Back in February, popular Mob Wives star Angela “Big Ang” Raiola passed away after struggling with stage four cancer that had spread to several vital organs.
Last month, we reported on her husband Neil Murphy’s controversial plan to honor Raiola with a memorial concert and dance party at her favorite club in Staten Island.
Why would such a tribute meet with any sort of opposition?
Well, for starters, Raiola and Murphy were estranged in the months leading up to his death.
Accounts concur that Ang forgave Neil on her deathbed, but even so, many of the raspy-voiced reality star’s family and friends believe that Murphy’s main concern these days isn’t honoring Ang’s life, but cashing in on her death.
Raiola’s sister, Janine Detore, has publicly accused Murphy of organizing the party as a way of using Ang’s death as a way to line his own pockets.
“Don’t you think it’s odd though that a lawyer and estranged husband is doing this?” she asked in a recent interview.
But despite Detore’s objection the Big Ang Big Dance Party went off without a hitch last night.
“We had a beautiful night and phenomenal lineup of talent,” Angela’s attorney Stephen Spinelli told E! News after the charity event.
“All of the talent donated their acts and services to the show. You couldn’t ask for a better lineup.”
Spinelli adds that stars from Jersey Shore and Orange is the New Black showed up to raise a glass to one of the more iconic reality stars of recent years.
“[Her husband] Neil was very happy to see the turnout and see how many people loved his wife,” Spinelli said.
“All in all, I would categorize it as an upbeat, happy event because that’s what Neil wanted. He was sure that is what Angela wanted. If you knew Angela, she would have said enjoy yourself and get over it.”
Friends and family shared stories about Ang and reminded the crowd of her favorite expression:
“I’m not here for a long time, I’m here for a good time.”
“I can’t tell you how rewarding it was when her best friends said Angela would have loved this. This is exactly what she would have wanted,” Spinelli said.
“This is what Angela’s life was all about.”