Nothing ‘Funny’ About This Joe Pesci-TMZ Trail

Early last Thursday, TMZ.com posted an item about a legal response filed by Fiore Films to a lawsuit from actor Joe Pesci over his participation in the upcoming movie Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father. The first paragraph amounts to something of a journalistic hit job, attributing to company president and CEO Marc Fiore a very damaging word in connection to any actor – “has-been.”

The rest of the September 22 TMZ item is more accurate, quoting directly from the Fiore Films legal response. But it’s that first paragraph that was seized upon by a hundred and one other outlets, so much so that Fiore and his publicist Steve Honig felt the need to put out a correction.

“Marc was reading all these stories online,” Honig tells FishbowlLA today via telephone. “He came to me saying, ‘This is harsh, this is not what I’m saying. I don’t feel this way, we’ve got to put something out. It makes me sound like I’m at war with Pesci.”

“Marc would never refer to anyone as a ‘has-been,’” he adds. “Marc really wants Pesci in the movie, everybody wants him in the movie. Just in a different capacity than was originally discussed.”

The release of the Fiore correction was first covered yesterday by TheWrap’s Joshua L. Weinstein.