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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Victoria Gotti

There's a fascinating series of excerpts from Victoria Gotti's new book, This Family of Mine: What It Was Like Growing Up Gotti, in the NY Post:

So far there have been sections on what happened when her younger brother Frank was killed by a car when he was riding his bicycle, and her marriage to mobster Carmine Agnello. What is fascinating about the excerpts is how everything is spun. The fellow who ran over her brother was a horrible guy who was only angry afterwards, not remorseful. (John Gotti later had him killed.) Her father -- whose main flaw seems to be that he is an overprotective dad -- didn't want her to marry Agnello, who turned out to be a louse. She had no idea Agnello was in the mob when she married him. (If she's not lying about this, she's either the stupidest woman in the world or the most willfully blind.)

This is the noise of a narcissistic personality. If you allow yourself to be pulled into Gotti's orbit, and swayed by her strong personality, it's possible to buy into some of it. Viewed from a certain angle, some of what she says is plausible, and justifiable. This was the essential conceit of The Godfather: if you paint the other guys a dark enough shade of evil, whatever you do in retaliation -- or self-defense -- won't seem all that bad.

But I've also seen the A&E series Growing Up Gotti. On the show Victoria was always complaining about something, and everything that went wrong was always someone else's fault. She made a big show of always being on the verge of losing her temper. She was manipulative, spiteful, self-indulgent, disloyal, and above all else, self-justifying. And she had that sure sign of narcissistic, or possibly sociopathic personality: she almost never smiled.

And that is the face she put on when the cameras were rolling.


Anonymous said...

Nature or nurture? Difficult to tell when it's both.

John Craig said...

I'm definitely a nature guy when it comes to most things, but I have to imagine in this case there's a whole lot of nurture involved.