A TV personality who rose to fame on a VH1 reality series has died. After a series of conflicting reports Wednesday night and this morning about Angela Raiola, media sources have confirmed the death of the woman known as “Big Ang” on “Mob Wives.”
Raiola reportedly died early today after a battle with stage 4 cancer. She was 55.
CNN reports that Jennifer Graziano, creator and executive producer of “Mob Wives,” announced: “I am saddened to say that at 3:01 a.m., Ang lost her battle with cancer. She passed peacefully surrounded by friends and family.”
The announcement followed a period of confusion over her condition, with a number of outlets reporting Raiola’s death before family sources indicated she was still fighting for her life.
A source close to her family responded to the reports with a statement to ET Wednesday night saying, “At this time that is a false rumor. I am here with the entire family and all her friends and they ask for your continued support and prayers. We will keep everyone updated.”
But Raiola lost her battle with lung and brain cancer this morning. “The announcement of Raiola’s death also went out on her confirmed Twitter account through a message posted ‘on behalf of the family’ from Vinnie Medugno, who occasionally appeared on the reality show,” CNN reported today.
VH1 says on its website that Raiola was the niece of Salvatore “Sally Dogs” Lombardi, who was an alleged captain of the Genovese crime family.
Her VH1 bio says of Raiola: “Big Ang always strived to be popular with ‘the mob.’ … She is what many consider a ‘mob moll.’ Owning many mafia hangouts over the years, she became like ‘one of the guys’ — even catching a case with some high ranking members of the mob.”
Here’s a clip posted two weeks ago by VH1 featuring “Big Ang” …