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EXCLUSIVE: Big Ang's Husband Neil Murphy Sets the Record Straight on Their 'Estrangement,' Shares Heartbreaking Final Moment With Her

by Antoinette Bueno 2:42 PM PST, March 09, 2016
Playing EXCLUSIVE: Big Ang's Husband Neil Murphy Sets the Record Straight on Their 'Estrangement,' Shares Heartbreaking Final Moment With Her

Despite the late Mob Wives star Angela Raiola's decision to split with her husband, Neil Murphy, before her death last month, Murphy tells ET exclusively that the two were together during her final moments.

"I was there at the end," Murphy tells ET's Jennifer Peros. "I never left her side. I went to every procedure -- even though she didn't want me, I went. I was there at the hospital for the last two days with her. I mean, to me, we weren't 'estranged.'"

"She didn't want me there, I didn't want to argue with a sick person," he continues. "I was on the phone with her every day. I talked to her before chemo, after chemo. When she had a couple of procedures done, she was in the hospital for a day, I was there. So, I wouldn't call it estranged. It was just, you know, she was going through a rough time and she, I guess, took it out on me. And I wasn't going to fight with her. I didn't walk away [or] ...left her. I was there."

WATCH: Big Ang's Estranged Husband, 'Mob Wives' Co-Stars Attend Wake

Murphy says their marriage had its ups and down like any other marriage, but that Raiola started to push away from him once she got cancer.

"She fell apart when she got sick, and she didn't want me around," he admits. "Doctor told her that stress ... makes cancer get worse, and she said that I give her stress."

"But when I was at the hospital, she was always, 'My husband... my husband's here, my husband's here,'" he recalls. "So, I don't know, I guess that's the way that people wanted to brand it, that I was 'estranged,' but you know, I was there."

Murphy reveals his heartbreaking last private moment with Raiola, in which he comforted her.

"I was lying in bed with her the day before, but she was kind of out of it," he shares. "I was trying to calm her down, so I was just rubbing her back for like an hour trying to put her to sleep. That was the last time we spent together."

Still, Murphy says that despite her sickness, Raiola kept her sense of humor until the very end.

"I had to take her to the bathroom ... and she decided to hum a song and dance. I had to hold her up, but she was dancing!" Murphy recalls about his wife's mood in the hospital. "And the nurse said she was doing it in the elevator on the way to the tests, too. A song came on in the elevator and she was dancing."

Murphy says he'll miss Raiola "keeping [him] in line" and "yelling" at him the most.

"You know, we had a lot of good times together," Murphy reflects. "It was a crazy life at the end, you know. We were regular people, then she became a celebrity. It was kind of a crazy life being married to her, but it was good. I would never change anything."

Raiola, who was fondly known as "Big Ang," died on Feb. 18 after a long battle with cancer in her lung and brain. She was 55 years old. Her daughter, Raquel Scotto, is continuing her mother's legacy by doing charity work with Big Ang's Angels -- an organization that provides aid and financial relief to those in need -- and working with St Jude's Hospital.

WATCH: Stars React to Big Ang's Death

Last month, ET caught up with Dr. Oz, who conducted Raiola's last public interview before she died. Dr. Oz said he wasn't surprised at reports that Murphy was by Raiola's side during her final moments.

"I think Big Ang loved her husband dearly," he mused. "Her decision to separate was based more on the fact that she had to focus on Big Ang, especially at this dire time. She couldn't afford to focus on other people. And I think she realized that she had been providing a lot for many years, but that doesn't change the way how you feel about people -- you still love them dearly."

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