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Actor not a thug, just plays one on TV

April 8, 2005 at 11:14 AM

NEW YORK, April 8 (UPI) -- Hulking actor Vincent Pastore, who played "Big Pussy" on the "The Sopranos," denies beating up his petite actress girlfriend.

Investigators say Lisa Regina suffered severe injuries in a brawl with Pastore, 58, who told the New York Post she had set him up.

"Thank God -- my mother in heaven -- that I didn't put my hands on that woman. I only removed her from my car," Pastore said in an exclusive interview with The Post.

"I'm the victim. I'm the guy who got beat up. I got scars on my chest, but I didn't go to the hospital and try to get pictures done because I was hoping this was going to go away. I was hoping that she had enough sense not to open up the can of worms," he said.

"I'm not a violent person, despite the characterizations you see on television."

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