March 27, 2011 03:30 PM by Shayla Perry
Lea Black may have been fashionably late when the ladies of The Real Housewives of Miami gathered at Cafe Martorano for a cooking lesson during last week’s episode of the Bravo reality show, but the high-powered fundraiser more than made up for her tardiness by helping Steve Martorano out with a cause that hits close to home for the Italian chef. What did she do?
In 1983, George Martorano, the cousin of Cafe Martorano’s chef, Steve Martorano, plead guilty to 19 counts related to the operation of a drug ring in Philadelphia, PA. Such offenses usually carry sentences of 3 to 5 years imprisonment, but Martorano was sentenced to life without parole.
Supporters of George Martorano, including his cousin, Steve, say that this heavy sentence was part of an effort to force George to cooperate in a federal investigation of his father, a suspected mobster.
George Martorano’s new lawyer, attorney Roy Black, who learned of the matter after wife, Lea Black, met with Steve during an episode of The Real Housewives of Miami, is now joining the crusade to have Martorano released, arguing that he was illegally sentenced, and requesting that a new judge reconsider the case.
During his time in prison, George Martorano discovered his talent as a writer, and has penned several screenplays, books, poems, and short stories, and in 1997 published “Pain Grows a Platinum Rose.”
George’s new lawyer, Roy Black, is using his writings as part of his argument to the court, writing:
“Rather than becoming embittered, Mr. Martorano has spent the 27 years that he has been imprisoned as a model prisoner who helps others in extraordinary ways. In short, a radical transformation has occurred in George Martorano which is evident to all who came in contact with him and will also be evident to this [judge] at a resentencing.”
Neither Roy Black, Chef Martorano, or Lea Black are commenting on the case in the press, but the Housewife did briefly mention it in her Bravo blog, writing, “Not only was that lunch interesting for many reasons, but it led me to someone who really needed help, and my husband and I are doing everything in our power to help him. Stay tuned for (hopefully) a miracle in the making!”
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Photo Source: Bravo