Is Sopranos star James Gandolfini trying to shake down Home Box
Gandolfini filed a lawsuit in California Thursday claiming that HBO violated
his contract by not notifying him within 10 days after series creator David
Chase reupped for a $20 million deal.
Gandolfini, who plays mob boss Tony Soprano, is under contract for two more
HBO chairman Chris Albrecht fired back Friday, saying that the pay network
was talking with Gandolfini and offering a "substantial increase" over his
current salary, "despite no contractual obligation to do so."
"We were doing this out of respect for Jim and recognition of his talent and
hard work," Albrecht said in a prepared statement. "To have him now act in a
manner so disruptive ... is shocking and disappointing."
In 2000, Gandolfini signed a two-season, $10 million deal, paying him about
$400,000 per episode.