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During his late teen years, Michael experienced a bout of depression, Rios adds. "His entire family was in prison. He didn't know what he was going to do with his life. He certainly wasn't accustomed to getting a 9-to-5 job. I told him to start writing down his memoir because someone would one day buy his story."
Rios believes his friend is unfairly maligned because of Griselda's vicious criminal history.
"It's quite the Catch-22," Rios says. "He loves his mother, and he is very proud of her being his mom. But don't judge the kid based on his mother's past."
Michael was dressed in a black two-piece suit with a black shirt and shiny black loafers. A pair of black sunglasses topped off the mafioso attire he donned for the January 23, 2008, premiere of Cocaine Cowboys 2: Hustlin' With the Godmother at the Colony Theatre on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach. Rios, similarly dressed, was by Michael's side. Griselda's scion joined the film's director, Billy Corben, and the star, Charles Cosby, on the red carpet to pose for photos.
Following the first Cocaine Cowboys, fans of the movie wanted to know more about Griselda. Corben and filmmaking partner Alfred Spellman decided to make a sequel that told the story of the bizarre business-minded sexual relationship Cosby cemented with La Madrina when she was serving time in a federal prison 20 miles outside of his hometown of Oakland, California. The now-43-year-old had penned a charismatic fan letter to Griselda in 1991, when he was an ambitious crack-cocaine dealer in his early 20s looking to become a true kingpin. Cocaine Cowboys 2 shows how Cosby won the Godmother's heart and eventually earned her wrath. He claims he netted millions of dollars a month selling cocaine he obtained through Griselda, who was still brokering coke deals from behind bars.
Both flicks were produced without cooperation from Griselda or her family members. "We made several attempts to interview Griselda through her lawyer Nathan Diamond," Spellman says. "He declined."
Cosby met the Godmother's son around the time Michael claims he went to live with his first legal guardian. The youngest Blanco heir was residing in Morgan Hill near San Jose. Griselda's pen pal was struck by how much the boy resembled his mom. Indeed, Michael has Griselda's oval face, large nose, cleft chin, and coffee-colored eyes.
Michael would sleep over at Cosby's house in Oakland. "The Godmother definitely appreciated me spending so much quality time with Michael Corleone," Cosby recollects in Cocaine Cowboys 2. "It really scored a lot of points for me in her eyes."
Cosby described his bond with Michael in greater detail in a September 8, 1997, deposition in connection with her homicide charges. The pair would talk about his father and his uncle Paco, a hit man for his mother. Cosby also claimed that a 15-year-old Michael gave him a MAC-10 machine gun as a present in 1993.
The street hustler made another startling revelation that he didn't share for the documentary. Under oath, Cosby recalled that before his first meeting with the Godmother, Michael knew Griselda wanted to give him kilos. "On the drive [to the prison], Michael mentioned that Griselda wanted to give us some coke so we could sell it together," Cosby testified. "I asked Michael, 'What do you think about it?' He said, 'I'm ready.' "
Michael's buddy and manager, Rios, questioned Cosby's statements. "There is no denying the old lady's life was as serious as a heart attack," he asserts. "However, a lot of Cocaine Cowboys was made up for entertainment purposes."
Rios also denies allegations that Griselda was a teenaged prostitute after running away from her abusive mother, and he disputes Cosby's most outlandish claim — that in 1995, Griselda plotted to kidnap John F. Kennedy Jr. as a way to avoid murder charges in Miami. An FBI investigative report released after Kennedy's death in 1999 shows that agents were unable to corroborate the abduction threat.
Even though they had not seen each other in more than a decade, Cosby invited Michael to the sequel's world premiere. "People think there was bad blood between us," Cosby says. "But there is no ill will." Even though he was never 100 percent onboard with the Cocaine Cowboys franchise, Michael accepted the invitation.
"Michael was the white elephant in the theater," Rios recalls. "Needless to say, he hated the movie. He didn't like that one brother's dead body was pictured onscreen or that his oldest brother is depicted torturing a guy. It was a little bit too much for Michael."
The psychological trauma of growing up with such violence can be devastating to a young child, says Maximillian Wachtel, a criminal forensic psychologist and professor at the University of Denver. "It's likely that he has developed depression or anxiety," Wachtel says. "His emotional trauma is very similar to what Iraq War veterans experience. He could even suffer from posttraumatic stress syndrome."
Wachtel also reasons that Michael's moral compass is probably stunted. "Now, can you imagine growing up knowing people call your mom the Black Widow?"
A few months after the premiere of Cocaine Cowboys 2, Michael sat in a chair on the set of Cristina Saralegui's Spanish-language talk show. Dressed in a khaki sports jacket, black slacks, and a black dress shirt, Michael was there to talk about his mom. In a soft baritone and thick Colombian accent, he spoke about a Griselda Blanco the world doesn't know. "My little old lady is someone who loves people," Michael said. "She has dedicated herself to God. She is a Christian. She lived through hell for the 24 years she was incarcerated."
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Loved the documentaries.
These guys bathed in money :)
Are u fucking kidding me ? shut ur mouth u little piece of shit. you clearly know nothing. Griselda was a billionaire you're the bottom feeding goof. and guess what u sound like a generic clown the way u talk with that awww the pathetic drug dealer talk cus u know nothing. faggot
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Awwww, the pathetic drug dealing criminal son of a pathetic drug dealing bottom feeder got arrested. Who cares???
Only in America does an entire demographic idolize murderers and criminals. This is exactly why rap music is responsible for the downfall of intellectual society. All the kids who listen to that no talent garbage only see the flash and the glamour of the rap videos. No true ambition or work ethic is needed for this fantasy supplied by the irresponsible rap music industry.
Actually earning an honest days wages is foreign and alien to this entire generation thanks to the false images supplied by rap music.
Wake up you morons! Pride isn't about race its about being an individual who makes their way through life being honest, working hard, and maintaining integrity throughout. The polar opposite of the rap image.
Seriously?! You can't blame music....I listen to rap. Still I started working at McDonald's as a teenager and continued to go to school. Some times I worked two jobs. I made it all the way through law school. The whole time listening to rap music...and sometimes I even went to a convert. You can't blame the music. Every older generation feels that the younger generation's music is shocking. I think in THIS case it was a family trade.