Worth a go…
The lawsuit of the week comes from — surprise, surprise — the US, where the guy who played Frankie Carbone in Goodfellas has launched a $250m (£156m) action against the creators of The Simpsons for copying his character in the 1990 Scorsese gangster flick.
A 19-page legal document containing the claim (embedded in full below), which was filed at the Los Angeles Superior Court, has been doing the rounds online after appearing on Deadline.
Actor Frank Sivero reckons that the writers of The Simpsons based ‘Louie’ on him after they met as neighbours in a block of flats in 1989. Louie is, of course, a lesser-known character in the show who is second in command of the Springfield mafia, beneath leader ‘Fat Tony’.
According to court documents, the 62 year-old actor says that The Simpsons writers knew he was working on his mobster role for the up-coming film, which Sivero claims to have created and developed, basing Carbone’s character on his own personality. Louie first featured in The Simpsons in October 1991.
Sivero’s eye-wateringly high claims for various amounts of money include $100 million for improper interference with Silvero’s “prospective economic advantage” and three chunks of $50 million for improper appropriation of his “confidential idea” and “name and likeness”. He is being represented by Beverly Hills firm “Hess, Hess & Herrera”, which oddly doesn’t appear to have a website.
In the claim form it is also alleged that Sivero was told by Gracie Films (the production firm behind The Simpsons) that they would make a film together sometime. However, on reflection Sivero thinks that this was just a cunning rouse for the writers to study him further as they developed Louie as a character.
Multi-million dollar claim aside, when you compare Frankie Carbone and Louie visually there’s no denying their similarity.