LATEST: THE SOPRANOS star Vincent Pastore has been blasted by his former fiancee as manipulative and violent - just days after news she is slapping him with a $5 million (GBP2.8 million) lawsuit.

Lisa Regina filed a civil suit against the star on Thursday (05JAN06), alleging his physical and emotional abuse has stopped her pursuing an acting and coaching career.

But she has also hit out at the actor in the New York Post, dismissing criticism that she should have got out of the relationship sooner as against her nature.

She says, "I'm an acting coach, and Vin came to my apartment for coaching. But, I discovered, those first months of courting and going out and being nice, that's not the real Vincent.

"He was generous to me, but he used that as a tool.

"I kept hoping he'd get help. And I'm nurturing. I lost my mother at 21, and my father died just before 9/11."

In November (05), Pastore pleaded guilty to attempting to assault Regina last April. He was sentenced to 70 hours of community service, six months of therapy and a fine.