Mob Wives star Angela “Big Ang” Raiola’s husband recently spoke out to dispel rumors that their marriage was on the rocks. Radar Online reported that Neil Murphy was estranged from Raiola and they were living separate lives at the time of her death. Murphy claims that report is false, and there was nothing estranged about their marriage.
Neil told Staten Island Live that two days before his wife’s death, he was walking her to her bed. Out of nowhere, she asked him to slow dance with her. As they danced, she hummed a song in his ear. Murphy explained that moment was very much a “Big Ang” moment. Angela lived life to the fullest, and always had a smile on her face.
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Big Ang passed away last week after a year-long battle with cancer. At first, Angela was diagnosed with throat cancer, and the tumor was removed. Then the doctors noticed her lungs had a spot that looked to be cancerous, and she had another surgery. The doctor told Big Ang in December that she had aggressive stage IV brain and lung cancer, giving her a 30 percent of survival.
Neil Murphy explained this was when their marriage got somewhat rocky. Big Ang was understandably upset and stressed. She was terrified of leaving him and her kids and the thought of never holding her grandchildren scared her. Big Ang kicked Neil out of the house, but Murphy thinks she was trying to protect him from seeing her so ill.
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Neil explained he felt like Angela was protecting him from seeing her health decline when she kicked him out.
“She’s a strong woman. I don’t think she wanted people to see her like this. And I really feel like she was protecting me. That she maybe didn’t want me to see her go through this.”
Big Ang appeared on The Dr. Oz Show just two weeks before her death. In the interview, Raiola told Dr. Oz that she and Neil were separated because he “never stepped up to the plate.” Big Ang and Neil frequently fought about money and lack of communication about doctor’s appointments. Murphy defended himself by stating that there was no way for him to step up to the plate because he couldn’t afford to give her the lifestyle she was accustomed to living.
Neil explained that he walked away for a while to give her space when he learned the doctors believed that stress was bad for her illness and could cause cancer to spread more quickly. Murphy noted it was tough to give her space, but he loved her and that’s what she needed at the time.
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Murphy explained that even though they weren’t living together, they were far from estranged. They talked daily and saw each other frequently. In November, they went on a vacation together and enjoyed their last times with each other. During the winter, he came over to fix her breakfast and shovel snow out of her driveway. In her last days, he was there the whole time holding her hand.
Neil stated the hardest part of her death isn’t seeing the reports of their strained marriage — it’s the constant reminders of her life. He noted when he goes to buy groceries, he not only hears the condolences from the clerk but reads about her death in the paper as well.
“Losing her is the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. It’s hard enough to lose someone. But every time I turn around, there’s something about her. That’s the life we chose, it was all public.”
Neil Murphy said if he had to do it all over again, he would have chosen a life with Big Ang in a heartbeat. After all, Neil said he is the man he is today because of Big Ang’s love for him.
[Photo by Jeff Schear/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company]