EXCLUSIVE: In what could turn into a genuine Sopranos-like look at growing up in an organized crime family, mob scion John Gotti Jr. is ready to tell his story in a documentary film, a feature film, and a book. Gotti Jr., the former head of the Gambino crime family, will soon be looking to make deals to tell a father-son story and what it was like to grow up with a dad who was the most famous mob boss in America. Gotti Jr. followed in his father’s criminal footsteps, eventually taking over after his father, John Gotti, was sent to prison for life for racketeering and other offenses. Junior, who has long maintained he left the crime game in 1999, is free to tell his tale after federal prosecutors in January announced they would not seek a 5th trial against Gotti Jr for alleged offenses that included racketeering and murder. The first 4 cases resulted in mistrials.
Gotti Jr will cooperate with Triplicity Entertainment, a New York-based production company that was formed in 2005. Among its founders is Tony D’Aiuto, one of the attorneys who successfully defended Gotti Jr in his last trial. Gotti Jr. intends to be fully involved in the screenplay and production process. The key will be whether mainstream publishers and film companies want to directly be in business with a man who, despite the legal outcome, has an undeniable organized crime bloodline and background.
D’Aiuto confirmed Gotti Jr’s plans, which the attorney is formulating with Triplicity partner Vince Prezioso. Gotti Jr spent a total of nine years in jail, including three in solitary confinement. He began writing down his story about four years ago, and is 75% finished with his book. He’s scheduled to appear in a segment of the CBS News show 60 Minutes on April 11, which he’s using as an opportunity to clear up misconceptions about himself and his family. He hasn’t formally signed with any agents yet but there have already been approaches made for a documentary, which, among other things, will feature the emotional last meeting in prison between Gotti Jr, and his father before the latter died of cancer in the prison where he spent his final 10 years. That encounter was filmed.
Triplicity hasn’t set a director for the documentary, but D’Aiuto said the plan is for the film to be completed by spring, 2011. While Gotti Jr. undoubtedly has plenty of legal bills, D’Aiuto said part of Gotti’s motivation is to fund a youth center, one that might steer kids away from lives of crime.
Even casual watchers of The Sopranos or films like The Godfather or Goodfellas know that crime families are based on keeping quiet, and that loose lips always sink ships, and crime families. How much can Gotti Jr. actually reveal? “He’s willing to go all the way, revealing as much as possible without hurting anyone who’s still involved in the street life,” D’Aiuto said.