Your NPR news source

Producer of 'Million Dollar Baby' on stand in Chicago trial

SHARE Producer of 'Million Dollar Baby' on stand in Chicago trial
Producer of 'Million Dollar Baby' on stand in Chicago trial

Producer Tom Rosenberg, right, with Clint Eastwood and Albert S. Rudd, accepting the Oscar for the movie “Million Dollar Baby.”

Tom Rosenberg, the producer of 60 movies, including the Oscar-winning film “Million Dollar Baby,” is expected back on the stand Thursday morning in Chicago, to testify in the corruption trial of William Cellini. In addition to producing movies, Rosenberg, who was raised in Chicago, owned a company called Capri Capital, which invested money for the teachers’ retirement system in Illinois.

Prosecutors say Cellini was part of a conspiracy to hold back a $220 million investment allocation with Rosenberg’s company until Rosenberg gave a $1.5 million contribution to former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Rosenberg refused to pay and threatened to report the shakedown to authorities.

Defense attorneys have argued that Cellini knew nothing about the extortion attempt made by top Blagojevich fundraisers Tony Rezko and Chris Kelly.

But Rosenberg said Cellini may not have been so naïve. He told jurors that he had warned Cellini about what a “crazy guy” Rezko was, and he said he had previously told Cellini about some potentially illegal deals Rezko tried to put together.

The Latest
A report says US police departments face a three-fold crisis: an erosion of community trust, a violent-crime surge, and dwindling police staffing. Host: Mary Dixon; Reporter: Chip Mitchell
David Brown was appointed superintendent of the Chicago Police Department less than three years ago.
The governor says he is visiting “liberal cities” who he says are too soft on crime.
The Bureau of Prisons is shutting down a unit at its newest penitentiary in Illinois, following an investigation by NPR and The Marshall Project that exposed it was rife with violence and abuse.