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Joe Pesci Sues Over 'Gotti' Movie: Gained 30 Lbs for Role

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. | Last updated on

Oscar-winning actor and frequent gangster-portrayer Joe Pesci has sued the makers of the new "Gotti" movie. The lawsuit claims that the company behind the new mobster biopic, Fiore Films, is reneging on an original $3 million deal with him to play Angelo Ruggiero, an advisor for John Gotti, Sr.

The lawsuit says that the producers have now offered him a reduced $1 million-dollar role in the film, the AP reports.

Pesci is not pleased, especially because he says that he gained 30 pounds in order to play Angelo Ruggiero, according to the AP.

Apparently, there was never an actual signed agreement for Pesci to play Ruggiero in the upcoming film. Pesci's name had been announced in an April press conference, alongside other actors who were slated to be in the film, reports the AP.

But when the original director of the film, Nick Cassavetes, decided to withdraw from the project, Fiore Films says that Pesci did not want to ink any agreements or discuss anything until a new director was chosen, according to the AP. No agreements were ever formally made.

So is a contract that never existed truly enforceable?

Under the law, some promises may be considered enforceable, similar to a contract, under the theory of promissory estoppel. If one person makes a statement to another that the other person reasonably relies upon in a way that they are injured in some way, the promise may become enforceable.

Perhaps the press conference with Pesci's name announced alongside the rest of the cast members was enough to launch a claim of promissory estoppel.

And, it seems like maybe Joe Pesci sued on this idea - his lawyers say he gained 30 pounds, which was against his "strict and healthy" diet, all for the role in the new "Gotti" movie. The lawsuit is asking for $3 million and punitive damages. Though, only a court can decide if his reliance on the promises or statements made by Fiore were reasonable.

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