On December 8, 1952, Anna filed a lawsuit against Vito Genovese in Superior Court in Freehold, seeking $300 monthly “separate maintenance” financial support for her and son Philip, and $5,000 in attorney’s costs. In the initial hearing before the Chancery Court in Trenton, she alleged that the $200 monthly payments Vito had made were “barely ample to maintain plaintiff in the station of life to which she had become accustomed to live during the marriage.” In her lawsuit, Anna claimed that she was “compelled to leave her husband…because of prior cruelty from which her ‘health was endangered and her life made of such discomfort and wretchedness as to incapacitate her to discharge her marital duties.'” She further stated that Vito had a substantial income and is “reputed to be worth a lot of money.”
On December 20, 1952, Anna’s case was heard before the New Jersey Superior Court Chancery Division in Trenton. Vito testified that he only earned $125 per week as a scrap paper dealer, but Anna said he made $20,000 per week just from the proceeds of the “Italian Lottery” numbers racket in New York City. She testified that Vito owned nightclubs, horse racing tracks, and dog tracks. The suit claimed Vito spent $250,000 on their Atlantic Highlands home. Vito testified that he had invested in the “Atlantic Highlands Wharf Corporation” and that he had spent some of the money made from that venture on Anna. Vito also said he planned to countersue Anna for divorce. Vito was ordered by the judge to pay Anna $300 per week until the trial in March. On February 20, 1953, the judge stated that Vito might be held in contempt of court for nonpayment of the temporary financial support.
Wife Sues Vito Genovese For Separate Maintenance. (1952). The Daily Record, Long Branch, N.J., December 9, 1952, P. 3.
Wife: Genovese Gets $20,000 Per Week. (1952). The Daily Record, Long Branch, N.J., December 20, 1952, P. 1, 2.
Genovese Must Pay His Wife $300 Weekly. (1953). Asbury Park Press, Asbury Park, N.J., January 31, 1953, P. 1.
Judge Considers Contempt Charge Against Genovese. (1953). Asbury Park Press, Asbury Park, N.J., February 20, 1953, P. 10.