Sonny Franzese’s Greatest Shame: Son Made Things Up for Book


There was another new act presented yesterday in the Mafia opera of Franzese vs. Franzese in Brooklyn federal court, and it brought yet more disgrace on this fabled family.

John Franzese Jr. explained why, before he wore a wire for the FBI against his mobster dad, he tried to sell his story to Hollywood. The shocker was that he felt compelled to make a lot of it up.

“Being in Hollywood, you throw in some of the gangster garbage,” Franzese testified, reports John Marzulli in the Daily News. “That’s a marketing tool.” His co-author, whom he met while kicking his drug habit in a California rehab home, “made a lot of stuff up,” Franzese said.

The admission came on the last of his four days on the witness stand and it is without doubt the worst crime that the ex-junkie, who admits to snitching on his father and ripping off friends and family, acknowledged while under oath.

Your father is John “Sonny” Franzese, the 93-year-old Colombo crime family underboss, and you have to make stuff up? You have exclusive access to the most fascinating, first-hand material from one of New York’s most legendary gangsters, a man so brilliant at the Mafia business that he controlled record labels, movie producers, and every bar from Montauk to Long Island City, and you are reduced to fiction?

This is one more reason why, aside from the government, Franzese Jr. has just one fan in this world: His mother.

The Post‘s Janon Fisher reports that Tina Franzese, 75, was at the courthouse again to cheer on her son — albeit from a separate room with a video feed since she was banned from the courtroom following a fracas last week.

The loving mom gave more details about the dysfunctional childhood her son was subjected to, thanks to her husband’s notoriety. “The FBI went to his baseball games. It’s embarrassing. They used to carry my beach chair. What kind of life is that?…Forty of my neighbors signed a petition against the agents for standing in front of their houses. One of them turned sprinklers on them.”

The saga of the Franzese trial is related in the Voice‘s own fine story this week, although, in keeping with tradition, it is well-hidden on the Web page. I am working on getting a restaurant-chef angle into the next story in hopes of winning more eye-room on the opening page. All suggestions gratefully appreciated.