These days, Victoria Gotti lives a luxurious life. She's raising her three children - John Gotti's grandsons - in a seven-bedroom mansion on Long Island, east of New York City. But as 48 Hours Correspondent Erin Moriarty reports, her life has not been easy lately.
Contrary to what many believe, she did not grow up amidst wealth, she says.
If not, she is making up for it now. Her estate, worth $4 million, has a pool, a guest house, horse stables and a basketball court.
She married her childhood sweetheart, Carmine Agnello, who runs a scrap metal business that makes $30 million a year.
But her life is not carefree. Not only is her father in prison, so is her brother. Earlier this year, John Gotti Jr. pled guilty to extortion and bribery.
"It was extremely tough," she says.
In January 2000, prosecutors accused Agnello of being in the Mob. They charged him with extortion and racketeering. Victoria Gotti says her husband is guilty of only one thing: marrying a Gotti.
"We were warned and warned and warned that this would happen," she says, "that my husband would become a target."
But there is one piece of evidence against Carmine that Victoria did believe - the same Federal wire taps used to catch her husband racketerring caugh him cheating on her. Prosecutors believe Agnello was having an affair with his bookkeeper. Victoria Gotti has filed for divorce.
"The bottom line is that (Agnello) has been a target for the past 15 years," she says. "It's just sensationalism; that's where it's gone."
Prosecutors have tied up the couple's assets. If he's convicted, prosecutors will argue that Gotti and Agnello's lavish lifestyle was financed by criminal activity; the couple could lose much of what they have.
Victoria Gotti remains defiant, though. "It wouldn't matter," she says. "I'd start again. And I'd be back, maybe even grander."
The income from her books is now more important than ever. She writes from the time she puts her boys to bed until early in the morning. This is the only sanctuary she has.
"I want them to be happy," she says. "It scares me that this is who they are and that at some point in their lives they may be a target (of increased scrutiny)."
Victoria Gotti wants a less tumultuous life for her three boys. She already sees star quality in her teenage son John.
"He has that charm, that innate charm, that I've only seen one person exhibit," she says, referring to her father.
Like his grandfather, young John says he'll spend a lot of time in a courtroom. But he wants to be a criminal attorney.
If Victoria Gotti has her way, the family name will have a different connotation in years go come.
And Victoria Gotti maintains that she is proud of her name. "I can get up in the morning, look in the mirror, and I'm happy with who I've become," she says.
Go back to the first part of this sory, A Novel Life.
Or return to 48 Hours: The Legacy
(c) MMI, Viacom Internet Services Inc., All Rights Reserved