How a notorious mobster’s granddaughter is angering people with MTV show

How a notorious mobster’s granddaughter is angering people with MTV show

Within the opening scenes of the brand new MTV actuality show “Made in Staten Island,” Karina Seabrook is proven chatting with her grandfather about her faculty plans, the climate and on a regular basis life in her dwelling borough.

It’s a regular household interplay — besides that her grandfather is Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano, the recently-paroled underboss of the Gambino crime household who spent greater than 17 years in jail on drug expenses.

Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano in 2005.
Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano in 2005.AP

“We speak weekly,” Seabrook, 19, advised The Put up. “It’s good to have the ability to name him since I had a lot time away from him.”

Made in Staten Island,” which premieres Monday, follows Seabrook and a dozen different native youngsters and early-20-somethings grappling with whether or not they can absolutely escape their households’ legal backgrounds as they enter maturity. Seabrook, for her half, is confronted with the prospect of going away to school and leaving tight-knit Staten Island, which she finds steeped in mob tradition — people always ask about her grandfather and his connections.

“However to me, he’s simply my grandfather,” she mentioned. “Nothing else issues.”

The brunette is aware of what a distinction a change in surroundings could make. She was truly born and raised in Arizona, the place her father is from, and moved to Staten Island in 2014 to be nearer to her mom’s household. Seabrook met lots of her now-fellow solid members, such because the outspoken Kayla and fun-loving Dennie, at Tottenville HS.

She obtained to know a number of the others by way of their households, which she mentioned reveals the distinction between a place like Arizona — “the place everybody’s simply sort of ­doing their very own factor” — and Staten Island, “the place everybody is aware of one another’s enterprise.

Jacket, $1,625, and swimsuit worn as prime, $360, each at MISBHV, Denims, related kinds $395 at Opening Ceremony, Sandals, $995 at Giuseppe Zanotti, Necklace $275, and choker, $295 at Mounser.Tamara Beckwith/NY Put up

“There’s a household really feel right here,” added Seabrook, who lives at dwelling with her mom within the Outdated City neighborhood. “Like one huge Sunday dinner.”

Whereas drama guarantees to stream freely by way of the collection, Seabrook has the restrained knowledge of a second-generation actuality star. Her mom, Karen Gravano, appeared on the VH1 show “Mob Wives,” which was in regards to the spouses and daughters of mob-affiliated males. The women had been typically seen turning towards each other in heated shouting matches. However whereas Karen, who break up up with Karina’s father when their solely daughter was 10 years previous, is often called a table-flipping hothead, Karina is extra vulnerable to icy glances than getting bodily.

“I did see that [the cast of ‘Mob Wives’] began off as buddies, and that there was a lot of drama,” Seabrook mentioned. “So I do know to look at my again. I don’t prefer to be dramatic.”

Regardless of their obvious on-screen variations in temperament, Seabrook is near her mom, each personally and professionally — Karen is the manager producer of “Made in Staten Island.” And whereas Karen advised The Put up that she has to take off her “mother hat” throughout filming and “let Karina be her personal particular person,” she’s been sincere with her daughter off-screen in regards to the unglamorous penalties of organized crime — a theme she believes the show portrays pretty.

“I grew up with the professionals of the [Mafia],” Karen mentioned. “The quick vehicles, the jewellery, the eating places.”

Seabrook, in the meantime, noticed the cons. “All my recollections [of my grandfather] had been of going to go to him in jail. It was laborious for me,” she mentioned.

Gown (prime layer), $1,075, and gown (backside layer), $1,995, each at Versace, Sandals, $845 at Giuseppe Zanotti.Tamara Beckwith/NY Put up

A petition, launched on on Jan. 5, goals to have the brand new MTV collection canceled, or a minimum of for the title “Staten Island” to be faraway from the title. Greater than 7,000 people have signed it to date. Based on the petition, many from the borough take umbrage with its illustration as a “cesspool of gangsters, meatheads and low lives.” Even Mayor de Blasio chimed in on the outrage, tweeting that “MTV is peddling stereotypes in a shameless rankings seize.”

A number of Staten Island eating places and different companies declined to let The Put up {photograph} Karina at their venues.

Nonetheless, Seabrook mentioned she doesn’t take into consideration the backlash an excessive amount of: “The petition means nothing to me. It’s loopy how people can decide a guide by its cowl.”

She additionally believes in change. When Seabrook was 15, she met her now-boyfriend, Paulie Fusco — one other key determine on the show — whereas he was a busboy at Angelina’s, a Tottenville restaurant her household frequents. Fusco was arrested as a teenager for aggravated assault on a police officer, however Seabrook says he’s now bettering himself with a job on Wall Avenue.

“I may see that he had a ­go-getter character,” she mentioned of Fusco, who she appeared with on an episode of MTV’s “Promposal” in 2017.

Seabrook, who hopes to sooner or later open a medspa (an aesthetic clinic specializing in Botox, laser hair elimination, and so forth.), wouldn’t say whether or not faculty is a part of her rapid future. However she and Fusco are planning for his or her future collectively.

“I’ll go get my cash, and he’ll go get his cash, and collectively we’ll construct an empire,” she mentioned.

And she or he hopes that if the haters truly watch the show, they’ll see progress away from the previous Mafia clichés — a properly as a glimpse of what life is like for youngsters, like her, with difficult backgrounds.

“We’re making an attempt to develop up and get away from that way of life,” Seabrook mentioned. “We have now a selection, and we all know the place that life will get you.”

Images: Tamara Beckwith/NY Put up; Stylist: Dwight Reeves; Stylist Assistant: Chaunielle Brown; Hair/Make-up: Damian Monzillo Utilizing Hair Pins by Damian Monzillo Chanel Make-up for CSA; Location: Courtesy of Warburg Realty, Lisa Chajet, 935 Park Avenue, Apt 9B.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *