Gotti, Victoria 1963–
Gotti, Victoria 1963–
PERSONAL: Born 1963, in New York, NY; daughter of John Gotti (a convicted organized crime boss) and Victoria DiGiorgio; married Carmine Agnello (divorced); children: Carmine, John, Frank, Justine (deceased). Education: Attended St. John's University.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Crown Publishing Group Publicity, 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.
CAREER: Novelist, editor, columnist, fashion designer, and actor. New York Post, columnist; Star, columnist. Performer on reality television series Growing up Gotti, A&E. Guest on television programs, including The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, Passions, Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, and Larry King Live.
Women and Mitral Valve Prolapse: A Comprehensive Guide to Living and Coping with M.V.P. and Its Symptoms, Morris Publishing (Kearney, NE), 1995.
The Senator's Daughter, Forge (New York, NY), 1997.
I'll Be Watching You, Crown Publishers (New York, NY), 1998.
Superstar, Crown Publishers (New York, NY), 2000.
Contributor to periodicals, including Cosmopolitan.
WORK IN PROGRESS: The Last Socialite, a novel.
SIDELIGHTS: Victoria Gotti is a multifaceted novelist, entrepreneur, actor, and editor. The daughter of convicted murderer and mafia boss John Gotti—known as the charismatic "Dapper Don"—Victoria grew up inside one of history's strongest organized crime families, but remained determined to apply her talents toward making her own way in the world of entertainment and publishing. She is the star of the reality television series Growing up Gotti, a show that explores the lives of Victoria and her sons Carmine, John, and Frank, as they live their lives bearing one of the more notorious names of the late twentieth century. While Gotti spent much of the early 2000s trying to repair and reinvent that name, forces beyond her control, especially the media, prevented her from enjoying the respect her accomplishments have earned her. "I just feel like enough already," Gotti stated in an interview with George Wayne in Vanity Fair. "I am not a conceited person, but I have done so much with my life. I've written books, I've worked for a major newspaper, I now work for a great magazine, I have a successful TV show. So when are they going to stop—by that I mean those reporters, that media. When are they going to stop? That's my attitude." She observed in an essay in Cosmopolitan that "In real life, your family background certainly has some effect on who you are and what you become, but thankfully, it's not a blueprint of your future."
Gotti has been a columnist for major American newspapers, an editor, a fashion designer and entrepreneur with her own clothing line, and a regular guest on a variety of television programs. She has also taken up the cause of women with mitral valve prolapse, a cardiac condition Gotti herself suffers from and which has required her to wear a pacemaker for several years. In Women and Mitral Valve Prolapse: A Comprehensive Guide to Living and Coping with M.V.P. and Its Symptoms, Gotti relates her own experiences with the condition and offers inspiration and advice for women who also have it.
She is also a novelist with three books in print. Her early attempts to publish her fiction, however, were hampered by publishers who wanted scandalous insider information on her famous father and his associates. "When I was trying to get my first novel into print, some publishers thought they could entice me to pen something autobiographical by offering me astronomical sums of money," Gotti stated in the Cosmopolitan essay. "But I stood firm and turned down those offers. I wanted to write something I was passionate about, not exploit my family's problems."
The Senator's Daughter is a "fast-paced, captivating first novel that engages the reader with a tightly knit plot," commented a Publishers Weekly reviewer. When Joe Session, leader of the Boston dock union, is killed, suspicion focuses on nineteen-year-old Tommy Washington. Attorney Taylor Brooke, however, is not convinced Tommy is the hitman, and works to establish that the teen has been framed and to clear his name. Her investigation uncovers possible corruption in the district attorney's office and runs Brooke afoul of many of her colleagues. Michael Sessio, son of the murdered union boss, has sparked Brooke's romantic interest, though she cannot be sure that he was not involved in the elder Sessio's death. Brooke is also shocked when her estranged father, U.S. Senator Frank Morgan, suddenly reappears in her life. An attempt on Brooke's life convinces her that she is on the right trail, but whose trail it is remains unclear. Gotti "offers shady characters, intrigue, and romance galore with a mystery that keeps one wondering until the end," remarked Library Journal reviewer Mary Ellen Elsbernd. Booklist critic Kathleen Hughes called the book a "tightly crafted, entertaining suspense novel filled with surprising twists and turns."
I'll Be Watching You, Gotti's second novel, is a "designer-clad thriller," commented a Publishers Weekly critic. Author Rose Miller has concentrated her work in the genre of psychological suspense, and her work enjoys considerable popularity and success. Her life seems perfect, with a wealthy, doting husband and a cherished daughter, until darker episodes in Rose's past threaten to return. A stalker has emerged from the shadows, spying on Rose and her family. As her brother-in-law is tried for racketeering and extortion, the stalker begins to move in, threatening Rose and her daughter. Some reviewers, such as Brad Hooper in Booklist, stated that the novel does not rise to the same standards as Gotti's debut. However, "The story, like the heroine, keeps afloat on sheer energy and determination," commented a Publishers Weekly contributor.
In Superstar, Gotti's third novel, two women in their early thirties, Cassidy English and Chelsea Hutton, discover that they were switched at birth for unknown reasons. Cassidy grew up wealthy in Hollywood, while Chelsea endured poverty as the daughter of a single mother. Cassidy saw her actress mother murdered when she was ten years old, and her testimony helped convict her director father of the crime. However, modern DNA evidence has exonerated him, though he still keeps his distance. Chelsea, perhaps deranged, wants revenge on Cassidy for the life she was deprived of but which was rightfully hers. When Cassidy is intimidated into letting powerful producer Jack Cavelli pick the lead in a movie that is intended to save her father's studio, the actress turns out to be Chelsea. When the two women meet, longstanding resentment and hatred trigger events that will leave both of them permanently changed. "The story has all the elements of a satisfying thriller," remarked People reviewer Cynthia Sanz, adding that "Gotti isn't a bad writer." A Publishers Weekly reviewer called the book a "not-so-amicable princess-and-pauper tale of obsession and deception."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Allure, November 1, 2004, Judy Bachrach, "Victoria's Secrets," profile of Victoria Gotti, p. 204.
Booklist, March 15, 1997, Kathleen Hughes, review of The Senator's Daughter, p. 1225; June 1, 1998, Brad Hooper, review of I'll Be Watching You, p. 1668; May 15, 2000, Diana Tixier Herald, review of Superstar, p. 1700.
Cosmopolitan, October, 2000, Victoria Gotti, "You Can Battle a Bad Reputation," p. 72.
Entertainment Weekly, March 7, 1997, Matthew Flamm, "Victoria's Secret?," profile of Victoria Gotti, p. 59.
Library Journal, February 15, 1997, Mary Ellen Elsbernd, review of The Senator's Daughter, p. 161.
People, March 3, 1997, Patrick Rogers, "Don's Delight," profile of Victoria Gotti, p. 110; September 4, 2000, Cynthia Sanz, review of Superstar, p. 59.
Publishers Weekly, January 27, 1997, review of The Senator's Daughter, p. 77; June 22, 1998, review of I'll Be Watching You, p. 85; June 6, 2000, review of Superstar, p. 48.
Vanity Fair, February, 2005, George Wayne, "Victoria Gotti: The Godmother," interview with Victoria Gotti, p. 106.