'The Simpsons' face a lawsuit of $250 million after Frank Sivero, who plays wiseguy Frankie Carbone in Martin Scorsese's gangster movie 'Goodfellas', claims the show stole his likeness for a recurring character.
The cartoon comedy series often uses celebrity likenesses in cameo roles for humorous effect, but Sivero is hoping he'll get the last laugh as he puts forward a multi-million dollar suit claiming the 'Simpsons' character - referred to as Louie - has contributed to him being typecast and is a fraudulent use of a role created and developed by Sivero himself for 'Goodfellas'.
The resemblance between cartoon Louie and Sivero in his role as Frankie Carbone is remarkable; both have tightly curled short black hair, Roman noses, heavy brows and the classic gangster attitude, so it wouldn't come as a surprise at all if the allegations proved correct. However, Sivero is against the fact that they've used his likeness without permission and that they stole the 'Goodfellas' character which, he reveals, was modelled entirely on his own idea. What's more, Sivero alleges that he knew 'Simpsons' producer James L Brooks during his preparation for the Scorsese movie, and even lived next door to the show's writers for a short spell during that time.
'During this time, both writers knew who Sivero was, and they saw each other almost every day', the court documents revealed, as obtained by Deadline. '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.'