After her divorce from Mr. Agnello, Ms. Gotti said she chose to stay single while raising her sons, who now help manage her real estate. “Young men don’t want their mom to date,” she said. “It’s a hard problem. But it’s now my time.”
In the meantime, channel surfing carries the risk of glimpsing at least one more Gotti family nemesis: Rudolph Giuliani, so effective at flipping mobsters during his time as United States Attorney for the Southern District that his office was nicknamed the “House of Pancakes,” is now a regular combatant on cable news, where he says things like “Even if he did do it, it wouldn’t be a crime.”
“It’s no secret that Dad wasn’t a fan of Giuliani’s,” Ms. Gotti said. Indeed, when the heads of the five families met in 1987 to vote on whether to murder Mr. Giuliani, Mr. Gotti voted in favor. (Fortunately for Mr. Giuliani, Vincent (the Chin) Gigante, of the Genovese crew, cast the deciding “no” vote.)
But were he alive today, Mr. Gotti might not reach for the remote as quickly as one would think. Once, during a prison visit near the end of his life, Ms. Gotti was shocked by something her father told her.
It was late 2001 and Mr. Giuliani, despite having withdrawn from his Senate race against Hillary Clinton the year before, was burnishing his national image after his widely applauded handling of 9/11. At that time, chatter about who might become the first African-American or female president caused Mr. Gotti to opine that Mr. Giuliani could rightfully become the first “Italian president.”
“I just thought, Wait, we’re not supposed to like him, right?” Ms. Gotti said. “I was a kid, a young adult, when he was prosecuting Dad. I always thought, you know, he’s the enemy.”
“But then he told us,” Ms. Gotti said, “‘Hey, if the Italians are known for nothing more, it was always to root for each other.’”