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Inside Move: Gandolfini whacks W&A

Thesp discharges agency amid Brownstein row

James Gandolfini has dismissed Writers & Artists in the wake of the agency’s decision on Tuesday to fire and sue his agent, David Brownstein.

The actor also cast aspersions on the agency’s suit against Brownstein, which claims Brownstein tried to have Gandolfini pay commissions directly to him, cutting out the agency.

“Every commission check I wrote to Writers & Artists was deposited by and cashed by Writers & Artists, as they well know,” Gandolfini told Daily Variety. “David Brownstein’s integrity is beyond question. He continues to be my agent and close friend.”

Also exiting the agency are Gandolfini’s fellow “Sopranos” cast members Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Tony Sirico, who were also repped by Brownstein.

“I am very supportive of David and the excellent job he has done for me,” said Sigler in a statement. “I am assessing all of my options, which may very well be the agency where he lands.”

Brownstein has said that two weeks before his former agency filed its suit, he filed an arbitration claim in order to collect “significant monies the agency has owed me contractually for some time” (Daily Variety, June 18).

“It’s unfortunate that David Brownstein is dragging James Gandolfini into this,” said Writers & Artists attorney Peter Haviland of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. “David Brownstein repeated to us his intent to divert commissions. We intend to pursue the irregularities with Mr. Brownstein through the accounting claim we have.”