The Company She Keeps: The Dangerous Life of a Model Turned Mafia Wife

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9780451225689: The Company She Keeps: The Dangerous Life of a Model Turned Mafia Wife

A female Goodfellas—the true story of A supermodel turned getaway driver for the mob.

All-American beauty Georgia Durante was one of the most photographed models in the country when she married mobster Joe Lamendola. It plunged her into a world she never dreamed of—and one she feared she’d never survive—as a getaway driver for the Mafia and an eyewitness to unspeakable violence, brutality, and murder, as she came to understand the terrifying risk of being married to the Mob.

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From the Publisher:

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF GEORGIA DURANTE

On Friday the 13th at noon, I was invited to speak at the Round Table luncheon in the LaQuinta Resort in Palm Springs. It's a literary group of about three hundred people. I emailed a girlfriend and invited her to come. She emailed me back and said, "Did you know that Friday is the 13th? And it's a full moon! You may want to reschedule for a later date. Friday at high noon is not a good time." I emailed her back with a big smile face and said, "Everyday is like Friday the 13th in my life, I'll see you there."

Not quite sure where I was going I left the lovely Ingleside Inn with ample time to get lost and still arrive there on time. I wasn't on the road for ten minutes when I found myself in a turn lane when I needed to go straight. When the light changed to green, I squeezed back in to the correct lane of travel. In doing so the man in the white Ford Bronco behind me became unglued, throwing me the finger with a contorted face. I was wrong, but jeez, people do make mistakes and what ever happened to courtesy? No one wants to give anyone a break today! As I approached the next light, the Bronco pulled up next to me on the passenger side. I rolled down my window to apologize but this guy was seething, spewing obscenities and then spit in my car. Did you ever try to apologize to someone who can't hear above his own curse words? Looking for a Kleenex to wipe his foul spit off my new expensive suit I felt my temperature rise and tried to remind myself that I am a lady. That lasted al! l of a half a second. "Listen, you asshole!" I shouted. I was trying to apologize, but if you can't except that then F_ _ __ you!" Just then, the light changed to green.

As we traveled down Ramon Rd, this idiot was doing some radical driving behind me and along side of me, creating a dangerous situation for everyone on the road. At the next red light, he pulled along side of me on my drivers side. The next thing I know, this nut case is out of his car frantically trying to open my door. When he couldn't get in, he started kicking my door like a crazy man. Then he jumped back into his car, pulled out in front of me, turning right and sped down the street. Now that he had done damage to my vehicle I found it necessary to get his license plate number so I sped after him. He turned into an alley and I was right behind him trying to get close enough to read the letters. That's when he stepped on the brakes. We both came to sudden stop.

What happened next was so bizarre. I vaguely remember seeing the clock on my dash. It was 12:00. With his arms flailing in the air and a crazed look in his eyes, this guy jumped on top of my hood, ripped off my windshield wiper and began kicking in my windshield. Then he leaped on top of the roof and began jumping up and down. This was a scene you might see in a comedy flick--or an insane asylum. Strange thoughts cross your mind at moments like that. All I kept thinking of is, if he gets inside he's going to ruin my beautiful new suit. (Just like when I flipped that Ferrari and was rolling toward my death, all I thought about was, oh my God, I'm wrecking a $250,000.00 car. What's up with that?) With that thought, I put the car in reverse and floored it. I guess he fell off, it was all happening fast now. Screeching to a halt in reverse, I turned my head back to see him in front of me now charging toward my car. Calmly, I shifted into drive and jammed my foot down on the ! gas petal. He dove out of the way, but I think I may have nicked him. When our eyes met again he suddenly came to the realization that he was dealing with someone that was probably as crazy as he was. I didn't survive through all the years of guns put to my head and being hung out of buildings by my ankles to be taken out by this little twerp! He ran to his truck and peeled out of there as fast as he could almost running into one of the five police cars emerging from all sides. There I was—surrounded—again. I thought that was over? Fine mess I got myself into this time. Or was it me? I'm still trying to figure out if trouble finds me or I find it. And I still have 300 people waiting for me to speak!

(This is where I feel I need to insert that tag line they put on car commercials, "Professional driver—do not attempt this yourself.")

After dealing with the police I dashed to my destination and was hastily lead to the stage where a patient audience was waiting. Without a hint of abnormality, I eloquently delivered my speech adding the latest chapter of a day in the life of Georgia Durante. So how was your Friday the 13th?

About the Author:

Georgia Durante is a former model, stuntwoman, and mafia getaway driver. Her modeling career began at the age of 12, and by 17 she was a "Kodak Girl" and one of the most recognizable faces in the country. Before she turned 20, she had endured a brutal rape, involvement with the mob, a failed marriage, and the birth of her daughter. After seeking refuge from a mob war across the country and later fleeing an abusive second marriage to the mafia-tied Joe Lamendola, she began a lucrative career in Los Angeles as one of the country's most successful commerical stunt drivers. The author of the powerful memoir The Company She Keeps, Durante now lives in Southern California and speaks across the country about her experiences with domestic violence.

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