Producer Marc Fiori Denies Calling Joe Pesci an Attention-Seeking Has-Been

Joe Pesci - Movie Still: Love Ranch - P - 2010
Rising Star

The actor is currently suing Fiori Films, alleging his part and salary in the movie "Gotti" have been cut.

Despite the fact that actor Joe Pesci is suing Fiori Films for $3 million, producer Marc Fiori, who is in the process of assembling Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father, said Sunday that he is “extremely fond” of Pesci and still hopes that he will appear in the film.

STORY: Joe Pesci Sues 'Gotti' Producers for $3 Million

In July, Pesci went to court, claiming he had been offered $3 million to play Gotti pal and enforcer Angelo Ruggiero, and that his casting had been announced at the Cannes Film Festival. But then, after he had gained 30 pounds to play the part, he alleged that his role and salary were cut.

Claiming bad blood between the producer and actor, TMZ reported last week that Fiori “has lashed out at Joe Pesci, claiming he’s a has-been who is desperately seeking attention by trying to force himself into the movie.”

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However, on Sunday, Fiori insisted that is not the case, releasing a statement that read: “During the past few days, there have been erroneous reports in the media that I have been making less than favorable comments about Joe Pesci. For the record, I am extremely fond of Joe, think he is a terrific actor and very much want him to be in the Gotti movie. It’s unfortunate we have become embroiled in a lawsuit; however, I am hopeful that we will resolve our differences and Joe will accept an offer from us to be in the film.”

STORY: Barry Levinson to Direct Fiore Films' 'Gotti: Three Generations'

Barry Levinson is directing the movie, which explores the relationship between mobster John Gotti and his son John Gotti Jr. and is set to star John Travolta, Al Pacino, Chazz Palminteri, Ben Foster and Kelly Preston.