It’s safe to say Renee Graziano has been through hell and back this season on Mob Wives. From a botched plastic surgery that left her hospitalized, to her ex-husband betraying her, her family, and their friends by cooperating with the FBI, she’s done a lot of living, and a lot of soul-searching lately. And yet despite her public bouts with depression and topics that would make a weaker woman retreat, she’s attacking life head on these days. I talked to her about all her family drama, but what’s surprising is all the good that’s come out of the bad. Her relationship with her dad is better than ever, her family is solid, and she has a fan base that has shown nothing but love. When I asked if she’s ever faced any nasty rumors in the press, her response said it all: “With the s— I go through, why make anything up?”
Is it a relief that the season is finally over?
Is it a relief that the season is over? YES. This season was extremely hard. I actually watched it as an outsider and I was pretty much saying “Call 911! This b—h is crazy!” I watched it very objectively and it was very depressing. So I didn’t watch a lot of it.
How are you able to take yourself out of it?
I put myself in that mindset when I saw myself break down. I watched a girl break down. It didn’t seem like that was me. It was easier for me this year to watch it objectively and I wasn’t as angry with everyone as I normally get.
What was it like to be the peacemaker in the end between Karen and Drita?
I wish I wasn’t! It was wonderful and I accomplished what I set out to do, but I wish it ended a little more exciting. I personally think that what I set out to do, I did, and I was very proud of myself that I was able to make peace…but I wonder what will have to happen in season three to un-make that peace. [Laughs]
Are you going to show up on Mob Wives Chicago?
[Renee defers to her sister, producer Jenn Graziano, who says in her best PR voice "That is undetermined as of this time."]
Renee: I am friends with the girls though, I was friends with them prior to the show, but whatever the boss says.
What’s it like having your sister as your boss?
She’s always been my boss. Even though I’m older than she is, I’ve always looked up to Jennifer. If I did not want to become a wife and mother, I would love to have been Jennifer. She is very accomplished, successful, powerful woman, and I envy that.
But you’re all those things, too.
Very different. Jennifer is very, very smart. Scholastic. I don’t possess what Jennifer does. I’m not dumb, but she is brilliant.
What do you think you’d be doing without the show, if you never signed on for it?
Things would have been completely different. I probably wouldn’t have been working when I got back with my ex-husband and I’d be up s— creek without a paddle. I probably would be styling, but my goal had always been to be a stay-at-home wife and mother. I’ve never been career oriented.
Are you styling now?
I am more focused on styling me!
You’re designing shoes though, aren’t you?
Yes, I have a high end line coming out called Il Padrina, which means the female boss of bosses, and it’s going to launch a high end shoe and perfume line. And I have Mob Candy which is jewelry, shoes, and makeup.
Do you have any regrets this season?
One. Screaming as loud as I did when I heard my father got arrested. I sound like a complete fucking nutjob. BUT, that was the realest. That was exactly what it feels like. They were pulling him out literally as I was on the phone, so it was such a shock and that’s what it was.
What’s your relationship with your dad now?
Awesome. Jennifer and I have a great relationship with my father now.
How did it change?
It changed ever since Junior cooperated. My father has become extremely forgiving, he does not hold me or my child responsible and my father is very close to us. He wants us to come on every visit, he’s very proud of us, he doesn’t watch the show and will never watch it, but he’s very very proud of us for the success we’ve achieved. The day I appeared in court he made it very known “That’s my daughter, that’s my grandson.” And he was very proud and was letting everyone know “Don’t f— with my kid.”
Do you have a favorite scene from the season?
Oh yeah, definitely. The one with me and AJ and the sex education is definitely my favorite.
That was hilarious. I can’t believe what I hear sometimes on this show, you guys come up with this stuff off the top of your head so fast.
I’m very, very quick, we never rehearse, so it’s all off the cuff. I just wanted AJ to be aware of the facts of life and this is the way it is!
Now that filming is done, what’s your relationship with everyone?
Like I say, I love them but I don’t always like them. And I’ve decided to be Switzerland. But if one of them were to piss me off, I will snap back like I always have. I’ll always be who I am.
What’s the biggest difference between living your life on camera and living off camera in the off season?
People will approach me no matter where I am and what bothers me is they think they know me so well that they’ll even kiss me. One man kissed me on the mouth. Or people will pull at me, and that I don’t care for. Or when people automatically jump into telling me what they think of my ex-husband or my father.
What’s the public reaction been to the Junior situation? Are people critical of it all, or have you found support?
My fan base is very loving. VERY loving. Out of over 200,000 followers, I would say under 100 people have had something negative to say. Most of it is extremely supportive, and any negative comments have been like “How could you do that to your father?” and I’m like “Jerkoff, I didn’t.” People automatically assume they know everything when they don’t.
Have you ever read a rumor about yourself that wasn’t true?
The only thing that’s been printed that was untrue was what was written about my son recently. Otherwise, no, I mean, with the s— I go through, why make anything up?