Actor Frank Sivero, who played Goodfellas character Frankie Carbone, is suing Fox TV Studios, 21st Century Fox America, and “The Simpsons” creator Matt Groening for $250 million. He claims that the show’s creators based one of the mob characters from “The Simpsons” on his likeness without his permission. The character, Louie, is a part of Springfield’s Mafia that originally appeared on the show more than two decades ago. Sivero alleges that he had contact with some of the writers for “The Simpsons” in 1989 when they all lived in the same apartment complex in Sherman Oaks, California. According to the complaint:
During this time, both writers knew who Sivero was, and they saw each other almost every day. 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…. Just one year later The Simpsons went on to base one of their “Wise Guy” characters on the character ‘Frankie Carbone’…
Sivero’s suit alleges that the defendants violated California laws regarding publicity rights, misappropriation of ideas, and misappropriation of likeness. He claims that as a result of these wrongful acts, the value of the character he created was diluted and that it contributed to his own “type-casting” as an actor.
This will likely be Plaintiff’s Exhibit A: