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Weintraub: "I Don't Know Nothin' About No Mafia"
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LOS ANGELES, California - "Ocean's 12" producer Jerry Weintraub was clearly shaken and seemed distracted as he looked about the audience during a press conference discussing possible Mafia extortion on the Italian set of the movie. "I don't know nothin' about no Mafia," Weintraub said clearly, as if by rote, "I was never approached by Vinnie, Gibby, Alfonse, or anybody else and asked to pay any sort of protection money. My stars and I felt completely safe the entire time we filmed." The Italian portions of the film were shot in just three weeks, a record for on-location production. "We were in no hurry, we just got done," explained Weintraub curtly.

"They'd all been coached, it was obvious."
-- Police magistrate Francesco Saverio
Suspicions were raised on the part of Trapani police after officers noted several suspected mobsters hanging around the "Ocean's 12" set. "When you see Gibby 'The Blade' Pavone hanging around where foreign money is being spent, you'd be a fool to think nothing was up," explained police magistrate Francesco Saverio. Police questioned the actors and stage crew about suspicious activity, but none was reported. "They'd all been coached, it was obvious," said Saverio.

"Mr. Pavone and his associates are simply movie enthusiasts who understood that George Clooney was shooting a film in Italy," explained Gibby Pavone's lawyer, "There was no intent to extort any money from anyone. This whole affair is just ludicrous. Mr. Pavone is a patron of the arts, a supporter of his community. We intend to bring slander and defamation claims against the Sicilian police and Mayor's office unless a public apology is forthcoming."

One crewmember, a grip with aspirations of someday being the 'key grip', admitted under condition of anonymity, "It was pretty scary. That Gibby dude sauntered in and started pushing people around. He demanded a Coke, then got mad when we didn't have that low-carb C2 stuff. He said he was watching his carbs. Then he looked right at me and said, 'Does this suit make me look fat?' I didn't know what to say, I was so scared."

Italian police are continuing to investigate.
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