Book Article

Author claims ''Sopranos'' storyline a fake

She's an old friend of mafia don John Gotti (''He called me rocky'') and author of the page-turning memoir Divorced From the Mob (Carroll & Graf, $25). But don't get Andrea Giovino started on The Sopranos. ''I'm not a fan,'' says Giovino, 47. ''It's not real. Most Italians who come from the background of organized crime think the show is ridiculous.'' This season's story line about Edie Falco's Carmela leaves her particularly unimpressed. ''Carmela would never leave a real-life boss like Tony,'' she insists. ''That's all bulls -- -. The true Tony Soprano, he's not gonna allow her to dictate the rules. If word on the street was that Tony got kicked out of his house, everybody's gonna look at him as a wimp.''

So how does a woman divorce herself from the Mob? A prison sentence helps. One ex-beau who worked in Gotti's crew is serving 260 years for distribution, racketeering, and murder. And her common-law husband, a drug dealer with Mob ties, went to jail too. ''But before he went to prison I couldn't get rid of him,'' she laughs.

Busted on drug charges herself in 1992, Giovino worked with authorities, then refused to enter the Witness Protection Program. Now, a tell-all book. ''I'm a fighter by nature,'' she says. ''Certainly I'm a woman that's never gonna shut my mouth.'' -- Gregory Kirschling

Originally posted Apr 02, 2004 Published in issue #758 Apr 02, 2004 Order article reprints