Saturday, June 15, 2024

What??? New Harry Belafonte Documentary Produced by Ex-Felon, Mob Connected Julius Nasso, Convicted for Sending Thugs to Threaten Action Star Steven Seagal


I just got a press release about a new Harry Belafonte documentary called “Following Harry,” and did a spit take.

The producers are Julius Nasso, his son Frankie, and a documentary filmmaker named Susanne Rostock.

This is the same Julius Nasso who went to jail for a year and a day back in the 2000s, convicted for extortion conspiracy in a huge mob case that involved actor Steven Seagal.

To quote Wikipedia: “Believing that Seagal owed him $3 million in compensation for backing out of a four-film deal, Nasso enlisted members of the Gambino crime family to threaten Seagal in an attempt to recoup money Nasso allegedly lost.” (In 2010, Nasso- out of jail– was still suing Seagal.)

The Washington Post quoted prosecutors in what became a huge case here in New York as a mob associate.

You can read about the history of Nasso in the New York Times.

The Belafontes do have a previous connection to Nasso. In 2011, Nasso and son were two of 10 producers on a previous doc called “Sing Your Song.” In 2015, son David produced a film with him that Whoopi Goldberg voiced called “The Christmas Pearl.” I wrote it about the odd set up then. Nasso is now listed as co-CEO of Belafonte Arts and Media. I am not kidding.

In 2013, Nasso asked Barack Obama for a presidential pardon. He was turned down.

I still remember going to Nasso’s Get Out of Jail party at his estate on Staten Island in 2005. Nasso ferried his guests to Staten Island — including press — by limo from all over the place. (I drove myself, thanks.) I’ll never forget the tour we got of the place with Victoria Gotti in the party. The food was excellent.

But a Harry Belafonte produced by Julius Nasso? Belanfonte was a civil rights hero, a beacon for so many people. This should not be the way he’s memorialized, no matter how nice Nasso is now.

As Cindy Adams would say, Only in New York kids, only in New York.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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