TruTV – It could have been a scene from The Sopranos except that it was for real. It took place on February 2, 2001, and the feds caught it all on audio tape. Two made members of the Mafia and an associate had met to discuss the shakedown of a Hollywood movie star. The actor was a martial artist who specialized in playing tough-guy heroes on the big screen. Throughout his career, the star had made several claims of real-life heroics, including black-ops jobs for the CIA and encounters with organized crime figures around the world. The actor also apparently had a fixation with urban Italian-Americans, claiming at one time to be half-Italian when in reality his mother was Irish and his father Jewish. In one of his films, he played an Italian-American detective with close ties to the old neighborhood and the hoods who infested it. In one scene, the hero sits down for espresso with the local boss, showing him the same respect that any of his soldiers would.
Perhaps this is why the real mobsters at the wiretapped meeting were having a good chuckle as they recounted a visit that a couple of them had paid on action-star Steven Seagal. On the FBI tape, they say that the tough-guy actor was “petrified.” At this meeting Anthony ‘Sonny’ Ciccone, an alleged capo in New York’s Gambino organized-crime family, and his “right-hand man,” Primo Cassarino, joked with Vincent Nasso about Seagal’s less than heroic reactions to their shakedown attempts. The whole situation brought out the ‘Paulie Walnuts’ in Cassarino. “I wish we had a gun on us,” he says on the tape, “that would have been funny.”
He was referring to a January 2001 meeting between Seagal and the mobsters. Vincent Nasso and his brother Jules, a film producer who had been Seagal’s partner for ten years, met Seagal at a restaurant in Brooklyn. They left that restaurant and reconvened at the landmark steakhouse Gage and Tollner’s, where they were joined by Ciccone and Cassarino.
Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? This is right up there with Santa not existing. I’ve been living a lie for so many years. I feel dirty. Although I love Eye-tie’s food and women, nothing gives me more pleasure than making fun of their culture, wop, guido culture. Now you gotta go and tell me one of their chief idiots is actually half-Irish? Talk about you’re all time punches to the dick. I love Seagal movies because they are so bad, but then you gotta go and tell me he’s one of my fellow country men? Not so funny anymore. Half as funny. At least I can blame some of it on the kosher part, right?