|Camille Garcia Franzese
|American Actress, Author, Wife of Michael Franzese
Camille Franzese is the wife of former underboss Michael Franzese. She has published a book about her life with Michael, and how faith helped her save her marriage. How much do you know about the celebrity spouse? What about her husband?
Camille and Michael met while filming Knights of the City in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. They have been together for more than 30 years. Her husband, Michael, is the son of former underboss Sonny Franzese, an American mobster who worked for the Colombo criminal organization.
Who Is Her Husband?
Born in 1951, Michael Franzese is an American former mobster who was a caporegime in the Colombo crime family. He is the son of former underboss Sonny Franzese.
Michael tried traditional education. He was enrolled in a pre-med program at Hofstra University but dropped out to make money for his family following his father’s prison sentence.
Born in the Brooklyn borough of New York City to John Franzese and Cristina CapobiancoFranzese. He initially questioned his actual biological father and believed he was adopted by John after his mother divorced Frank Grillo.
Fun fact: Until 18 years old, he went on by Michael Grillo. It was later discovered that John already married with three children, had gotten the then 16-year-old Capobianco pregnant. At the time, she was working as a cigarette girl at the Stork Club in Manhattan. Because John was already married, Capobianco married Grillo to avoid a scandal surrounding having a child out of wedlock.
Originally, his father didn’t want him to be part of organized crime. But in 1971, his father was sentenced to 50 years in prison for bank robbery in 1967. So, Michael decided to drop out of college and help his family earn money.
He became acquainted with friends of his father like Joseph Colombo. He was briefly mentored by Colombo soldier Joseph JoJo Vitacco. During the 1970s, Franzese met with Gambino crime family boss John Gotti, who was at the time a soldier. Another one present at the meeting was Angelo Ruggiero.
By 1980, Franzese became a caporegime of a crew of 300. In 1981, he was contacted by Lawrence Salvatore Iorizzo, who already developed a scheme to defraud the federal government out of gasoline taxes in 1985.
Salvatore was hassled by criminals in California, so he offered Michael a percentage if he would defend and solve the issue. They set up 18 stock-bearer companies in Panama. Under the law at the time in Panama, gasoline could be sold tax-free from one wholesale company to the next.
Michael then partnered with the Russian Mafia in Brooklyn to complete the gas scheme. The wholesale gas was sold to one company, then shipped to another, all while a third company, acting as a dummy company, was sold the gasoline on paper and would forge tax documents.
Once the government companies would attempt to collect the tax from the dummy company, it declared bankruptcy, and the daisy chain would continue.
At the height of his power, he generated up to $8 million per week. Government agencies estimated that New York and Florida were losing up to $250 million in stolen gasoline tax per year.
Fortune Magazine listed him as Number 18 in 1986 on their list of Fifty Most Wealthy and Powerful Mafia Bosses. That same year, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison on conspiracy charges. He was ultimately released in 1994.
Soon after his release from prison, Michael retired to California and began his career as a motivational speaker and writer. He publicly renounced and denounced the life of organized crime, saying, “I never glamorize my mob life. It is an evil life. I don’t know one family that is part of that life that hasn’t been totally devastated”.
Up to May 2023, he released seven books, starting with Quitting the Mob in 1992, and his last one being Mafia Democracy in 2022. In 2014, he also released an autobiographical biopic, God The Father.
Now let’s talk about his celebrity spouse, Camille Franzese. Camille was an unknown person until her marriage to the Mafia mobster. They got married a few years before he went to prison. She was born Camille Garcia.
During his time in prison, she remained his support. There is no info regarding her birthplace and birth date.
Any information about educational background is nonexistent as well. In other words, all we know about Cammy Franzese is that she is the wife of Michael.
We also know how Faith helped her keep her marriage. More on that later.
Marriage To Michael
Before getting married to Camille, Michael was married before. He has five daughters in total, two sons, and two grandchildren.
His love with Camille was love at first sight for the former Mafia prince. He said that he fell in love instantly. Yet, it was not the same on her side. She stood him up five times when he approached her to make a date.
Initially, she was not interested in him. And he was pulled up to her because of her strong Christian faith.
Ultimately, they began dating, and soon after got married. They got married in 1984 according to multiple sources.
She has provided him with a life he could only dream of away from crime. She has also given him three daughters, Julia Marie Franzese, Amanda Franzese, and Miquelle Franzese.
Nowadays, former mobster Michael Franzese lives with his wife Camille in Anaheim Hills, California, and their children.
Faith Saving Their Marriage
Their marriage seems and looks like an exotic fairy tale. But a closer look at the marriage between Camille and former mafia capo Michael Franzese exposes more than just her husband’s crimes.
In the first years, they had to go through the fear of arrest, prison sentences, house raids from federal agents, and everything in between. Camille lived through it all, never knowing whether her family would remain unbroken amid the turmoil.
But her devotion to marriage and faith in God’s larger plan helped her keep her marriage safe. Same as her husband, she also published a book. Her book, The Thing of Ours: How Faith Saved My Mafia Marriage, was released in January 2012.
The book gives you a glimpse into a life you may be unfamiliar with. It is well-written and worth your read. You will love reading about Camile’s story.
Is She On Social Media?
Camilla Garcia Franzese is active on social media, but she has a private account. She has almost 3,000 followers on Instagram. There, her bio reads, “Christ follower, wife to Michael Franzese, mother to 4 wonderful children, nanny to 2 amazing grandkids”.
Michael, on the other hand, has a public profile. After all, he is a motivational speaker and writer. Michael has more than 130k followers on Instagram. His bio reads, “Former member of Colombo Organized Crime Family. Current speaker, author, TV and film personality. Husband, father, and follower of Christ”.
He often publishes posts with his lovely wife and children.
So, how much is Camilla Franzese’s net worth? What about her husband, writer Michael Franzese? Was it worth leaving the mafia? Well, they say peace has no price.
At the height of his power, the former New York mobster made up to $8 million per week. When he was sentenced to ten years imprisonment, he was fined $14 million. He was released in 1994 and then he retired from the Colombo Family business. He was disowned by his father.
Nowadays, he works as an author and motivational speaker. Michael tries to show children and young people that the mafia is not the path to choose.
As of December 2022, he has a net worth of $1 million. He is a co-founder of Motion Picture Marketing together with Norby Walters. He is also a motivational speaker and author of seven books.