NYC civil assault trial opens for actor Pastore

February 6, 2009 6:56:14 PM PST
Actor Vincent Pastore, who played a gregarious gangster on "The Sopranos," testified Friday that he wept when he realized his former fiancee, who is accusing him of assault, did not love him. Lisa Regina, 47, is suing Pastore in a $5.5 million civil lawsuit alleging that he hit her during a dispute in April 2005.

Pastore, 62, pleaded guilty in 2005 to attempted assault on Regina. He was sentenced to 70 hours of community service.

Pastore told a state Supreme Court jury that the couple began yelling and cursing at each other when she tried to call a former boyfriend during a drive to New Jersey.

He said Friday that as they argued, he returned to a corner near Regina's apartment and ordered her out of his car, but she refused to go.

"I was upset because I knew Lisa was with me because of her own personal goals," the actor said. "It had nothing to do with love."

"I said to her, 'That's as far as you go. You're out of my life,"' Pastore testified. "I got angry. I started to cry. Lisa said, `Stop it! People know who you are. You're embarrassing yourself."' He denied hitting her, as Regina claimed.

"We were both angry, both yelling at each other," he said. "I had both hands on the steering wheel. I did not hit her on the back of the head, and I did not hit her head on the gear shift," as she has said."

Regina said she suffered psychiatric harm from the incident.

Pastore's lawyer, Barry R. Strutt, told the jury he would offer treatment records to show she had emotional problems before the dispute.

Pastore played Salvatore "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero on the HBO series.

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