Nora Schweihs is looking beyond all the screaming, name calling and hair pulling that has characterized the first few episodes of "Mob Wives Chicago." But mostly, she's trying to get past the past.
Schweihs, the daughter of Frank "The German" Schweihs, said she's on the show to get closure following the 2008 death of her father, whose body was recently exhumed at the request of his family. As soon as a blood test confirms the body is her father, Schweihs plans to bring his ashes to Florida, where she lived with him, but place some of his remains in a necklace she has made.
Schweihs said she is also honoring him by creating a pinot noir called "The German," which she hopes will bring positive spin to the nickname given to her father, an alleged mob enforcer. In a one-on-one interview with RedEye, she dismissed the murder charges against her father as "hearsay."
"Now you won't ever hear 'The German' as 'Oh, he was a hitman,'" she told RedEye outside the Bebe store in Water Tower Place.
Schweihs is very defensive of her father, who has become a hot-button issue on "Mob Wives Chicago," which began airing last month on VH1. The show features Schweihs and four other local women with ties to the "Chicago Outfit" who bicker about whose father did what and who is the least classy.
Schweihs is often in the middle of the drama, which she calls 100 percent real. In one recent episode, she becomes upset when another cast member shows up late to a memorial for her father. The confrontation turns violent.
"It is our life and it really is real," said Schweihs, wearing a sheer purple top and white jeans. "For me, the whole point of the show is for my father and nothing else and I am thisclose to getting closure."
Part of the premise of the show is Schweihs' return to Chicago after living in Florida with her father, who she calls her best friend. Schweihs, 49, said she now lives in Bridgeport and recently celebrated finishing her business master's degree at Robert Morris University.
She said she was taking multiple courses when she was filming "Mob Wives Chicago," which added to her stress level. Some of friendships she had going into the show have been strained, but she said she has gotten closer to fellow castmates Christina Scoleri and Leah Desimone.
Schweihs said she has not filmed the reunion show and has not heard whether there will be a Season 2 of "Mob Wives Chicago," but if there is, she would be in.
In the meantime, she said she has enjoyed getting recognized at Six Flags Great America and local concerts.
"I am very down-to-earth, and I will never let this go to my head," Schweihs said. "I want people to know the real me. I have a really good heart, and I love people."
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