Karen Gravano, who was a cast member for the first three seasons of Mob Wives, is suing the creators of Grand Theft Auto V for $40 million, according to a report from New York’s Daily News. Gravano and her lawyers claim the developers at Rockstar Games stole her image and life story when creating Antonia Bottino, who is the daughter of a mobster-turned-informant like Gravano. Had the game’s creators bothered to ask, the suit claims, Gravano would have granted them permission “with relative ease” (and not at all with a chunk of the more than $1 billion the game has made thus far).
It is indeed likely that the game’s writers, who have a penchant for unsubtle satire, based the Bottino character on Karen Gravano. She is the daughter of Salvatore “Sammy The Bull” Gravano, a mobster who worked under the infamous John Gotti and rose to the top of the Gambino crime family before becoming an FBI informant. At one point in GTA5, Bottino even lets the player know that she was asked to star in a reality show about mobsters’ daughters called Wise Bitches. (There’s that subtlety again.)
According to the Daily News report, Gravano is also concerned that the events of the game portray some otherwise secret aspects of her life that she was gearing up to include in her new book. If true, Rockstar should be ashamed for spoiling the chapter where Gravano is about to be buried alive somewhere outside Los Angeles before she’s rescued by either a depressed middle-aged criminal, a psychopathic meth addict, or a young man looking to work his way up the socioeconomic ladder by any means necessary.
Here’s a video of the player’s encounter with Bottino: