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Dom Capone defends ties to Al, insists his upcoming Reelz show is the real deal
Dominic Capone and a colorful assortment of friends (“Meatball,” “Sausage,” “Cherry Lips”) and family (“Ma” Dawn Capone) took the stage at the Beverly Hilton Hotel Sunday to promote their series, “The Capones,” debuting on Reelz Channel Nov. 9.
The 10-part cable show, billed as a workplace docuseries by Reelz, follows the comings and goings of Dominic Capone as he helps run the family’s eponymous restaurant in Lombard and struggles to keep the peace between his girlfriend, Berwyn native Staci Richter, and his “overbearing mother,” Dawn Capone of Bloomingdale.
The skepticism was palpable in the room full of TV critics as reporters questioned the cast and producer about how real the show is.
“95 percent of it is real, and 5 percent is true,” said Bartolomeo “Bart” Tumbarello, a cast member and friend of Dom’s from Chicago who has an IMDb listing that includes some modest acting and producing credits.
A sizzle reel shown to critics included footage of Dom in what’s said to be his expansive Barrington home, complete with a pool, which he shares with Staci (“The Princess”), his girlfriend of 12 years. That prompted a reporter to ask just how many restaurants Dom owns.
“I got a couple different businesses,” Dom said. “I’m a silent partner in some other restaurants in other states.”
When asked how he’s related to the infamous gangster Al Capone, Dom explained that his great, great grandfather was Al Capone’s uncle, Michael Capone. Dom said he grew up in Al’s old stomping grounds, Cicero, before moving to Bloomingdale as a teenager. He went to Lake Park High School and got his G.E.D.
A reporter asked Dom if he’d be willing to take a DNA test.
“Maybe season two,” Bart quipped.
In true reality-show fashion, “The Capones” sizzle reel played up the cat fighting between Dom’s girlfriend, Staci, and his mother, Dawn.
“Why don’t you teach your girlfriend how to do the dishes?” Dawn says to her only son in one of the scenes.
“He’ll choose me over you anytime!” Staci shouts into Dawn’s face.
Dawn and Staci continued trading barbs with each other on stage Sunday, giving the panel a bit of a Jerry Springer show vibe at times.
A reporter asked why the family would be willing to air their dirty laundry on television.
“We argue anyways,” Dom said, adding that they might as well get paid for it.
“I’m used to cameras being around but I usually avoid them for the most part,” Dom said. Exceptions to that rule include his role as a mobster in R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet,” a turn as his notorious uncle in the 2001 TV documentary “The Real Untouchables” and bit parts in other shows, such as “The Chicago Code,” “Turks” and “Early Edition.”
The show is produced by Asylum Entertainment, the group behind Reelz’ first reality show, “Beverly Hills Pawn,” which Reelz announced Sunday will be getting a second season.
Bonnie & Clyde Media’s Cara Leopardo, a Chicago native who now lives in L.A., pitched “The Capones” project to Asylum.
Executive producer Jonathan Koch said he jumped at the chance.
“This is a fantastic reality family,” Koch said. “These guys live out loud. They have no filter. Zero filter.”