Thespian thug Vincent Pastore (search), who played "Big Pussy" on the "The Sopranos," (search) claims he never laid a hand on his actress girlfriend — who police say sustained devastating injuries in a brawl with the hulking actor.
Pastore, 58, told The Post he was "set up" by Lisa Regina (search).
"Thank God — my mother in heaven — that I didn't put my hands on that woman. I only removed her from my car," Pastore said in an exclusive interview with The Post.
"I'm the victim. I'm the guy who got beat up. I got scars on my chest, but I didn't go to the hospital and try to get pictures done because I was hoping this was going to go away. I was hoping that she had enough sense not to open up the can of worms," he said.
"They charged me with a misdemeanor and people make out like I'm the new Robert Blake. I'm not a violent person, despite the characterizations you see on television.
"I got to make the front page of the New York Post with handcuffs, and my daughter and my family are devastated because I got involved with a ridiculous, crazy, insane woman — because I'm in love with her," Pastore said Thursday.
"You know what? I threw my life away over a woman. Everybody from 'The Sopranos,' everybody in my family — everybody's been telling me, 'She's no good for you,' " said Pastore.
"My life is a total, total, total mess. I can't sleep. I can't work. My family is in total shock — but I was warned and now I've got to face the music," he said.
Lawyer Dominic Barbara says his client is a gentle guy who is guilty only of falling in love with the wrong woman.
"I'm brokenhearted for him," Barbara said.
Things heated up last week, Pastore said, when Regina "called me back in the middle of the night and said to me, 'I think I'm pregnant.' I hung up the phone and I said to myself — it ain't me — I have not slept with this woman in two months."
He said the fracas in his car last Saturday in Little Italy began when she sprang a surprise engagement party with her family on him — but he said he had canceled their upcoming June wedding.
"Why are we going to Jersey to be with your family? We're never going to get married," Pastore said he told her, while sobbing and banging the steering wheel in frustration.
He claimed Regina, 44, got physical when he ruled out marriage and expressed doubt that he was the father of her baby.
"She started to hit me," said Pastore. "She said, 'Look at yourself — you're making a fool out of yourself.' I said, 'Lisa, you got to get out of my life.' "
When she refused to get out of his car, Pastore said he tried to pull her out of the vehicle but gave up and threw her luggage into the street.
"Vinnie Pastore is abusing me! Big Pussy is abusing me!" Pastore said she shouted, in front of a score of witnesses.
"I said, 'What are you nuts?' I reached for my cellphone, I started to dial 911, she grabbed the cellphone from me," said Pastore. He said he yelled for a cop, but when Regina began kicking his dashboard, he "grabbed her again by the collar and tried to get her out of the car."
Pastore said his fiancée, a former weightlifter, "fell and landed on the luggage" and may have hit her head.
She then "grabbed me by my shirt and my pants and started ripping my clothes off. She ripped my pants down to my underwear. She scratched my chest, she ripped my shirt off."
Pastore said he drove away because "I was embarrassed, I was crying, my clothes were ripped. I called the police. I called 911 on my cellphone. I did not run from the police."
Regina's lawyer, Jeffrey Schwartz, denied Pastore's claims — and said his client had tape recordings to prove Pastore was "obsessed with her."
"We have tons of taped messages from him," including alleged threats and mood swings.
"This is nonsense, all nonsense," Schwartz said.
"He's a big bully and he's a big liar. There's not a word of truth to it.
"This man is nuts. She beat herself up? She's 110 pounds. She went after him, at 300 pounds and 6 feet tall? He should go into the girlfriend protection program," laughed Schwartz.
He said his actress client "is distraught. She's emotionally battered, she's physically battered and she was supposed to get married to the man in June."