Monday, February 27, 2006

Dapper Don Juan's Double Life Exposed

Friends of ours: John "Dapper Don" Gotti, Gambino Crime Family, Junior Gotti, Michael "Mikey Scars" DiLeonardo

The tale of John Gotti's two other "families" infuriated widow Victoria. The late Gambino boss John "Dapper Don" Gotti led a stunning secret life - fathering a pair of illegitimate daughters with two different girlfriends, according to sources and bombshell testimony from a mob turncoat.

Few knew of Gotti's double life, but the infamous Mafia don confided in his son John "Junior" Gotti about the existence of one of his illegitimate daughters, according to star witness Michael "Mikey Scars" DiLeonardo. Recounting a conversation with his ex-pal, DiLeonardo said the younger Gotti told him "his father had a secret second family and a daughter he had fathered out of wedlock."

A source close to the case said the elder Gotti had more than one skeleton in his closet - he had a second illegitimate daughter with yet another girlfriend. Two sources said at least one of Gotti's extramarital families still lives on Staten Island.

DiLeonardo testified that the younger Gotti, a father of five with a sixth child on the way, admired and emulated his infamous father, and followed in his footsteps as both a mob leader - and a philanderer.

The stunning revelations emerged on the third day of DiLeonardo's testimony against the younger Gotti - the witness' former best friend - who is on trial for racketeering crimes he allegedly committed while his infamous father was behind bars. Although this is a retrial, none of the reported dalliances surfaced in previous testimony.

The late Mafia don's widow, Victoria Gotti, and daughter Angel reacted audibly in their seats in Manhattan federal court yesterday as the mob turncoat made his stunning revelation. "Oh boy, oh boy," exclaimed Angel, who is one of four surviving children that John and Victoria Gotti raised in Howard Beach, Queens.

The younger Gotti also gasped at the defense table yesterday as DiLeonardo described how both he and Junior both brought girlfriends to the witness' 40th-birthday celebration 10 years ago. "John, for a surprise, he got a yacht in Battery Park City," DiLeonardo testified. DiLeonardo, who was also married at the time, said a woman named Carla came as his date. "John had been going with this girlfriend named Mindy ... he knew from Howard Beach," DiLeonardo said. Gotti, 42, would have been married for between five and six years at the time.

Asked by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael McGovern whether Gotti's wife, Kim, knew the woman, DiLeonardo said: "Kim knew Mindy. John had told me they grew up together." But DiLeonardo said Kim - who currently lives in an Oyster Bay, L.I., mansion with her husband and kids - did not know her husband was having an affair with her friend.

Outside of court, Victoria Gotti blasted the feds for hitting below the belt. "It's dirty politics as usual. It's nothing that we wouldn't expect," she said. Reacting to allegations about her late husband's secret life, Victoria said, "John Gotti was the most highly surveilled man in the country. "Does anyone think he could pull that off?"

The widow then sarcastically suggested a reunion between the legitimate and illegitimate kids. "Maybe the siblings have all the cash the government's talking about. I'd like my kids to meet them," Victoria said.

Gotti told reporters outside the courtroom he hasn't dated Mindy since about 20 years ago, when he was dating his wife but not yet married. "He's pulling names from the '80s," Gotti said.

McGovern was permitted to question the witness about Gotti's alleged transgressions after defense lawyer Charles Carnesi opened the door during cross-examination on Thursday. Carnesi had asked the witness if he and Gotti had a falling out in 1997 because Gotti disapproved of DiLeonardo's womanizing - an allegation the turncoat denied.

Gotti's defense hinges on the claim that he left the mob as early as 1998 to become a devoted husband and father - and wants nothing more than a fresh start with his wife and kids.

In cross-examination Thursday, Carnesi asked DiLeonardo, "You never had any conversations with [Gotti] prior to 1997 about the way you were acting out in the street - with regard to your relationships with other women?" "Never. He was with me all the time," said DiLeonardo, who claims his falling out with Gotti was over business. In earlier testimony, DiLeonardo admitted that he had secretly started a second family in 2000 after years of cheating on his first wife, Toni Marie, with whom he had a son, Michael. The witness said he made a conscious decision to get his girlfriend, Madeline, pregnant and bought her and her mother attached houses eight miles from his wife's Staten Island home. The double life was exposed in 2000, when DiLeonardo's wife received an anonymous card announcing the birth of DiLeonardo's son with his girlfriend. DiLeonardo subsequently divorced his wife and married Madeline. The two are now living together in the witness-protection program with their son, Anthony.

Under cross-examination, DiLeonardo described his bitterness when he went to prison and learned he had been "put on the shelf" by the mob. This meant he no longer was included in decision-making, was no longer getting money from his crew and wasn't given the respect in jail that is normally due a "wiseguy." "I felt no good deed goes unpunished," he said. "I was befuddled that I was stripped. I was upset about it."

Meanwhile, Victoria also threatened to sue anyone who claims that the Gotti family is attempting to tamper with the jury. On Monday, a woman was asked by a court officer to leave the courtroom after he noticed her writing notes that described one of the jurors as balding and in his 50s. The U.S. Marshals Service said it was looking into the matter. But the Gotti family identified the woman as Raquel, the best friend of Angel Gotti, Junior's sister - and said she was taking notes because she's a psychic. They said the woman correctly predicted the outcome of the previous trial. Victoria Gotti was outraged at the suggestion of jury tampering. "I will sue anyone who says those things about my family," she said.

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