By Tim Kenneally
LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - Bryan Zuriff has taken a leave of absence from the Showtime drama "Ray Donovan" after pleading guilty to running a gambling operation with ties to the Russian mob.
"I'm incredibly grateful to have been a part of the extraordinary 'Ray Donovan' family," Zuriff said in a statement. "Out of respect for my colleagues at the network and everyone involved with the show I'm voluntarily taking a leave of absence so that the resolution of my personal legal matters won't distract from the audience's great response to the program. I appreciate all the support I've received and look forward to everyone's continued success."
Zuriff pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan on Friday to running a sportsbook in Los Angeles. He was indicted om April, and faces up to five years in jail, though as the first person to cop a plea in the case he is likely to receive a lighter sentence.
"We respect and appreciate Bryan Zuriff's decision," Showtime told TheWrap in a statement.
"Ray Donovan," which stars Liev Schreiber as a Hollywood "fixer," was recently renewed for a second season.