LOS ANGELES (CN) - An actor who appeared in "The Godfather" and "Goodfellas" sued an El Cajon restaurant this week for naming a sandwich after one of his characters.
Frank Sivero sued Deli Belly and its general partners Robert E. Bahri and Vinson N. Gaggo in Superior Court on Wednesday.
Sivero is best known for his roles as Genco Abbandando in "The Godfather Part II" and Frankie Carbone in "Goodfellas."
Sivero says he visited Deli Belly in early March this year, "and after eating, agreed to have his photograph taken with patrons."
A few months later, he says, he found out that the restaurant owners were using the pictures on Deli Belly's website, Yelp, and Facebook, and had named a sandwich after his "Goodfellas"
character Frankie Carbone.
"Defendants prominently used plaintiff's photograph, identity, persona, publicity rights, and privacy rights (collectively, 'plaintiff's rights') in the advertisements and otherwise to advertise, market, and promote defendants' company, commercial products, and commercial services," the complaint states.
Sivero says he never gave Deli Belly permission to use his likeness in ads, and that the defendants never paid him for it.
"Plaintiff has developed and cultivated [his] rights to create universal recognition and value. Defendants have, without any right, title, or authorization, misappropriated and infringed on plaintiff's rights for the aforementioned commercial purposes," the complaint states.
He seeks general, special and punitive damages for misappropriation of right of privacy/right of publicity, and an injunction forcing Deli Belly to stop using his name, likeness, and personae for commercial use.
He is represented by Ethan D. Kirschner.
Deli Belly did not return requests for comment.
Deli Belly's website, checked Thursday morning, advertises a sandwich called the "Frankie Carbony."
According to the menu, the Frankie Carbony comes with "Genoa salami, mortadella, hot cappy, deluxe ham & provolone cheese, lettuce tomato, onions, banana peppers, mayo & topped with Italian dressing on a sub roll."
There were no pictures of Sivero on the restaurant's main website or its Facebook page as of Thursday morning.