NEW YORK CITY — Victoria Gotti, the matriarch of the Gotti family, has suffered a serious stroke, DNAinfo New York has learned.
The elder Victoria, who is best known for her passionate defense of her two Johnnies – her husband, “The Dapper Don,” and her son “Junior” — was stricken last Wednesday, sources said.
Her family, including reality-TV star daughter Victoria and her children, has been visiting her in the hospital.
I have written hundreds of stories about John Gotti and the Gambino crime family. During all those years, I never befriended Gotti, who was unquestionably the nation’s top gangster in the past half century.
I did, however, come to know his wife and consider her among my friends.
Several years ago, the former Victoria DiGiorgio suffered a major heart attack but recovered completely. In fact, the attack never deterred her vibrant spirit or diminished her wit and passions — family, love of reading and painting, an occasional casino outing and a penchant for commenting on what she perceived as vindictive government bureaucrats.
The latter she believed she'd suffered from first hand.
Although she was admittedly late to acknowledge her husband’s mob affiliations, she questioned how the U.S. Bureau of Prisons treated her husband’s throat cancer and then leaked unflattering photos of the dying Dapper Don to the press to try to humiliate him. Her husband died in June 2002.
Meanwhile, she also railed publicly against federal prosecutors for going after her son three times on racketeering charges in Manhattan, until the feds were ultimately forced to abandon the case after consecutive hung juries.
Mrs. G is undoubtedly a tough cookie – she stood toe-to-toe with her husband during many domestic clashes — and could be quite the salty observer. Her daughter, Victoria Jr., captured her strength in a book in 2009 called “This Family of Mine: What It Was Like Growing Up Gotti.”
The book contained painful recollections of the young couple surviving in hardscrabble East New York.
While the tome broadened the portrait of her father, it really showed her mother’s inner strength, which hopefully serves her again in overcoming another life challenge.