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Sofia Vergara’s ‘Griselda’: Son of real ‘Cocaine Godmother’ calls new series ‘disrespectful’

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Sofia Vergara is taking on the role of late Colombian drug lord Griselda Blanco – and the son of the real-life “Cocaine Godmother” isn’t happy.

The former “Modern Family” actress is starring in Netflix’s “Griselda,” where she also serves as an executive producer. The series explores the rise and downfall of Blanco, a single mother of four who rose to infamy as a cartel leader before she was gunned down in 2012 at age 69. Blanco, who led a cocaine-fueled empire with an iron fist during the ‘70s and ‘80s, has often been labeled as “the female Pablo Escobar.”

Blanco’s surviving son slammed the series, labeling it “disrespectful.”


“Sofia Vergara did not consult with any members of the Blanco family as a sign of respect or elicit family details in portraying my mother,” Michael Corleone Blanco claimed to Fox News Digital.

“When I learned of the ‘Griselda’ project, my team reached out to Sofia’s camp and offered my consultation services,” the 45-year-old alleged.

Michael also alleged that following an invitation to sit with Vergara’s team, he was told “there was no room on the project.” He claimed the series was made without involvement from any members of his family.

Griselda Blancos mugshot

“Sofia’s camp and the Netflix creators were disrespectful and ultimately produced the ‘Griselda’ project on their own for commercial gain, without key details from the Blanco family,” he claimed. “After the sit-down at the table, my lawyers formally sent a cease-and-desist letter to Netflix and Sofia’s camp. As of today, Netflix nor Sofia’s camp has made any attempt to reconcile.”

“Regardless of public information, basic respect is warranted,” Michael continued. “I am Griselda’s only living son that has life rights agreements signed by Griselda herself in which she intended I carry out her life story. I am a businessman in the entertainment industry and comprehend the importance of motion pictures as I have a book to be released, based on the real story.”

Michael has written a memoir, “My Mother, The Godmother.” He also announced a YouTube podcast, “The Real Griselda with Michael Corleone,” which aims to tell “the true story.”

Sofia Vergara as Griselda Blanco looking up

A spokesperson for Vergara, 51, and Netflix didn’t immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

In an interview with the U.K’s Daily Mail, Michael hit out at the show for portraying his mother as “ugly.” According to the outlet, Vergara had to undergo two hours’ worth of prosthetics to transform into the matriarch.

“My mother was a beautiful woman, and it’s crazy that a lot of people say, ‘No, you’ve got to look more like a drug addict’… The fact that they called her ‘ugly,’ that really offends me. People see the mug shots and just go from that, but when you read my book, you’ll see that my mother was called the porcelain doll in her youth.”

Griselda Blanco in a striped black and white dress with a red hat

“All I have to say is that if my mother was alive, she wouldn’t have got away with it,” he said, referring to Vergara. “No matter what, you need to respect my mother enough to seek the consultation of [her] youngest son – her best friend who visited her five times a week during her… incarceration.”

Michael previously claimed he turned his life around after his mother was killed by a motorcycle-riding assassin. He has spoken about his mother over the years and appeared in the VH1 reality TV series “Cartel Crew” in 2019.

Pablo Escobar looking away

According to the network, the series aimed to look at the lives of eight cartel descendants “as they navigate adulthood and the effects the legacy has had on their upbringing.”

Blanco, who grew up in the slums of Medellín and was murdered there, commanded a ruthless crew that shipped an average of 3,400 pounds of cocaine per month to the U.S., the Miami Herald reported. She is said to have inspired and even groomed Pablo Escobar.

Blanco’s reign of terror started in the ’70s, Newsweek reported, noting that unofficial tallies link her organization with at least 250 murders. She is believed to be the mastermind behind the drive-by motorcycle shooting and earned the nickname “Black Widow” for allegedly killing her three husbands. Two of her sons were later assassinated.

People standing around Griselda Blancos gravesite

Police caught up with her in 1985, resulting in Blanco spending 19 years in U.S. prisons before cutting a deal in 2004 and being deported. She reportedly kept a low profile in her final years before her death.

Shortly before the premiere of “Cartel Crew,” Michael told Fox News Digital that he wasn’t worried about putting his life in front of cameras.

“As far as being worried, there’s a certain element you always have to factor in,” he explained at the time. “We were trained to always be in situations where you have to be alarmed. That’s just life. That’s how we grew up, that’s how I grew up. That being said, we’re living in a new time. We’re living in a new era. This is the era of social media. This is the era of TV shows, and movies, of ‘Narcos’ on Netflix. So I think that anybody’s entitled to tell their story.


Catherine Zeta Jones wearing a red dress and holding a mic

“Fear? No, fear doesn’t live here. I fear the wrath of God, that’s what I say.”

In 2012, the Miami New Times reported mother and son sold the rights to their life stories to First Born Films after Blanco was the subject of a 2006 documentary, “Cocaine Cowboys.” In 2016, The Hollywood Reporter announced Jennifer Lopez was poised to play Blanco in an HBO movie. Then in 2017, Catherine Zeta-Jones starred as Blanco in the Lifetime TV film, “Cocaine Godmother.”

“I’m all for J. Lo playing my mother,” said Michael. “She was one of my original choices. Catherine Zeta-Jones’ project was great as well. I’m all for it. Anything that I can lend consultation on my life. As long as it’s a lucrative project.… As long as the story is told correctly from the horse’s mouth. Meaning from myself and other family members.”

Jennifer Lopez at a fashion show

Michael was given the middle name “Corleone” after Al Pacino’s character in “The Godfather.” The film, which premiered in 1972, chronicles how an aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his empire to his reluctant son.

“I’m not going to sugarcoat it,” said Michael. “My mother wasn’t a saint, I’m aware of that. But the truth is, she was my mother. She took care of me.”

Michael said he was 5 years old when he realized his family was different.


Sofia Vergara holding a cigarette as Griselda Blanco

“I understood we had more than anybody,” he recalled. “I understood my father wasn’t the boss. My mother was telling everybody what to do and that she was the boss. We would move after she moved. I understood my mother was the queen of the castle. I understood she wasn’t a regular person.”

According to reports, Blanco first became involved in the drug trade as a desperate means to support her children. Vergara told “CBS Mornings” that she saw Blanco like Tony Soprano from “The Sopranos.”

“A character that people didn’t hate,” said Vergara. “Even though he was a bad guy.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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