He’s Under Siege! Steven Seagal faces lawsuit over unpaid debt to mafia backed former partner
By Mike Larkin
Last updated at 11:49 PM on 12th January 2012
Above the law? Steven Seagal has been sued for allegedly failing to pay cash to former business partner Julius Nasso
His most famous movie role saw him evading pursuit by a group of well trained operatives.
So there is a certain life imitating art aspect to Under Siege star Steven Seagal being hit with a lawsuit over unpaid debts to his former business partner.
The martial arts actor has been accused of failing to pay up on $500,000 he owes to film producer Julius Nasso.
The executive, who has connections to the mafia, claims in court papers Seagal failed to pay him two installment payments of $50,000 each last year.
New York resident Nasso claims he made ‘numerous attempts’ to collect the money.
Eccentric Aikido master Seagal, 59, agreed to pay to the cash to dissolve their film-production companies in 2007.
The deal also required the actor to seek a pardon for Nasso, who was convicted in 2003 for trying to extort the money from the actor with the help of Mafia muscle
According to the New York Times his Manhattan federal court suit demands payment of the unpaid $100,000 plus 10 percent interest for ‘breach of settlement agreement.’
It also states a similar suit that was filed in 2010 against the star and his Steamroller Productions company was ‘eventually resolved,’ but ‘only after significant legal expense.’
The papers say: ‘Considering the prior breaches by the defendants…we respectfully request that this court order that the outstanding and remaining payments under the agreement are now due, totaling $200,000.’
The Mail contacted Seagal’s company, but have yet to receive a response.
Action star Seagal’s career high-water mark was 1992 action film Under Siege, which grossed an estimated $156 million worldwide.
Out for Justice: Seagal’s former business partner Nasso has taken legal action
However his career rapidly declined, and he has since been appearing in low budget action flicks and even attempted to launch a career as a blues musician.
In 2002 Nasso sued his Seagal for $60 million claiming he backed out on four planned action films.
The flamboyant star claimed he walked because the violent movies were at odds with his Buddhist religious belief.
However he would later testify that after breaking ties with Nasso he was shaken down by soliders from the Gambino mafia family in the back room of a Brooklyn steakhouse.
He said a reputed mob captain told him he would be sorry if he did not start working with Nasso again, and that he would also have to pay an extra $150,000 per movie.
The mobsters were caught laughing about the incident on an FBI wiretap.
Nasso was indicted in a massive racketeering case that pulled in big gangland names and in 2003 pled guilty to extortion. He served a year in prison.