Robert De Niro in Raging Bull

MGM has finally settled its Raging Bull lawsuit. Sadly, that’s about all the information you’re going to get, because Deadline reports that no details about the settlement are being revealed, at least for now. It’s the kind of airtight secrecy that Jake Lamotta wishes he were a little better at, especially when it comes to being paid to take a dive.

Paula Petrella, the plaintiff, is the daughter of deceased screenwriter Frank Petrella, who penned the 1963 screenplay and wrote a book that inspired the 1980 film by Martin Scorsese. After her father died in 1981, Petrella gained the copyright to his screenplay, from which she claimed MGM infringed in its eventual script for the Robert De Niro vehicle. She first became aware of the potential claim in 1991, but for a variety of reasons, was not able to file suit until 18 years later, in 2009, after the latest DVD release of Raging Bull. Despite a Ninth Circuit ruling that too much time had elapsed, an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court resulted in a 6-3 verdict last year that allowed Petrella to go forward with her claim. Summary judgment had been set for April 27, meaning that someone was probably a little unsure about the outcome, and decided settlement was the better part of valor.


The suit was asking for $1 million in damages. And while it’s unknown just what the settlement entailed, hopefully Petrella may be able to open herself a nice little nightclub in Miami, eventually being able to entertain others with anecdotes from her storied past. ”I’m the boss,” she’ll chant to herself, while shadowboxing before taking the stage.