Friends and family gathered on Monday to bid farewell to reality TV star and Staten Island legend Angela "Big Ang" Raiola. While a majority of the "Mob Wives" cast was in attendance, Brittany Fogarty and Karen Gravano were asked to steer clear due to the transgressions of members of their respective families.
In an interview with Us Weekly, Brittany opened up about having to miss Big Ang's services, saying she didn't get the word until she had almost reached the designated location for visitation on Feb. 20, adding that it was "unfortunate." Brittany was especially hurt because during their time on the show Big Ang "never judged" her for her father's cooperation with the police. Despite her hurt feelings, the "Mob Wives" rookie agreed not to attend to avoid potentially causing a scene at what should have been a somber gathering.
"I was called on Saturday, by a mutual friend, and told not to attend the services because of something my father did," she said. "I was in my car heading over and pulled over and started hysterically crying. I was already upset because I was headed to her services, but pulled over and cried hysterically when I found out I couldn't go. I was really taken aback when I received the call; I was not expecting it at all. Ang never judged me for the actions of my father. The fact that he cooperated with police never influenced her opinion of me, and I loved her for that."
Despite Ang's splitting from husband Neil Murphy during her battle with stage 4 brain and lung cancer, Murphy was permitted to attend his wife's many services. As was previously reported, he was seen getting emotional outside Scarpaci Funeral Home in Brooklyn, New York. TMZ posted a video of Neil talking about his former wife, assuring her fans that she "loved" them all.
It was first reported on Sunday that Karen and Brittany had been asked not to attend any of Big Ang's four wakes or her funeral. According to the New York Daily News, both "Mob Wives" stars were banned from all services due to their fathers' decisions to cooperate with the police. Although Big Ang had made peace with both Brittany and Karen's pasts, it appears there was worry that others in attendance weren't so willing to forgive and forget. Andrea Giovino, who frequently appears on the VH1 reality show, was also told not to come. She explained to the Daily News that there would be people at Big Ang's wakes and funerals who had been affected by the cooperation of John Fogarty and Sammy "The Bull" Gravano.
Big Ang lost her battle with cancer on Feb. 18. A statement released by her representative revealed that she was surrounded by family and friends when she died. Neither her death, nor the days leading up to it, will not be featured on "Mob Wives."