What would Johnny Tightlips say? Probably not much. But what can you say about a story like this? It seems like a joke but it appears to be real. Actor Frank Sivero is suing The Simpsons for the small figure of $250 million because he claims the show's mafia character Louie is a direct rip off of Frankie Carbone, the character he played in Goodfellas. What a mook.
The Louie character, a sidekick of mafia boss Fat Tony, made his debut in the third season of The Simpsons in an episode called "Bart the Murderer" and has appeared in another 15 episodes. According to the lawsuit filed by Sivero the likeness infringes California's publicity rights law.
From the Hollywood Reporter:
In his latest lawsuit, Sivero alleges that in 1989, he was living in an apartment complex in Sherman Oaks, California. He says that writers of The Simpsons were literally living next door to him in that same complex.
"They knew he was developing the character he was to play in the movie Goodfellas," states the lawsuit. "In fact, they were aware the entire character of 'Frankie Carbone' was created and developed by Sivero, who based this character on his own personality."
The Simpsons would soon feature, among its many citizens of Springfield, a mafioso named "Louie," who was second in command to "Fat Tony."
"Louie's appearance and mannerisms are strongly evocative of character actor Frank Sivero," continues the lawsuit, which quickly adds that according to Dan Castellaneta, who provides the voice of Louie (as well as Homer Simpson), "he modeled his voice after Italian American actor, Joe Pesci, who also had a role in Goodfellas."
He's demanding $50 million in actual damage loss of his likeness, $100 million more over improper interference, $50 million more in actual damage loss over the appropriation of his "confidential" idea, $50 million more in exemplary damages over that same "confidential" idea, plus injunctive relief and reasonable attorney fees for his lawyer Alex Herrera.
Let's just hope it doesn't end with someone sleeping with the fishes. Because I just ate a whole plate of dingamagoo (that's an obscure Louie quote for all you diehard Simpsons fans).
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