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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Former Sopranos actor Lillo Brancato Jr takes to Twitter from jail, posts about celeb friends


Lillo Brancato Jr. (r.) leaves the courthouse with his attorney (l.) after being sentenced to 10 years behind bars.
Lillo Brancato Jr. (r.) leaves the courthouse with his attorney (l.) after being sentenced to 10 years behind bars.

Fans of Lillo Brancato Jr. don't have to wait till his parole in 2014 to hear from "The Sopranos" and "A Bronx Tales" actor.
Brancato, who's serving a 10-year sentence at the Oneida Correctional Facility in Rome, N.Y., for first-degree burglary, has started tweeting about life in the slammer, with a little technical assistance from his longtime friend, nightlife impresario Noel Ashman.
Ashman tells us Brancato calls his assistant Nicole Schultz from the upstate prison once or twice a week to dictate the tweets he wants released on his Twitter account, @Lillo Brancato, for the coming days.
The Yonkers native's account has a modest 431 followers – a small group, by celebrity standards, perhaps because he's been extremely low-key about his tweeting.
The account is also not verified — that blue check mark Twitter gives to celebrity tweeters to indicate it's really them.
"I don't think you can get verified from [jail]," Ashman says.
Through Ashman, Brancato said he decided to join the social networking site because he has "finally reached a point of clarity" in his life and. He "wanted to tell people how boring day-to-day jail life is ... so other people don't follow the same path I took."
Brancato, whose sentence stems from a 2009 robbery that left off-duty cop Daniel Enchautegui dead, is confined to a protective custody wing that has seen other famous faces: rapper Ja Rule and football player Plaxico Burress.
"I had the privilege of hanging out with Plax," said Brancato, who tweeted about playing ball in the prison yard with the former Giant. "He's a real genuine good guy, and I'm very happy that he is now able to get on with his life."
Burress was released last month after serving two years for handgun charges after accidentally shooting himself at an NYC nightclub in 2008.
Ja Rule, who also is serving time on a gun charge, was only at Oneida briefly and was "a real gentleman," Brancato says.
When he's not tweeting about the other boldface names in the big house with him, Brancato said he's usually recounting the "daily grind" of life in the slammer and his regret over the incident that put him there.
"I want people to know the remorse and pain I live with every day as a result of the tragic events of that horrible December night in 2005," Brancato said. "Although there is nothing I can do to change those events, I want people to know I'm sober, studying hard, and I'm finally in a place where I know things are going to be okay."


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