Mob Candy magazine publisher Frank DiMateo is preparing to sue activist and WABC talk radio host Curtis Sliwa in federal court in Brooklyn for Sliwa’s claims that the magazine is “put out by the Gambino-Gotti crime family.” Sliwa asked in a January 20 YouTube video, “How are they able to exist when they have no advertising?” He pointed out other magazines, which he claimed had little or no advertising, then posited: “Maybe they’re laundering money through vendors, drug dealers, criminals — people with lots of fat cash, who got to be able to launder it properly before they can use it — [a] great opportunity for these mags.”
DiMateo contends there was both “libel and defamation of character. What [Sliwa] said was false under both. Defamation of character: I’m the owner of a magazine, and he said it’s owned by the Gambino-Gotti family. … He went to court. He has a vendetta [against them]. Libel: We live on ads. If you’re telling the public that we’re organized crime and that we’re laundering money, I don’t think that’s a plus for us to get ads.” DiMateo says that the magazine, which began in 2007, is a startup funded by personal money.
Sliwa responded, “They glorify the mob. That’s the idea of the magazine, so whether or not there is mob involvement in the magazine is not relevant; it’s a glorification of the organization. It extols the virtues of organized crime. … [The magazine] promotes the attitude that [one] shouldn’t cooperate with government; not provide info; not rat out; not provide testimony.”
As for having said that the publication is “owned by the Gotti-Gambino family,” Sliwa said he needs to re-view his video, which he wouldn’t have time to do before deadline, and declined further comment.