Sunday, November 20, 2005

Mobster's son can star in "House Arrest"

Friends of ours: Joseph Colombo

The son of an infamous Mafia don can remain under a lenient house arrest that allows him to do a reality TV show in which he visits a strip club and parties with poker pals, a federal judge ruled on Monday. Christopher Colombo, son of the assassinated mob chief Joseph Colombo, was indicted on racketeering charges in March 2004 and released on $1 million bail. His bail terms were eased for "family needs."

Prosecutors said the show "House Arrest" for the cable channel HBO "makes a mockery" of the house arrest set up initially to give Colombo more time to spend with his family. He used it "to generally gallivant around town with his associates" for the "docu-comedy," they said, and argued he should be barred from making more episodes of the show. But Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald disagreed, saying she would reconsider her ruling "if the government can produce evidence that Mr. Colombo has violated the terms of his bail."

The initial HBO episode, which is set to air November 24, purports to show a day in the life of Colombo, who wears an ankle bracelet that tracks his movements. The camera follows Colombo as he showers in the marbled bathroom of his plush home, spends time with his children and wanders his upstate New York county looking for a priest to hear his confession. When he does, the confession is largely done on camera.

Along the way he visits his Bronx tailor, a strip club, his favorite Chinese restaurant and sees a show by a Judy Garland impersonator. Then he races back to his country home to beat a court-imposed curfew. He ends up in a basement poker game with friends and two women guests who bare their breasts for the camera and promise a "happy ending" to his day.

Throughout the episode he jokes about his legal dilemma. When a stripper asks him whether he did something bad to get arrested, he says, "I don't know if I'm innocent. But I'm not guilty."

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