updated 09/24/2009 AT 10:00 AM ET
•originally published 09/24/2009 AT 11:15 AM ET
Onetime reality-show star Victoria Gotti is finally admitting that her father, the former head of the Gambino crime family, was behind some of the most notorious murders in recent New York history.
“I loved the man … but I loathed the life, his lifestyle,” Gotti, 46, tells the CBS newsmagazine 48 Hours Mystery in an episode to be aired Saturday. “How can anybody worship that life? How could anybody think there was any glory in that life? I would lie awake nights and cry. ‘Is my dad gonna come home? Is he gonna go to jail again? … Is he going to get hurt? Is he gonna get killed?’ ”
John Gotti, who died of cancer in prison in 2002, finally lost his nickname as the Teflon Don in 1992, when he was convicted of 13 murders, including the slaying of his predecessor, Paul Castellano, outside a New York steakhouse. But Gotti had been fingered as the mastermind behind many more, such as the 1980 disappearance and apparent murder of a neighbor who accidentally ran over and killed Gotti’s 12-year-old son Frank.
It was in that latter case that Victoria claims she demanded that her father exact “justice,” according to 48 Hours Mystery.
“You’re supposed to be a tough guy. How can you let somebody kill my brother?” she says she told her father. “And he just looked at me and he said, ‘It was an accident.’ ”
Victoria, who’s faced recent financial troubles, is revealing the details of her life in a Mafia family in a new book, This Family of Mine: What It Was Like Growing Up Gotti, a book she claims she wrote with her father’s approval.
“When you chose that life, I think you know what you’re signing up for,” she says. “I think he knew going in what was expected of him I believe he knew that there was no living happily ever after. And I don’t think he cared.”