“The wise guys controlled the clubs all across the country, from the Copacabana in New York to the 500 Club in Atlantic City,” Evanier wrote in his 2011 bestseller, All the Things You Are: The Life of Tony Bennett.
While the rising singer initially benefited from the mob’s muscle, Evanier said Bennett also felt its wrath when he ran afoul of infamous hit man Tony Spilotro, a brutal enforcer who inspired Joe Pesci‘s kill-crazy character in the mob movie Casino.
According to Evanier, in 1979 Bennett made the mistake of his life while performing at the Sands Hotel & Casino by stepping out with Spilotro’s galpal in Sin City.
The gangster caught up with Bennett in a casino and “hammered Tony over the head with a phone book, laying him out on the floor,” said Evanier. After that, Bennett went to rehab and cut his ties with La Cosa Nostra for good, the writer claimed.
Bennett and Sandra wed after she had given birth to Bennett’s daughter Joanna in 1970. The two had a second daughter, Antonia, in 1974, before separating in 1979 — although they didn’t officially divorce until 2007.
She also went into detail about how she saved the singer from dying of a drug overdose.
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