Harry Jay Katz slams Leguizamo on son's behalf, son not happy

How John Leguizamo could give an interview and "not mention my son, David Bar Katz, is beyond my realm of understanding," an outraged Harry Jay Katz wrote yesterday after reading People Paper film critic Gary Thompson's interview with the actor.

Leguizamo is here tomorrow to receive the Philadelphia Film Festival's Artistic Achievement award and attend a sold-out screening of Lafayette Hill native Brad Furman's directorial debut, "The Take," at the Prince.                                                                                                                                

Katz, the former playboy, says his Leguizamo and his East Falls-raised son were "joined at the hip," when David wrote "The Pest," a 1997 film starring Leguizamo. David also wrote and directed the Tony Award-nominated play "Freak," in which Leguizamo starred.

Shortly thereafter, the elder Katz says, "John screwed David financially and still continues to do so . . . " Katz then made a rude suggestion about just what should be done with Leguizamo's award, much to the dismay of his playwright/director son.

"For years I have asked my father to stay out of this," David Bar Katz told us yesterday. "John was my best friend for a very long time and I only wish him well."

When we told Harry Jay that his son was upset, he replied, "No one f---s with my family and I will not now or ever accept that." Leguizamo, whom Harry Jay included as a recipient of his diatribe, did not respond to our e-mail asking for comment.

"The Take" screens again Friday afternoon at the Ritz East. For more info, click here.

Meanwhile, Leguizamo and Furman are scheduled to attend a Stoli Hotel party at Pearl (1904 Chestnut) featuring free Stoli drinks between 9 and 12 tomorrow night. To attend you must RSVP to info@pearlphilly.com.

Photo: Leguizamo in a scene from  "The Take"