‘Victoria Gotti: My Father’s Daughter’ – Like personalities clash
John Gotti has been called many things, among them “The Teflon Don,” “The Dapper Don” and of course, “boss” by members of the Gambino crime family.
But he’s also been called “Dad,” and it is from that perspective the late New York mobster is viewed in a telepic debuting this week on Lifetime.
In “Victoria Gotti: My Father’s Daughter,” premiering Saturday, Feb. 9, Chelsea Frei (“Sideswiped,” “Hostess”) stars as the title character, who lives a life of extraordinary highs and lows as the sensitive eldest child of Gotti (played by longtime “General Hospital” regular Maurice Benard). Along the way, she enjoys the glamour and glitz that came with the life but also endures tragedy and heartbreak, including a divorce, the death of a brother and constant worry about her father.
“It’s really my relationship with the man that I think the world – how do I say? – perceived as an enigma wrapped up in a mystery,” explains the real Ms. Gotti, who served as the film’s creator, executive producer, screenwriter and narrator. “So it was my relationship, really, and how I got to be where I am now, today, here. … But Dad and I had a unique relationship and there was a lot that a lot of people did not know. You know, we had very much similar personalities but yet did not see eye-to-eye on lots.”
And those issues, she says, included her decision to not attend law school (he was so upset that he wouldn’t speak to her for two months) and her marriage to fellow Gambino player Carmine Agnello, which ended in divorce after 18 years.
But still, she says, her dad was never one to shake his finger and say “I told you so,” even when she came to him and acknowledged her mistake with Agnello.
“(I said), ‘You were right. Go ahead, say it. You told me so,’ ” she says. “And (he looked at me and said), ‘I would never do that, ever. Because some things we have to learn on our own.’ And he said, ‘I think that you’re in enough pain that the last thing you need for me to say is “I told you so.” ’ And I respected that in him.”
“I think it kept our relationship going,” she adds.