The creator of hit TV show The Sopranos said he felt sick when he learned he was being sued by a former judge who wanted to take credit for the series.
David Chase said The Sopranos had been "his life"
Robert Baer claims his ideas helped David Chase create the plot and is seeking both a credit and payment.
Mr Chase told a New Jersey court: "You're a grown man, you're not supposed to cry. But I felt like crying. I felt absolutely sick."
Closing arguments in the case will be put to the jury on Wednesday.
The Sopranos, which centres on the life of a dysfunctional mob family in New Jersey, ran for eight years on cable channel HBO before coming to an end in June.
Mr Baer, a former municipal judge, claims he arranged meetings for the writer with New Jersey police and prosecutors in 1995 that sparked ideas for his hit series.
Mr Chase called the claims "distorted, petulant and self-aggrandising", saying Mr Baer had only provided a "modest service".
Both Mr Baer and Mr Chase said that the former has declined the latter's offer of payment on three occasions.
The case continues at the federal court in Trenton, New Jersey.