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Last year was tough for Renee Graziano, who suffered a relapse for pill addiction and watched her father go to prison. But the Mob Wives: New Blood star is putting that all behind her and focusing on her family and businesses. Wetpaint Entertainment spoke exclusively with Renee at Thursday night’s NYC premiere of the VH1 show and she filled us in about her recovery and the new season.

With a cast overhaul — Ramona Rizzo, Karen Gravano, and Carla Facciolo are out; Natalie Guercio and Alicia DiMichele are in — and a new show title, we could tell that this season was going to be a different beast. And according to Renee, the new cast and a new production crew have taken the show to another level. “This season is different because it’s new, it’s fresh,” she told us. “There’s new people involved, there’s a couple of new producers which were paired up with the girls. So you get to see new bulls—t and new drama.”

From the looks of the previews, newbies Alicia and Natalie are a big part of that new drama, and Renee seems to get into it with both of them. So is Renee back on speaking terms with either woman? “Well, the season isn’t over yet,” she spilled. “Today, I’m talking to them. But that’s just for today. It is a premiere, I have to be nice.”

However, Renee emphasized that her friendships with the OG wives, Drita D’Avanzo and Big Ang, are still going strong. “I don’t think my relationships have changed with Drita or Ang. But you will see there’s stress on relationships and friendships.” We hope you ladies can work through it!

And how is Renee handling sobriety while dealing with all of this stress? Her 18-year-old son A.J. Pagan, who accompanied her on the red carpet, told us that watching his mom go through so much last year was tough, but “now that she’s gotten better and she’s strong, it’s easier.” As for any negative media attention, A.J. has a great attitude about it all: “I just ignore it.”

One of the things that is helping Renee stay positive is her recently launched clothing and accessories line, Mob Candy, which she said will be making a lot of appearances on the show. As if that wasn’t enough to keep her occupied, she’s also trying her hand as an author!

“You’re going to see, not only my clothing brand, but also I have two books coming,” Renee told us. “I have a cookbook, How to Use a Meat Cleaver, with my sisters. And then I have my second book coming April 8, Playing With Fire. It’s a series, her name is Reign Supreme, and it’s sex, lot’s of sex, money, the mob. Some fiction, maybe some real stories in there. There’s a little twist.”

Guess we will have to guess which is which! “Absolutely, ‘cus I’ll never tell,” she teased.

Check out the new season of Mob Wives: New Blood on VH1 on Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET.

Will you be tuning into the show this season? Let us know below.


Samantha Lear is an Assistant Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!