Actor who plays Soprano son confesses to mugging

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The Independent US

The actor who plays the son of Tony Soprano, the gangster protagonist in the highly-rated television serial, has admitted to taking part in a mugging in Manhattan last year.

Robert Iler, 17, was arrested in the early hours in July with some friends and charged with mugging and robbing Brazilian tourists. For months, he insisted he was innocent of the charges.

But the baby-faced actor, whose gruff and neurotic Mafia-boss father is played by James Gandolfini, read out a handwritten confession arranged by his lawyers and prosecutors.

The deal means that Iler, who was also accused of marijuana possession at the time of the mugging, will serve only three years' probation. After that his record will be wiped clean. The maximum sentence for the crime could have been 15 years.

His legal fees were paid by the Hollywood production company Brillstein-Grey Entertainment, which makes The Sopranos, shown by Channel 4 in the UK.

Iler said he helped his friends assault the tourists "by being there and by intentionally blocking an avenue of escape for the victims".