People.com / Lisa Novick Goldberg

Daughter Opens Up About Mafia ‘Money Man’ Dad — and Her Own Struggles with Mental Illness

June 26, 2020

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Lisa Novick Goldberg always knew that her family was “different.”

But it wasn’t until she received a subpoena to appear before a grand jury in December 1988 that she realized that her dad, Herbert “Big John” Novick, was the Genovese crime family’s money man. After her two-hour testimony, Goldberg, who admits to having struggles with mental illness, went into what she describes as a “catatonic state” for seven days.

“I stopped eating. I couldn’t sleep. I lost all sense of reality. My head just took on a life of its own in terms of, ‘Is something going to happen to my father? What’s going to happen here? Is this going to go on forever?’” Goldberg, now 62, tells PEOPLE in an exclusive interview about her book, The Apple and the Shady Tree: The Mafia, My Family, and Me. “Until I couldn’t take it anymore. My parents got me a psychiatrist. Prozac had just been introduced and it worked on me.”

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