Brancato Brushes Off Sex Club Boss' Claims
Former SOPRANOS actor LILLO BRANCATO JR. has brushed off allegations in a new tell-all book accusing him of having a history of violent, drug-fuelled outbursts - days before he's scheduled to face charges of first-degree murder.
Brancato, 32, is accused of killing off-duty cop Daniel Enchautegui when he allegedly disturbed the actor and his accomplice, Steven Armento, while they were breaking into a neighbour's New York home in December 2005.
Armento, who fired the shot that killed the officer, was convicted of murder and burglary on 30 October (08).
But according to author Anthony Marini, former owner of closed New York sex-club The Vault, the star has a history of violence.
Marini dedicates a chapter to Brancato in his forthcoming book, named after the club, alleging the actor was repeatedly tossed out of the venue during the 1990s - once for bashing a transvestite in the head with a fire extinguisher.
Marini writes, "He was always in a lot of trouble, always (on) a lot of drugs, always with the wiseguys."
In an interview with the New York Daily News, Marini adds: "It's sad, I'm not glorifying it. He was an A-list celebrity in the Bronx and Yonkers. It was a rags-to-riches story.
"If he was jonesing (wanting) for drugs, he was going to break into the house. He was a good kid who was lost in drugs."
Brancato's lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, has denied the claims, adding, "People will be crawling out of the woodwork to get their 15 minutes of fame. If they had anything of value to say, we'd see them on the witness stand."
Brancato's trial is scheduled to begin on Monday (24Nov08); he could face life in prison if convicted of the charges.