Fox will get more than $200,000 in attorneys’ fees in a case involving a “Goodfellas” actor who claimed Louie on “The Simpsons” was stolen from him.
A judge had dismissed the actor’s lawsuit against Fox that alleged Louie was wrongfully adapted from the Frankie Carbone role in “Goodfellas.”
Lawyers for 20th Century Fox Film Corp. submitted court papers Tuesday stating that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rita Miller’s order directs Frank Sivero to pay the studio $234,425.
The money is to compensate Fox for legal costs associated with preparing for the dismissal motion, which the judge granted Aug. 6 on free-speech grounds.
Fox attorneys had asked for $262,690.
Silvero filed his suit against Fox in October 2014. According to the complaint, in 1989 he lived in the same Sherman Oaks apartment building where writers of “The Simpsons” resided. One of the writers, James Brooks, knew Sivero created the role of Frankie Carbone, according to the lawsuit.
“During this time, both writers knew who Sivero was,” the complaint alleged. “They knew he was developing the character he was to play in the movie ‘Goodfellas,’ a movie Sivero did in 1989. 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.”
But Fox attorney Robert Rotstein said the case was a “classic anti-SLAPP situation where the First Amendment applies.”
SLAPP stands for a strategic lawsuit against public participation — a complaint aimed at censoring or intimidating critics by burdening them with costly litigation.
Rotstein stated in his court papers that Louie was not based on the Carbone character, but even if it was, artists “have a right to poke fun at public figures, such as actors and artistic works, such as the films in which (Sivero) has appeared.”
Sivero, 64, has appealed Miller’s ruling.
Sivero also appeared in “The Godfather” and “The Godfather Part II.”
— City News Service