, which is not the case, she’s so much fun. Ramona , is very sweet…if she likes you, she’s going to be sweet…but if she doesn’t…you’re in trouble (laughs). Carla, everyone thinks that she’s so nice, but she’s so cold…if you go to a wedding and there’s an ice sculpture, it’s really Carla…to call someone a “junkie” who has been your friend for over 30 years, who you know is sick…that’s cold.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): What are you most looking forward to this year and this season?
Renee Graziano: “Hopefully we’ll get another one, I think that the rest of the season fans will see that I’ve taken a totally different approach…I think people are going to be in shock, because I’m very calm…especially in the last episode…it’s so serious and for me not to have reacted, people are going to be surprised. It was actually refreshing to sit back and not be involved in a drama situation for once. If it was Karen or Ramona who was in that situation, I know that they never would have taken a seat back.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): How much longer do you think you will continue with Mob Wives?
Renee Graziano: “As long as VH1 keeps asking me to return…I don’t know if we have a season four yet, but if we do…I will be back! I want the fans and the viewers to see the change, and showcase my journey…I feel like God gave me a platform, and it was this show to reach a lot of people and use my experiences to help others.”
Examiner (Anthony Bowles): Lastly, what message will you give to people who are struggling with addiction?
Renee Graziano: “Call me! I highly recommend that they go to and visit Transitions in North Miami, Florida. My fans know that I talk to them on Twitter, and if they need me, just tweet me “emergency “and I will get back to them…I call my fans all the time. If you need help, ask for it, you’re not going to get it alone…I’ve tried for over 20 years…Don’t ever be embarrassed of how God made you, because God never makes mistakes.”
Thank you to Renee for a great interview and make sure to watch season 3 of “Mob Wives” Sunday’s on VH1 at 10/9c to see how Renee handles the other women. Make sure you also keep up to date with her by following her on Twiter @reneegraziano.