Born in 1972, the 48-year-old American reality TV star, Ramona Danielle Rizzo, was born in an Italian mafia family of New York. Her grandfather was Benjamin ‘Lefty Guns’ Ruggiero, an infamous mobster of the Bonnano crime family. He was made even more popular when Al Pacino played his character in the 1997 hit mafia movie ‘Donnie Brasco’. Johnny Depp starred in the film too. It narrated the story of an FBI agent who infiltrated Benjamin’s family and collected intelligence against them. Ramona reached out to Al Pacino and helped him develop her grandfather’s character correctly.
Ramona Rizzo Life Journey
Ramona had a colorful childhood since the very beginning. She used to accompany her family members to meet her relatives in prison. She knew from the start that the male members of her family were going to get absorbed into the mafia as well. So, she was determined to make different lifestyle choices and make her career elsewhere. This made her extremely independent from a young age, and she befriended various influential people in the US.
A mother to 5 children, she got involved with Walia ‘Wally’ Khatib, a man of Arabian descent who had connections with the mob too. She eventually got married and moved to Jordan with him for a couple of years. Her marriage was said to be very dramatic and tumultuous. She allegedly divorced him due to his assumed bankruptcy and returned to the states, penniless.
Having to start her life from scratch and raise her children, she then started many businesses in the field of fashion, confection, and a lot more. Shortly after, she got engaged to Jacob Sclafani, but her happiness was short-lived as he got sentenced to 15 years of prison for the illegal distribution of cocaine. Even though her marriage plans were thrown out the window, she still threw herself a huge bachelorette party in Las Vegas.
A few years back, she was also booked for kidnapping and armed robbery due to a money-making scheme gone wrong, as was confessed by the victim. She wanted to be away from the mob-life but it seems like the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. With a history of liens and foreclosure, she eventually got sucked into it and was heard threatening people using her family name.
Ramona was in an eight-year-long battle with the government to recover her expensive branded jewelry pieces. Her jewelry that consisted of pieces from Cartier, foreign brands, and family heirlooms, amounted to over $200,000. They got seized when her fiancé was busted during a coke deal. It doesn’t seem as though she won the case.
Ramona Rizzo’s Reality TV Debut
Ramona also starred in VH1’s reality-documentary series ‘Mob Wives’. The show followed the lives of the women whose mobster husbands had been imprisoned. Ramona joined the cast for season 2 and 3 in support of her childhood best friend, Karen Gravano. She acted as her wing-woman during their aggressive and outspoken fights with nemesis, Drita D’Avanzo. Always in the middle of a controversy, she was also approached for season 5, but she refused. She felt that she was intentionally lied to so that she would stir up some drama. She confessed that she believed the show portrayed her in a bad light. She asked for a lot of money which the show’s budget couldn’t afford to offer.
Where is Ramona Rizzo Now?
Ramona is a social media queen who is active on all platforms. Her Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts are always buzzing with the latest updates on her life. She has become a social media influencer and conducts paid product promotions online for various companies.
Ramona is also featuring on MTV’s reality-documentary show ‘Families of the Mafia’ alongside Karen Gravano as her best friend and family. The show follows the lives of ex-mobsters and how their mafia connections affect their children and lifestyle.
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