Toni-Marie-Ricci

You Know Me !

TONI MARIE RICCI

Fall 2012

1: How do we know you?

I was given the opportunity to tell my story on Investigation Discovery’s I Married A Mobster. It gave a realistic portrayal of what life is like when you are married to, or divorced from, a notorious mob rat.

2: What is your latest project?

There are few projects in the works for me right now. I am working on my memoir, Scars of A Real Mob Wife, and am looking forward to writing a cookbook. Coming from a traditional huge Italian family, I want to give women access to the easy and delicious home-cooked meals I grew up with and fed my son. Aside from being an author, I want to become an advocate for women who have been emotionally and physically abused–that is at the top of my list.

3: Where are you living?

I reside in Staten Island N.Y., where my husband and I have built our home. I grew up in good old Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.

4: What don’t we know about you?

I love interior decorating–in fact, my home is one of my proudest creations. Because of my ex-husband, people don’t usually think that I would be woman who wears her heart on her sleeve, but I am. I am loyal to the core and will always help a friend in need.

5: What is your favorite travel destination?

I have had the opportunity to travel, and while I loved Italy and one day hope to go back, I need the feeling of a weekend spent upstate or in Pennsylvania. Fall is my favorite time to go, it’s a great time of year for one of my truest pleasures: antiquing.

6: What inspires you?

I have been blessed with many sources of information over the years. However, as a grown woman, I have come to realize that my mom is my biggest inspiration. I have never met a more caring, loving or generous person. As many times as there was tragedy in our lives, she continued to pick herself up, and taught us all strength.

7: If not yourself, who would you be?

I wouldn’t want to be anyone else except myself because the reverse is too loaded of a role for me to wish upon anyone. I do not want another women to endure the magnitude of deceit and sorrow I have. I am also a firm believer that I am here to help others see that everything can be and will be okay.

8: What book is your bible?

The book that is my bible is the Bible. A co-worker gave me the Good News Bible in time of need and it still sits on my nightstand today. I thank her for that.

9: What is your favorite word?

Thankful, it is easy to think about what is missing and ignore what you have. When you develop an attitude of gratitude then you begin to see the positive. Giving up is not an option.

10: Who is your biggest hero?

Without a doubt my biggest hero would be my son. His endurance and perseverance is what kept me going at times. I am proud of the young man he is today.

11: How would you define success?

Success is a challenge. If you want to succeed you have to work hard, but that doesn’t guarantee you will feel successful. You need to keep going and work towards the day when it will all pay off.

12: What would the last question of this questionnaire be if you were the one asking?

How can we help other women find the strength and dignity to make a better life for themselves?

Toni Marie Ricci has an incredible story of triumph and overcoming life’s uncertainties. She is a native New Yorker, Italian cook, and former mob wife who spent 17 years married to Gambino capo Michael “Mikey Scars” DiLeonardo, a notorious mob rat who turned on boss John Gotti, Jr. and testified against him. Ricci later divorced DiLeonardo after learning he’d fathered an illegitimate child with one of his mistresses and, in a perverse twist of fate, joined forces with Gotti and took the stand in his defense, testifying against her former husband. Ricci is currently writing a culinary memoir and hopes to share her insight and experiences with the world.

LINKS:

Twitter – @ToniMarieRicci

I Married A Mobster

Questions by PMc Magazine

Photography Courtesy of Toni Marie Ricci

Design by Jillian Mercado

Captions:

Photography Courtesy of Toni Marie Ricci

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