Mad mob drama. Big Ang‘s memorial services were held this past weekend, but two of her fellow VH1 Mob Wives, Brittany Fogarty and Karen Gravano, were banned from attending the visitation on Saturday, February 20. In an exclusive statement to Us Weekly, Fogarty details why she and her mother were shut out of the services — and it has everything to do with the family.
“I think that it’s unfortunate that I couldn’t be at any of Ang’s services this weekend, and that I couldn’t say bye to her in that way,” Fogarty tells Us. “The last thing that I would want is to go there and cause a scene. This is about celebrating Ang’s life and the fact that her family has to say bye to such a beautiful person and I want to respect that.”
The New York Daily News reported on Sunday that both Fogarty and Gravano were banned from the memorial, as well as Ang’s Monday funeral, because of their fathers’ past actions. Fogarty’s mom, Andrea Giovino, explained to the paper that more than 20 years ago, her husband, John Fogarty, revealed the identities of fellow mobsters while cooperating with the feds in a high-profile murder case. After Fogarty served some time behind bars, he and the rest of his family were eventually relocated under the Witness Protection Program to scenic Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where they moved from Staten Island, New York.
“I was called on Saturday, by a mutual friend, and told not to attend the services because of something my father did,” Fogarty, who honored Big Ang via Instagram last week, recalls to Us. “I was in my car heading over and pulled over and started hysterically crying. I was already upset because I was headed to her services, but pulled over and cried hysterically when I found out I couldn’t go. I was really taken aback when I received the call, I was not expecting it at all. Ang never judged me for the actions of my father. The fact that he cooperated with police never influenced her opinion of me, and I loved her for that.”
Indeed, the two became close after Fogarty joined the cast of VH1’s smash series last month. “I don’t want to make this about me, or about what my father did,” the former runway model tells Us. “I understand that this is what happens in our world. I don’t think it’s right to punish me for something that I had no part of, but if that’s what will make this easier for Ang’s family, then that’s what I want to do. I don’t think that’s what Ang would have wanted, but that’s how it is. I’m going to have to say bye to her on my own time, I’m going to visit the cemetery this week and go pay my respects and say goodbye to Ang in that way. This service is about her family saying goodbye.”
Ang battled stage IV lung and brain cancer before she died at age 55 in an NYC hospital on Thursday, February 18. Fans and family members paid their respects to the late reality star at the Scarpaci Funeral Home in Brooklyn over the weekend. Celebrities who showed up to the services included Mob Wives‘ Renee Graziano, Marissa Fiore and Natalie Guercio, as well as Shark Tank‘s Daymond John.
Big Ang was dressed in fur, and was celebrated with music. “There was a DJ inside playing tunes,” one attendee told Us. “The valet attendant said, ‘It’s a party, the way Ang would have wanted it.'”
Her funeral services were held on Monday, February 22.
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