THE SOPRANOS star Lorraine Bracco has dashed to the aid of a disgraced New York businessman - after he helped her in her time of need.

The actress, 48, wrote to a judge overseeing SAM WAKSAL's insider trading trial pleading for leniency.

She wrote, "Without Sam's guidance and support, I doubt I would be here to write this letter."

Bracco claims Waksal helped her get the proper medical treatment for her daughter when she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

It's not known whether Bracco's letter had any sway in the case - the executive was sentenced to jail time and given a $3 million (GBP1.9 million) fine.

19/06/2003 09:09