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Ray Donovan's true script plays for the executive producer

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Posted on July 30, 2013 April Gardner

The scene in the hall played out like a real Hollywood script, with a famous TV producer admitting to living in an illegal underworld. Only this series did not play on television, but rather in the real life of Bryann Zuriff.

Executive producer Ray Donovan pleaded guilty Friday to running an illegal gambling operation in a Manhattan Federal Court. Zuriff has since dropped out of the popular Showtime television series.

"I am incredibly grateful to have been part of Ray Donovan's remarkable family," Zuriff said in a statement. "Out of respect for my colleagues in Newtork and everyone involved in the program, I am taking time off voluntarily so that the resolution of my personal legal affairs does not distract from the great audience response to the program."

Zuriff is part of a large-scale investigation into gambling linked to the Russian mafia. Zuriff did not disclose if he was part of the crowd's ties, but admitted in his contract that he helped run the gambling ring. He now faces up to five years in prison and had to lose the 500,000 $ that authorities say Zuriff acquired through illegal activities.

Ray Donovan became one of the summer hits in the first season of its existence. The series stars Liev Schreiber, who deals with the problems of the rich and famous in Hollywood. Donovan was so well received by viewers that Showtime management extended the show for a new season.

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