June 21, 2014, is a day that Ruggerio will never get out of his mind. That morning he received a call that his first-born son Anthony had died at the age of 27 — likely of a drug and alcohol overdose. In an August 2014 Facebook post, Ruggerio wrote, “I have experienced grief my whole life, but nothing like losing my son Anthony.” When one of Ruggerio’s longtime Gambino associates failed to attend Anthony’s funeral, Ruggerio decided to turn his back on Mafia life for good, but he wouldn’t go quietly.
It’s easy to see from Ruggerio’s TV days that he’s a natural-born storyteller, but after a lifetime of secrecy and deception, he is finally telling his truth. Ruggerio burst the details of his past wide open in an exposé with Vanity Fair magazine published in March 2022. He continues to regularly post memorial tributes to his son. In recent years, Ruggerio has ” … traded in my knife for a pen” as he wrote on his website, and has written several novels. He has also been at work on his memoirs, in which he included the line, “Everything within these pages is accurate … There was no need to embellish; the truths were horrific enough.”
If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).