Artie Lange finally got his day in court. After months of one delay after another, he stood before Judge Nancy Sivilli Friday in Newark’s state Superior Court wearing a gray suit and received a sentence of four years probation for possession of heroin back in May 2017. In addition to probation, Judge Sivilli ordered 50-year-old Lange to complete 50 hours of community service and complete an outpatient drug addiction program. Artie has struggled with drug addiction for decades, and opinions on the best way to help the comedian were varied in the courtroom.
Sivilli told Lange that “You’re getting too old for this,” according to NJ as she referred to his medical records that included a note from his physician that said that another relapse could mean death. She encouraged him to avoid “a sad ending” for those who love him.
Lange was pleased that he’s being allowed to receive treatment for his addiction on an outpatient basis because he feels that working puts him in a better place overall. “I’m happiest when I work and most productive when I work.” Assistant prosecutor Tony Gutierrez, however, voiced a concern that not receiving inpatient help puts Artie in a position where it would be easy for him to relapse. The comedian has a book tour coming up, and Gutierrez said that the money that would flow to Lange during the tour would set him up for relapse because it would be easy for him to spend that money on drugs. Guttierrez also mentioned that when Artie previously started an outpatient program, he was doing well until he found an oxycodone tablet in his pocket and was asked to leave.
Arguing against Gutierrez’s plea, Artie said that his mother depends on him financially and that keeping him from doing his book tour would be devastating to her. His attorney, Frank Arleo, argued that allowing Lange to do his book tour and continue working on Crashing and his stand-up comedy will keep him busy, too busy to relapse. He told the judge that he had spoken to his client about his health issues that include complications from diabetes and had told him that “He’s at the end of the road.” Artie was recently hospitalized for nose surgery and diabetes-related problems. Earlier this year, he was hospitalized for high blood pressure and blood sugar issues.
In a tweet Friday, Lange called the judge “fair and patient” and his attorney “outstanding.” He referred to himself as “the only scumbag in the group.” He vowed that “whatever the judge says I will do it like a man.”