She is never afraid to hurl a few punches as part of her US reality series Mob Wives, but will star Renee Graziano be able to refrain from lashing out at her fellow housemates when she reportedly enters the Celebrity Big Brother house this week?
The daughter of notorious mobster Anthony A. Graziano is regularly at the centre of some of the most explosive rows to ever grace television screens Stateside, and now the 48-year-old is thought to leaving behind the bright lights of New York to spend the rest of the summer in sunny Borehamwood.
But, who is the American reality star and why have Channel 5 bosses been so “desperate” to snap her up?
Across the pond, Renee is a household name as part of the all-female lead series Mob Wives, which follows a gang of equally feisty Staten Island women, whose family members are serving or have served time behind bars for crimes allegedly connected to the Mafia.
Her fellow cast member Angela Raiola, affectionally known as “Big Ang” by her friends and fans alike, was rumoured to be joining the UK series before she was diagnosed with throat cancer and pneumonia, before sadly passing away in February.
Ang’s untimely death lead to the Mob Wives being cancelled by VH1 after six seasons, but it seems Renee is turning her attention to British shores with a stint in the Elstee Den.
Her infamous father, who pleaded guilty to federal tax evasion in 1990, after failing to pay $100,000 to the Internal Revenue Service, is mentioned heavily in her controversial reality series; most notably when Renee’s husbandHector Pagan Jr., or Junior as he’s referred to on-screen, was exposed as a “rat” for the FBI.
The moment Renee discovered her husband’s secret – that he’d been recording incriminating conversations with her father – were shown in scenes which aired to millions across America.
Junior was part of a highly publicized January mob bust in New Jersey and Rhode Island when 127 arrests were made relating to racketeering, murder, illegal gambling, extortion, and narcotics trafficking.
The protective mother-of-one later checked herself in rehab for her ongoing battle with depression and addiction to prescriptive medication.
“I’m a depression addict, not a drug addict. I don’t do drugs to get high. I did drugs to not feel anything,” she said in 2013.
“I’m a domestic violence survivor, a date rape survivor. So I’ve been through way more than people even know. Medication became the best way for me to handle it.
“It’s a battle. There are days where I wanna pop Xanax and sleep and wake up and everything is okay.
“I don’t count days because I feel it puts too much pressure on me.”
As well as claiming that her husband is now “dead” to her, she’s also said of her cast mates: “Do you know what war is with me?”, and “I’ll cut her f**king hair off with her own scissors.”
Thankfully, she turned her life around and went on to launch a successful shoe line, aptly titled Mob Candy, and is the proud author of two best-selling books, To Use A Meat Cleaver and her erotic mob thriller, Playing With Fire.
While her addition to the CBB line-up is yet to be confirmed, the US star has been spotted in London, sensationally collapsing on her patent nude Jessica Simpson heels in the middle of Parliament Square, while accompanied by model Sebastian Grace.
Other names thought to be joining her include 1980’s pin-up Samantha Fox, showbiz legend Christopher Biggins, Geordie Shore firecracker Marnie Simpson, TOWIE’s Lewis Bloor, Ex on the Beach regular Stephen Bear and X Factor reject Katie Waissel.