Two of Ang’s closest family members, her daughter Raquel Donofrio, and sister Janine Detore, are no long speaking, according to a blog post by family friend Vinnie Medugno, who runs Ang’s official Twitter account.
Big Ang, whose real name is Angela Raiola, died on Feb. 18 at 55 after a battle with brain and lung cancer. Leading up to her death, the beloved reality show star expressed worry that her kin would struggle to get along without her.
“I am the glue that holds my family together,” she said in a pre-taped “Mob Wives” episode that aired six days after her death. “My family, without me, would fall apart.”
According to Medugno, it has. A Tweet he sent out Sunday links to a blog post on Medium.com, where he states that Donofrio, 31, and Detore, 49, are feuding.
“For reasons that I can’t speak about and aren’t at liberty to state, other situations happened that created waves between the aunt and the niece, which lead to them not speaking at the moment,” Medugno wrote. “Raquel and I speak often, and yes it’s true, her aunt blocked her on social media and has not spoken with her.”
Detore denies that she Donofrio aren’t speaking. “I don’t have any problem with my niece,” she tells the Daily News. “I don’t know why he’s posting all this.”
But she says she won’t be going to a July 16 memorial concert being planned by Big Ang’s kids and husband Neil Murphy that will be hosted by Medugno.
“I don’t agree with the concert because it’s nothing I can celebrate right now,” Detore says. “I just don’t want to be there. And that’s how it started.
“I’m not the only family member who’s not coming. My brother’s not coming, my sister’s not coming. We’re in mourning. We can’t celebrate. It’s very bad how much I miss my sister. I couldn’t even go to work today.”
Detore adds that her nephew, Ang’s son Anthony, and his kids live with her.
“Right now, I’m focusing on her grandchildren, not a dance party,” she says.
Medugno’s blog post alleges that some of the tension stems from him being asked by Donofrio to continue helping run Big Ang’s social media accounts after she died, a job once handled by Janine’s daughter.
And Detore posted on Instagram that Medugno blocked her from Big Ang’s account.
“I want everyone to know that @vinniemedugno blocked me from my sisters ig @biggangvh1 IM NOW BLOCKED,” she wrote.
Stephen Spinelli, who was Big Ang’s attorney, and now represents Donofrio, tells the Daily News:
“There are often tensions after the death of a love one, but here, tensions or not, the entire family is united in mourning and missing their beloved Angela.”
Spinelli says that the memorial concert, billed as “Big Ang’s Big Dance Party,” will feature Raiola’s favorite disco and dance music acts and will take place at Snug Harbor Cultural Center on Staten Island.
“Angela loved disco, that was her music,” says Spinelli, adding that profits from the concert will go to Ang’s favorite charities. “Neil had this idea to honor his wife, where we’d get a lot of the artists she loved to put together a show.”