UPDATE: I’m reading the court filing now…

chuckphillips.jpgRadaronline.com is reporting that Pulitzer prizewinning Los Angeles Times journalist Chuck Philips and the newspaper have been hit with a $10 million defamation lawsuit by film producer Julius Nasso (Narc, Under Siege). Radar says Nasso objects to a June 7 article that identified him as a “reputed Gambino crime family member”. He asked for a retraction, so the Times in the online edition of Philips’s original story substituted the word “associate” for “member.” But Nasso wasn’t satisfied: “‘Associate,’ ‘member,’ what’s the difference?” he told RadarOnline.com. This guy is kidding, right? As news reports chronicled, Nasso got nabbed in mid-2002 during a federal sting of a Gambino mob plot to extort $3 million from his one-time producing partner Steven Seagal. Nasso for more than year denied he’d been involved, but then agreed in 2003 to a plea deal on the charge and spent time behind prison bars. logo_latimes.gifAt the time, Nasso’s attorney said his client “just wants to put this behind him and continue with a fruitful, productive life.” Now, Nasso tells RadarOnline.com, “I’m going to spend my last nickel fighting Philips and the Times on this thing.” Hey, I’m not wild about Philips’ coverage of some stories (see my previous: LA Times Should Reassign Pellicano Story), but about this lawsuit I say — ugh.