New York Daily News
New York, N.Y.: Dec 19, 2005. pg. 20

Investigators probing alleged racketeering at the Crazy Horse Too strip club have questioned several of its star patrons, including George Clooney, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, sources tell us.

The feds have wanted to talk with all of them about Rick Rizzolo, Crazy Horse Too's owner.

Rizzolo's lawyer, Tony Sgro, confirmed the FBI "has interviewed some of Mr. Rizzolo's celebrity friends," to pressure him into cooperating.

The feds "have tried to make those friends nervous in order to cause those friendships to end," says Sgro. "To suggest that any of those friends know anything with regard to the Crazy Horse is absurd."

Rizzolo made Clooney's acquaintance while the actor was shooting "Ocean's 11," which featured a scene at the Crazy Horse.

De Niro visited the club while he was shooting "Casino," but one pal says, "He wouldn't know Rizzolo from Adam."

For almost a decade, Rizzolo has been under investigation for alleged tax evasion and ties to organized crime, according to published reports. One longtime Rizzolo associate told the FBI that the club owner has dined several times with Chicago mob boss Joey (The Clown) Lombardo, whose brother, Rocco, used to work at the Crazy Horse. Convicted felon Vincent Faraci, son of Bonanno family captain "Johnny Green" Faraci, has also been on the Crazy Horse payroll.

Rizzolo has argued that he's been targeted partly because of his friendship with Joey Cusumano, an associate of slain mobster Tony (The Ant) Spilotro.

Small world: Pesci, who's remained friendly with Rizzolo, played a character based on Spilotro in "Casino." Spilotro's former attorney Oscar Goodman, who's now mayor of Las Vegas, even talked with Pesci about collaborating on a nightclub.

Like Spilotro, Pesci's character ended up beaten with a baseball bat and buried in a cornfield. As it happens, Rizzolo pleaded guilty in 1985 to using a baseball bat to attack a Crazy Horse patron. Sgro said Rizzolo was just defending himself from several "unruly customers" who attacked him with the bat.

Pesci has not been accused of any wrongdoing. But a well-placed source says the FBI talked to him about "what he saw at the Crazy Horse — anything in terms of drugs, prostitution, violence."

Pesci's lawyer, Jay Julien, didn't return calls last week.

"Joe likes to rub shoulders with the boys," says one source. "He thinks it's cool."

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