Portrayed by Joe Gawalis

Paulie Gaeta was born to John “The Hand” Gaeta and Ashley “Sapphire” Mazzo, John’s mistress for a time. His childhood was complete and utter turmoil.  Ashley along with John was addicted to cocaine, pain killers and alcohol.  Most of her time spent with John was usually a long bender. Because of these benders and the emotional pain she felt, Paulie was frequently abused.  Both John and Ashley treated Paulie more as a human experiment of total debauchery than as a young child. He was exposed to hard drugs, parties, and the world of criminals from day one. What would be considered abuse to others became normal, perhaps even viewed as love to Paulie. He grew up idolizing his father and his associates.  Soon after he began following in their footsteps. Paulie is a pure sociopath, straight from the cradle to the streets.

Even before he hit double digits, Paulie displayed dangerous sociopathic signs. He would regularly kidnap neighbor’s pets and charge ransom, beat up children demanding protection money and even the attempted robbery of a local bakery wasn’t above the nine year old Paulie. Instead of disciplining Paulie, his father was proud that his son was displaying these traits at such a young age. Other Mafioso’s saw though only a child, Paulie possessed all of his father’s sociopathic qualities, recklessness, and was prone to addiction. Most feared that he would become just like his father.  John Sr.’s best friend Salvatore Mereta was very displeased Paulie represented everything that was wrong with John.

Soon John cut off Ashley as a result of her becoming an escort to support her overwhelming drug habit. He did remain in close contact with Paulie, molding him more after his image. Unfortunately, no good came of their close bond and a year later John Gaeta Sr. was murdered in a war amongst the crime family. Ashley was told to stay away from the funeral and not shame her former lover.  Against Salvatore’s wishes she showed up anyway, drugged and out of her mind with Paulie.  Here Paulie met his older half-brother Johnny Gaeta, who instantly felt for his brother. The two became inseparable ever since.

Paulie started abusing alcohol and other drugs at age twelve alongside his mother, easily swaying his judgment. He was expelled from high school for shaking down students, selling stolen cigarettes and finally attempting to boost a school bus for transportation to be used in a heist.  After this Paulie began working with his brother’s crew at the age of fifteen.  Johnny only allowed this after many failed attempts to make Paulie go straight.  With no choice, Johnny caved, though only so he could keep an eye on his reckless little brother.  At first the older criminals laughed at the “baby gangster” but very soon, those laughing began to stop making any sounds at all. After a few months all the laughter stopped and Paulie was seen as a key enforcer for his brother. The brothers along with Marco Viola became a powerful force on the rise.

When Johnny left the criminal life behind him, he urged Paulie to follow.  Knowing and wanting nothing but a criminal’s life, he refused and continued in their former business. Without the guidance of his brother Paulie operates recklessly and without care.