GOTTI
Shawn Baldwin  /  AP file
John A. "Junior" Gotti leaves the federal court in White Plains, N.Y., in this Feb. 11, 1999, file photo.
updated 7/18/2005 9:36:27 AM ET 2005-07-18T13:36:27

The son of late Mob boss John Gotti says he regrets "involvement in this life" and doesn't want his children to follow his path.

John "Junior" Gotti, set to go to trial next week on charges he tried to kill the founder of the Guardian Angels crime-fighting group, never defines "this life" in an interview published Monday in the New York Post.

"My father was such a dynamic figure that you felt the need to be around him," Gotti wrote from the Metropolitan Correctional Center. "Whatever the sacrifice, he would never betray what he believed to be right — for better or for worse."

Gotti said he felt his father's absence when he was a child.

"Most of my childhood, my father was incarcerated, so there was not much of a relationship," he wrote. "I didn't have uncles who took me to a ball game. I was taken to social clubs instead."

Some regrets
Gotti, who prosecutors believe led the Gambino organized crime family after his father was put behind bars, said he regrets some of his choices. "I do regret my involvement in this life and what it has done to my children and wife," he wrote.

The younger Gotti has been in prison for more than five years after pleading guilty to racketeering. He now faces charges murder conspiracy, fraud and extortion as well as attempted murder.

He told the newspaper that he wants something else for his children.

"As far as I'm concerned it's not an option for my children, and they know how I feel about that," he wrote. "If that happened, it would mean that I have failed as a father."

Gotti is charged with the June 19, 1992, shooting of Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa as he hailed a cab in Manhattan. Sliwa recovered and now is host of a radio show.

If convicted, Gotti could face 25 to 30 years in prison.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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