Goodfellas Actor Suing The Simpsons Maker for $250M over ‘Louie’ Character
Frank Sivero, who played a mobster role in the 1990 mobster film Goodfellas, sued Fox Television Studios (“Fox”) for $250 million, claiming the ‘Louie’ character in its long-running popular cartoon show The Simpsons was based on his interpretation of ‘Frankie Carbone’ in Goodfellas.
In a suit filed yesterday, Sivero argued that “The Simpsons’ continued use of [his] image and likeness for commercial purposes are all done without [his] consent and without compensating [him].” Sivero claimed his rights were violated under California’s publicity rights law. Moreover, the lawsuit continued that the misappropriated use diluted “the value of the character created by [Sivero] and contributed to the ‘type-casting’ of [him].”
According to the filing, Sivero alleged that he and the writer of the show were neighbors and saw each other almost daily, and during this time the writers were aware that Sivero was developing the ‘Frankie Carbone’ character based on himself.
In addition, recalling his meetings with the show’s producer James Brooks and his company, Sivero claimed that they discussed about Sivero being “part of the future” in connection with the success of The Simpsons and “do[ing] something together.” However, nothing materialized from those meetings, and Sivero alleged the meetings were to study him further to develop the Louie’ character.
Sivero is demanding, among others, $100 million for actual loss from Fox’s misappropriation of his name and likeness as well as using his ‘confidential idea’ without his permission.
‘Louie,’ a Mafioso working for ‘Fat Tony’ in The Simpsons has appeared in the show 17 times after first appearing in the episode “Bart the Murderer” in 1991.