He tried to get out, but they keep pulling him back in. Steven Seagal will have to face his ex-producer Julius Nasso’s breach-of-contract lawsuit after all, despite a motion to have the suit dismissed, according to published reports. This even though Nasso was indicted this summer on charges of extorting hundreds of thousands of dollars from the action actor on behalf of the Gambino crime family (a charge Nasso has denied).
Nasso filed the $60 million suit in March on his home turf of Staten Island, New York, alleging that Seagal had backed out of a deal to do four more movies with Nasso. The producer alleged that Seagal had fallen under the influence of a Buddhist spiritual adviser who told the action star that it would be bad karma to make more violent movies. (If Seagal did receive such advice, it didn’t keep him from making movies like last year’s ”Exit Wounds,” or this November’s ”Half Past Dead.”) Nasso had also argued that his indictment this summer was Seagal’s way of trying to evade the lawsuit.
In fact, Seagal’s lawyers had tried to dismiss the suit on the grounds that the California resident shouldn’t be subject to a suit filed in New York City. But Staten Island Supreme Court Justice Joseph J. Maltese ruled Thursday that his court did have jurisdiction, noting that Seagal had renewed a New York pistol permit in April 2001 and had listed his employer as Seagal-Nasso Productions of Brooklyn. Maltese also ruled that it was ”premature” for Seagal to introduce Nasso’s indictment as evidence against him.
”This just confirms our confidence in the judicial system,” Nasso’s lawyer, Robert Hantman, told the New York Post. ”We’re very pleased with the results.” No word on Seagal’s reaction to the ruling.