It sucks when you realize you ended up with someone that reminds you of one of your parents. Usually, it's the exact opposite of what you wanted to happen but, in many cases, it ends up happening anyway.
Maybe you end up marrying a guy who is as emotionally distant as your father. Or you end up with a woman who responds to anger the same way your mom did.
In Victoria Gotti's case, the man she married was just like her dad because of his connections to "the life."
The new Lifetime movie “Victoria Gotti: My Father’s Daughter,” executive produced by Gotti herself, reveals how she ended up marrying a man just like her father: notorious mob boss John Gotti.
The new movie, which debuts on Saturday at 8/7 c, features Victoria “sharing never-before-revealed stories about her life,” including “her turbulent romance, forbidden by her father, with the man who later became her husband,” according to Lifetime.
That man was Carmine Agnello, a member of the Gambino crime family in New York.
The film depicts the struggle that Victoria had with her father, the former Godfather of the Gambino family, over her romance with Agnello.
According to the movie’s depiction of their meeting, Agnello first approached Victoria when she was in high school when all the other boys were too scared to talk to her because of who her father is.
Agnello showed up to Victoria’s high school to talk to her and tell her that he’d asked around about her.
“Do you know who my father is?” she asked.
“Sure,” he replied. “Everyone knows. So what?”
Victoria was impressed, to say the least.
What she seemed less impressed with was Agnello’s apparent obsession with the mafia lifestyle, according to the film’s depiction, although he continuously reassured her that he wasn’t involved in the mob.
John was definitely not impressed with Agnello, however, and he forbid his daughter from seeing him.
“He said, ‘what is it with you? What is it about him?’ and I remember looking at my father dead on and saying, ‘dad, what is it about you that you’re so against him? He so reminds me of you,’ and I thought that was a compliment but well, my father just blew up.”
John Gotti’s character called him “trash” and a “common street guy.”
“I want better for you,” he said.
The father even took Victoria out to a night on the town, to an establishment where even Andy Warhol was in the room. But, it wasn’t enough for Victoria’s character or Victoria. She still dated Agnello, in secret at first, and then after she finally received her father’s blessing, she married Agnello in 1984.
He owned a successful scrap metal business but that wasn’t the only thing he had going on, career-wise.
Not only was Agnello abusive, according to the film’s depiction, but Victoria’s initial judgment of him being like her dad was right: he had mob ties.
Even after Victoria gave birth to their three sons, she didn’t think that he was doing work with the mafia, according to the film’s depiction. But then, when the papers and her mother told her that he in fact, did, Victoria became distraught.
“He is in the life,” her mom’s character told her.
Agnello made it very difficult for her to leave him, according to the new movie. Spoiler: a gun was involved. After that incident, she visited her father in prison and told him he was right about Agnello all along.
The following could be in a movie but it's all too real and it's not too far off from the movie:
Victoria explained in a New York Post column how in 1998 she realized her husband was mobbed up, writing, "I REMEMBER when I first found out my so-called hard working husband was part of the mob. Most people won’t believe me, but I honestly had no idea he had anything to do with 'the life.'"
She said he came home one night and said he was going to be arrested.
"He was a legitimate businessman who had built an empire — I couldn’t imagine what he could possibly be arrested for."
He then explained that someone firebombed the rival auto parts shop that was stealing his competition. It wasn't a shop; it was a sting operation.
Victoria's conversation with her mother happened, too.
"I called my mother," Victoria wrote in her column. "I made a comment like, 'I just don’t understand why law enforcement is so interested in Carmine. It’s not like he’s somebody.' By which I meant somebody involved in the life. My mother’s silence was chilling."
Just like in the film, Victoria pretty much said that what the newspapers were printing could be considered libel. They were reporting her husband's alleged mob ties.
Her mother than told her, “Vicki, don’t get involved in something you know nothing about. You’ll only look foolish when the truth comes out.”
Victoria wrote that not only did her parents know but her father allowed it.
"I couldn’t understand why, especially since he knew my feelings about the life. I wanted better for myself, my children. Didn’t he?"
In 2000, Agnello was charged with racketeering and arson after Agnello used firebombings and other illegal tactics to coerce a fake scrap metal business set up by undercover police in New York. The next year, after taking a plea deal, he was sentenced to nine years in federal prison and ordered to forfeit $10 million in assets to the court, according to the New York Times. He was ordered to pay $950,000 in restitution to his crime victims.
John Gotti remained unimpressed with the man that became his son-in-law.
''Does he get in the back seat of the car and think someone has stolen the steering wheel?'' Gotti told Victoria during one of her visits to see her father in jail, according to the New York Times article. He called Agnello ''an imbecile.''
In 2003, Victoria divorced him.
In July 2017, Agnello took another plea deal for a 2015 arrest where he was charged with theft, money laundering, and conspiracy for a scrap metal scam at his Cleveland scrapyard, according to Cleveland.com. Law enforcement there called that investigation into his illegal actions "Operation Goodfella."
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