October 13, 2008

Stars of Italy’s Oscar Entry Arrested

Three of the stars of the mob flick "Gomorrah," Italy's entry for the Oscars, have been arrested due to their alleged real-life ties to organized crime.

The movie, which won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival last spring, is filmmaker Matteo Garrone's look at the Camorra crime family in Naples. It is based on a book by Roberto Saviano, an investigative journalist now living under police protection for fear of retribution from the gangsters he has covered.

Authorities say three of the movie's stars, locals cast to give the documentary-style drama a sense of credibility, have connections to organized crime, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Bernardino Terracciano, who plays a boss in the film, was arrested Saturday on suspicion of extorting protection money and having ties to the Casalesi clan, which is part of the Camorra mafia.

Biovanni Venosa, who portrays another crime boss in the mob saga, was detained in July and an actor who plays a hitman in the film is under investigation for drug dealing, the Telegraph said.

The newspaper did not give the name of the suspected drug dealer.