- House and Senate negotiators reach two-year budget deal
- Congress seeks ban on in-flight calls
- Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy site sold to owners of Townhall, HotAir: report
- GM’s Barra to be first woman to run top American carmaker
- China: Poisonous smog is a military asset, if you think about it
- Texas woman admits to sending ricin to Obama
- Ron Paul on son Rand: ‘I think he probably will’ run for president
- Cold War heats up again in the Arctic: Russian airfield reactivated after 20 years
- 6-year-old boy suspended for sexual harassment over kiss
- Voters deciding Mass. congressional contest
Pesci sues over Gotti biopic role; claims disputed
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Joe Pesci claims the makers of a biopic on the Gotti family have made him an offer he can refuse _ a lesser part in the movie and a $2 million salary cut.
Pesci claims the company used his name and likeness to promote the movie and attract investors, but now doesn’t want to honor its original offer to him. He has been offered a lesser role for a $1 million payday, the lawsuit stated.
Fiore CEO Marc Fiore rejected the claims, saying he received correspondence months ago from the actor’s representatives telling him Pesci was pulling out of the project until the original director, who left the project, was replaced. “Before we had a deal, Mr. Pesci walked away,” Fiore said.
Pesci’s attorney Brandon Tesser called Fiore’s statement false, saying no one informed Pesci of a reduced role until recently. The actor’s lawsuit stated Pesci gained 30 pounds to play the role of a trusted Gotti Sr. adviser, Angelo Ruggiero.
Pesci cited his roles in mobster films such as “Casino” and his Oscar-winning role in “Goodfellas,” and his lawsuit said he was fully committed to playing Ruggiero in “Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father.”
The movie focuses on the experiences of John Gotti Jr., who has rejected his mob ties.
Pesci had been named as a prominent cast member in the film alongside John Travolta, who is scheduled to play Gotti Sr., Al Pacino and Kelly Preston. The actor’s role was announced at an April press conference. His lawsuit said that helped lend the film credibility, garnered it publicity and helped attract investors and other actors.
Shortly after the announcement, director Nick Cassavetes withdrew from the film.
Fiore said Pesci’s representatives then told him that the actor didn’t want to discuss anything with filmmakers until a new director was chosen. He said that he had tried to work out a deal with Pesci’s New York attorney and that he and new director Barry Levinson had reached out to the actor recently, but the efforts were rebuffed.
Pesci’s lawsuit claimed that a written contract was never signed, but that Fiore’s actions in announcing his name at the press conference and in other promotional materials made it clear that an agreement had been reached. The agreement called for Pesci to be paid $3 million provided he was willing and able to act in the film.
“Defendant has no intention of paying (Pesci) $3 million or having him portray Ruggiero in the film,” the lawsuit claims. “Rather, plaintiff secretly planned to use (Pesci’s) name and likeness to promote the film and then to later concoct some pretext for terminating the contract so as to avoid paying plaintiff anything for the substantial publicity and `buzz’ that was generated.”
He predicted a tough fight for the Pesci case, saying he may countersue the actor. “He’s wasting his time and everybody else’s time,” Fiore said.
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Harry Reid's visa pressure cooker
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- Somber duty: U.S. presidents in hot demand at Mandela's memorial
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- Galaxy S4 owner claims Samsung tried to silence him after phone caught fire
- Obama shakes hands with Cuba's Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's funeral
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
A column dedicated to discussing politics, national security, civil liberties, and education.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow