‘Sopranos’ Maker: I Talked to Judge
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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) _ The creator of the HBO series ``The Sopranos,″ accused in a lawsuit of stiffing a judge who offered advice on creating the show, acknowledged that the pair spoke often but said the information didn’t help much.
Creator David Chase also said he discussed paying Robert Baer for setting up meetings with organized-crime experts, but claimed the Prospect Park municipal judge explicitly said he was helping out for free.
The Emmy-winning series features a New Jersey mob boss and his dysfunctional family.
Baer claimed in the suit, filed in May, that he and Chase agreed orally that Baer would be ``appropriately compensated″ if the show took off. Among his contributions, he said, was suggesting a show about organized crime in New Jersey and critiquing an early draft of the show’s pilot episode.
In the response filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court, Chase’s lawyer called the claims ``egocentric fantasies.″
``His claim the `The Sopranos’ would never have come to fruition without his efforts is unmitigated nonsense,″ Peter Skolnik wrote.
In other words, fuhgeddaboudit.
Chase said he had the idea for the show five years before he first met Baer in 1995. He acknowledged sending Baer a copy of a draft pilot script ``as a courtesy″ but said he didn’t use any of Baer’s suggestions.
Harley Breite, Baer’s lawyer, said Chase is starting to squirm.
``Rather than falsely denying the time spent working with my client, Mr. Chase makes the ludicrous contention that my client’s value and contribution was inconsequential,″ he said.