John "Junior" Gotti, son of the late mob boss, does a bit of trash talking in an upcoming "60 Minutes" interview, blasting one of the government's key witnesses against him in his most recent trial, old mob crony John Alite.
Gotti, 46, is said to have been generally low key in the March 16 interview at his Oyster Bay Cove home with correspondent Steve Kroft. But he became animated when the topic of Alite came up. In November, Gotti and Alite traded tough words in court after the witness finished testifying.
"He got off the stand, walked towards me, and he smiled and laughed. And that's when I called him a punk and a dog," Gotti tells Kroft in the interview to air Sunday. "He was always a punk and a dog. He was a junkie. He was all of those things. Miscreant. He was a trash pail then, he's a trash pail now and he'll always be a trash pail."
The U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan used Alite, now in the witness protection program, in its bid to make the racketeering case against Gotti. Alite testified that Gotti approved three homicides, in which Alite played a role.
But after jurors failed to agree on a verdict, some told Newsday they questioned Alite's credibility and motives in testifying. Following the mistrial, Gotti's fourth, prosecutors dropped the case.
The interview, which can be seen locally on WCBS-TV at 7 p.m., is slotted for 20 minutes, twice usual length, CBS said. Gotti doesn't once use the word "mafia" for legal reasons, but refers to himself as a "street guy," the network said. Gotti's attorney, Charles Carnesi, sat beside him for the interview.
Gotti talks about hanging out at the Bergin Hunt and Fish Club in Ozone Park, his father's old club, and engaging in gambling, loan sharking, extortion and tax evasion. He said his father committed mob murders as part of the "code of the street," according to CBS.
Mob life also held out the constant threat of getting killed.
"When you hang out in the streets, you're hanging with a different type of person . . . you don't know what's going to happen," Gotti says, according to an excerpt.
The interview appears part of a process for Gotti to gain exposure for a budding book project and possible documentary film.
Separately, in a letter to Newsday, Gotti said he plans to donate some of the proceeds from any projects to fund a youth counseling project to "keep youths at risk from making wrong choices."