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Last Updated: Monday, 28 May 2007, 21:57 GMT 22:57 UK
UK wife denies Mafia involvement
Ann Hathaway
Ms Hathaway has returned to live in the UK

A British housewife who married a Mafia boss and was convicted of helping run his empire has told the BBC she never asked her husband about his activities.

Ann Hathaway, 44, from Manchester, told Panorama she was too busy doing housework to fully know what Sicilian Antonio Rinzivillo was involved in.

Rinzivillo is serving 30 years for murder, drug trafficking and extortion.

Hathaway was given a suspended jail sentence this month after agreeing a deal with Italian prosecutors.

In an interview for Panorama's Married to the Mob, the mother-of-two denied any involvement with the Mafia.

She said: "To be honest when you're married to a Sicilian husband you're at home cooking, cleaning, washing, looking after the kids.

"You don't get involved in things, what he does and what he doesn't do. I've never asked him."

Hathaway told interviewer John Ware: "What's the point of asking him what he's done and what he hasn't done when I'm already married to him, I love him to death, and I've got two kids to him? What is it going to change?"

When she was asked whether she would love her husband even if he had done the things he was convicted for, she replied: "Well I must have done, yeah, because I'm still here, aren't I? I've still got the ring on my finger."

You don't get involved in things, what he does and what he doesn't do. I've never asked him
Ann Hathaway

Mr Ware said Hathaway had been encouraged to speak to him for the programme by her family.

"She says that whilst she became aware that she was marrying into the mob, she categorically insists that she knew nothing about her activities.

"The Italian prosecuting authorities say that's simply not the case and they base that on some bugged conversations that took place during her visits to her husband, which we deal with in the programme.

"Her family wanted her to do this interview, after some persuasion by us, because they thought this would explode some of the myths as they saw it in the lurid tabloid headlines about her associations with the mafia.

"I'm not sure, actually, that the interview does dispel those myths. There are still many unanswered questions."


Hathaway, who has two daughters aged five and 19, met Rinzivillo when she was a nightclub dancer working in Italy and they married nearly 27 years ago.

At one stage her husband's power was so great he was said to be the Mafia's number two behind Bernardo Provenzano, who was arrested earlier this year after more than 40 years on the run.

Rinzivillo, a Cosa Nostra boss, was jailed in 2001.

Hathaway said she did not realise her husband was involved with the Mafia until a year after she met him.

"You hear things, and see things on the telly," she said. "I didn't think anything because I was just young and foolish probably."

Hathaway's younger brother, Lee Hathaway, told the programme Rinzivillo was a "great fella".

He added: "But obviously I only know him from when I've met him, I don't know anything with what he's been arrested for. I don't know that side of things.

"Every time I've met him, in the time that he's been out, he's been no trouble whatsoever."

Plea bargain

Ms Hathaway was arrested in January at her terraced home in Middleton, Greater Manchester, by officers from Scotland Yard's extradition unit.

After being extradited to Sicily, she was due to stand trial as one of 88 people accused of alleged Mafia activities.

But she agreed a plea bargain deal in which she admitted Mafia association and was given a two-year suspended jail sentence. She returned to Manchester earlier this month.

Italian prosecutors claim she acted as the messenger between her husband in prison and the outside world.

BBC Panorama: Married to the Mob was shown on BBC One on Monday 28 May at 8.30pm.

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