NEW YORK – Big Pussy purred his way through another courtroom appearance.
Vincent Pastore (search), who played Salvatore "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero (search) on HBO's "The Sopranos," (search) appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday, quietly facing a judge who presided over a plea offer in the actor's alleged assault on his former girlfriend.
Pastore is free without bail. He has pleaded not guilty to four misdemeanors — two counts of assault and one count each of attempted assault and harassment from an alleged attack in Little Italy in May.
With attorney Dominic Barbara at his side, the hulky 58-year-old actor stood before Judge Ellen Coin, who set a Sept. 26 trial date. If convicted on all four counts, Pastore could be sentenced to up to a year in jail.
The actor left the courtroom with Barbara, who would not comment on whether his client would accept the plea deal on the top count, assault.
The plea would entail 10 days of community service and participation in a domestic abuse program. Pastore also must respect a court order of protection for Lisa Regina, his 44-year-old ex-girlfriend.
At Pastore's arraignment on April 5, Assistant District Attorney James Zaleta alleged the "Sopranos" actor had punched Regina in the back of the head, grabbed her hair and rammed her head onto the gear shift in their car. Zaleta said she had to be treated for cuts and bruises.
In the HBO series, Pastore played the mobster who was killed for snitching on the mob as an FBI informant. On a boat ride, Tony Soprano and other mobsters confronted him, eventually killing him, wrapping him in chains and dumping him in the ocean.
After Thursday's hearing, Pastore huddled with Barbara in the courthouse elevator, laughing and telling the lawyer he had "a great time" the night before on his "Wiseguy Show," broadcast live on Sirius Satellite Radio from a restaurant in Plainview, on Long Island.
"The show is doing very, very good!" Pastore told his attorney.