Here in America, certain issues don’t get enough attention unless they have a “face”: A celebrity who makes whatever the problem is seem less common and human and icky. Cybil Shepard, for instance, became the face of I.B.S. when she bravely admitted she had it for Zelnorm. Sally Field has become the face of weak bones through her work with Boniva, Farrah Fawcett is the face of anal cancer, Michael J. Fox is the face of Parkinson’s, and Activia spokeswoman Jamie Lee Curtis is the de facto face of constipation, the list goes on and on. But despite the best efforts of the Times, no one personality has emerged as the face of the subprime mortgage crisis … until today.
Victoria Gotti, daughter of the late Gambino crime boss and former star of the reality-television show Growing Up Gotti, is well behind on her McMansion’s McMortgage, it turns out, and is about to be foreclosed upon.
Gotti blamed the financial mess on her ex-husband Carmine Agnello, who she says took a $856,000 loan against the home without her knowledge.
She became the sole owner of the home in 2004 and the mortgage went into default while she and Agnello “were involved in a bitter matrimonial action,” court papers say. Agnello pleaded guilty to racketeering in 2004.
We know it feels like a booby prize now, but in reality this is probably a good thing for Gotti, who is, with her taut, fake-tanned skin, surgically enhanced features, and freakishly flaxen hair, the perfect spokeswoman for the overindulgence and overextension of the Boom. Really, just add some lowlights and contrition, hook her up with Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo for a couple of public service announcements, and it could revitalize her whole career. There really are opportunities in this market.