Actor Frank Sivero has filed a lawsuit against the creators of “The Simpsons,” alleging that Louie, a minor character in the hit cartoon series, is based on his interpretation of the character Frankie Carbone in the 1990 mobster film “Goodfellas” directed by Martin Scorsese.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court claims Sivero “is the originator of the idea and character of Louie.” The Simpsons co-creator Matt Groening, 21st Century Fox and Fox Television Studios are named as defendants in the case.
The lawsuit claims that in or around 1989, Sivero was living in an apartment complex in Sherman Oaks, California, and was a neighbor of writers for the show. Sivero claims that during this time, they “saw each other almost every other day” and that the writers “knew he was developing the character he was to play in the movie Goodfellas.”
“The Simpsons’ continued use of Sivero’s image and likeness for commercial purposes are all done without Sivero’s consent and without compensating Sivero,” the lawsuit continues, adding that the actor “continues to suffer severe financial damages in the form of lost income.” Sivero wants a share of the profits derived from the show and has asked for an award of $250 million in damages.