Fat Tony’s mafioso sidekick Louie is no one’s favorite Simpsons character. He’s probably not even in anyone’s top-100. Top-250? Possibly, but that’s definitely the number (plus six zeroes) Frank Sivero picked to sue Fox for. The actor, who portrayed Genco Abbandando in The Godfather Part II, believes “The Simpsons ripped off the Frankie Carbone character he played in Goodfellas.”
Claiming that the long-long-running animated series has made $12 billion over the decades from TV, the big screen, video games, and other revenue streams, Sivero alleges in his very detailed 5-claim complaint that Simpsons producer James L. Brooks was “highly aware of who Sivero was, the fact that he created the role of Frankie Carbone, and that The Simpsons character Louie would be based on this character.”
Sivero and his lawyers, on the other hand, had a lot to say in their 12-page complaint. For one, they want $50 million in damages for loss of his likeness, another $50 million in actual loss for “improper appropriation of Plaintiff’s confidential idea,” $50 million more in exemplary damages, and $100 million for “improper interference.” Claiming a loss of “prospective economic advantage” and industry “type-casting,” Sivero says a “portion” of the profits from The Simpsons franchise should now end up in his pocket…he was promised a film of his own, he alleges. (Via)
I must be forgetting the scene in Goodfellas where Frankie Carbone punches Mark Hamill in the face for not finishing Jedi School. Anyway, Sivero’s case will likely be dismissed, though not before Edward G. Robinson’s family gets some ideas.