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It was very difficult for him to ask his father permission to leave [the lifestyle], his father wasn’t happy about it. In the tape, you can see his father basically ripping through Junior. ‘Where’s your dignity? Where’s your manhood?’ But then he changes at a certain point. He becomes a father, instead of the godfather and the boss of the Gambino family. He understand that the life he led can go one or two ways. You die in prison or you die on the street.
You can see [Junior] crying when he sees his father and how he’s basically disfigured by cancer, but even with cancer, his father is making jokes about it. He’s talking about how he had half of his face removed, how he had some muscle taken off and put on his face. He’s like, ‘Yeah, I told your mother I don’t even have tits anymore.’.
His father wasn’t happy, but what’s interesting is you really see the father change… He said, ‘John, if this is what you want to do, you’re your own man. But they will never leave you alone. The government will never accept it. You think they’re going to stop if you plead guilty? They’ll just bring another case. And another case.’.
I kept hearing a lot about John Gotti, all the mob bosses were there at the time because [Rudy] Giuliani was creating a big case against them at that time… In fact, his right-hand guy was there. I remembered they arrested John and he impressed, even in a jumpsuit. He took the time to introduce himself to me, shake my hand and call me Richie… Most mob guys are grumpy. They’re not outgoing or friendly. But John was the opposite. He was always smiling, happy, telling jokes and waving to people. He seemed to be enjoying what was happening to him.
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