Skip to comments.Secrets remain after indictment of Hollywood private eye - Anthony Pellicano
Posted on 02/11/2006 11:24:15 AM PST by NormsRevenge
LOS ANGELES (AP) - For more than two decades, if there was a scandal to be snuffed out in Hollywood, private investigator Anthony Pellicano was considered the man for the job.
In 1983, his analysis of audio tapes and other evidence undermined testimony from witnesses and helped earn auto maker John DeLorean an acquittal in a cocaine trafficking case. Ten years later, he worked for pop superstar Michael Jackson in his first fight against child molestation allegations.
Actor Sylvester Stallone once called the detective a "very good friend."
Through his celebrity connections, Pellicano eventually became a star in his own right. He even made Entertainment Weekly's power list in 1993, ranking No. 96 among the top 100 people in the industry.
Now, the 61-year-old detective finds himself on the wrong side of the law. He was indicted Feb. 6 on charges of running an extensive wiretapping and racketeering scheme to get dirt for clients and using it to blackmail and intimidate celebrities, lawyers and executives.
Authorities also charged six Pellicano associates in the indictment that outlined the detective's operation but didn't name his clients or reveal if they knew about his methods.
"We have the people who did the dirty work, but we don't have the people who hired them," said Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor and professor at Loyola Law School.
Those names could emerge in another round of charges.
Legal experts believe authorities will now pressure Pellicano and other defendants to provide evidence about high-powered clients in exchange for lesser sentences.
If Pellicano eventually testifies, some of Hollywood's best-kept secrets could be revealed, with possible fallout ranging from embarrassment to jail time.
"If he does cooperate, it could be a blockbuster," Levenson said. "They need an insider ... without one it's going to be difficult for prosecutors."
The indictment said Pellicano bribed two police officers to access personal information in a national criminal database and paid off a telephone company employee to aid illegal wiretaps.
Armed with a software program that intercepted phone calls, Pellicano tapped calls involving people such as Stallone, comedian Garry Shandling, real estate developer Robert Maguire and Herbalife founder Mark Hughes, the indictment said.
Stallone's calls were intercepted in February 2002.
Federal officials didn't provide details about those calls. But the eavesdropping came in the same month the action star filed a lawsuit against former business manager Kenneth Starr over his investment advice in Planet Hollywood restaurants. The suit was eventually settled.
Pellicano was indicted after completing a 2 1/2-year sentence for possessing illegal weapons. He is also facing state charges that he and another man threatened a Los Angeles Times reporter who was working on a story about actor Steven Seagal and possible links to the Mafia in 2002.
Pellicano first gained acclaim in 1977 for finding the remains of Elizabeth Taylor's third husband, Michael Todd, after they were stolen from an Illinois cemetery. Pellicano's critics claimed he staged the recovery.
He was fingered by a convicted forger who claimed the sleuth-to-the-stars witnessed the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman in 1994 as he shadowed Brown Simpson. Pellicano denied the link.
Pellicano had swagger and confidence in his abilities. An ex-employee, who spoke only on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation, said he would brag about the large sums he collected from wealthy clients.
The federal government is seeking the forfeiture of at least $1.9 million from Pellicano and two of his associates, but prosecutors wouldn't say how much he might have garnered from the alleged criminal enterprise.
Pellicano had been working on a fictional book titled "Life Under the Stars: A Novel of Lies, Truths and Half-Truths," said publisher Michael Viner, who has known Pellicano for 10 years. The book has not been released.
Viner, president of Phoenix Books and Audio, believes Pellicano would never write a tell-all book because he remains loyal to his former clients.
"He's not going to tell on anyone," said Viner, who visited Pellicano in prison last month. "They (prosecutors) are going for bigger fish, but regrettably he's going along in the fish fry. He thinks he's going to spend the rest of his life in jail."
If this guy spilled his gutts, Bill and Swillery would be in a pretty pickle.
I see a MacDougal moment in his future... and not a Susan one either as this latest brouhaha unravels. ;-)
The technical term is Arkancidaphobia.
Yeah, I read through this article looking for the name "clinton," but I knew beforehand that I would never find it.
Funny how that works, huh?
So you're thinking they'll forget to give him his medication? I'm not sure he's on any YET. LOL
I'd think some people might be quite nervous about what's taking place here.
Wouldn't it be something if a guy like this went belly up, and everything unraveled once and for all.
you really have to wonder how the clinton's keep dodging the arrows , so to speak. one of these days... one may actually stick, to say it's long overdue is an understatement.
There was a time when I was sure they would cross the wrong person, and that person would tell all. Then years passed and I resigned myself to the reality that likely nobody ever would.
As you state, you do wonder how they dodge paying the piper. I've never seen anything like it in my life. They have left a trail of ruined, ill and dead bodies in their wake.
Another thing took place after years of watching the Clintons. I had to ask myself if I wasn't exhibiting some of the same behavior those who hate Bush do. I found it very easy to accept every bad report concerning the Clintons. In some ways, I do believe I was somewhat unfair.
Discounting everything else, I do know that when Monica Lewinski was searching for post-White House work, Richardson and Vernon Jordan seemed to be complicit in an effort to curry favor with her, in return for her continued loyalty. I considered that to be witness tampering. It also seemed very close to obstruction or bribery.
I probably have 300-400 hours of video tape from the Clinton years between 1996 and 2000. I didn't want history to be rewritten with my fading memory the only connection to reality.
It's been a very frustration 14 years since the Clinton's burst on the national scene. I hope one day to see them have to answer for their crimes. I am certain a Republican would have been rotting in prison for at least the last ten years, if they'd done 1/5th of what Clinton was involved in.
Thanks for the comments Norm. Talk to you later.