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Twenty-three years after "The Simpsons" introduced the Springfield Mafia, actor Frank Sivero has filed a $250 million lawsuit against Fox Television Studios for basing one of the three animated "wiseguys" on his "Goodfellas" character Frankie Carbone.
Silvero claims in a lawsuit filed on Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court that in 1989 he lived in a Sherman Oaks apartment next door to "The Simpsons" writers and 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.”
"During this time, both writers knew who Sivero was, and they saw each other almost every day," the complaint alleges. "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."
The character of "Louie" appeared in 16 episodes of "The Simpsons" — the first time in 1991. According to the complaint, the Fox long-running hit has grossed $12 billion from several revenue streams, including video games.
Fox Television Studios did not respond immediately for a request for comment.