Skip to comments.Investigator to the Stars Is Hot Topic in Hollywood (A-list Hollyweirdos in a panic)
Posted on 11/17/2003 5:30:42 AM PST by Liz
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 16 Anthony Pellicano, the celebrated private investigator who has worked for celebrities like Michael Jackson, Kevin Costner and Tom Cruise, is expected to surrender to the authorities on Monday to begin a jail term for possessing illegal weapons. But Mr. Pellicano will hardly disappear from public view.
Mr. Pellicano is the star player in an unfolding Hollywood drama involving reported illegal wiretaps that may give him the kind of fame reserved for the clients he has represented in a 20-year career in the entertainment business.
Almost daily, new names surface in connection with a grand jury investigation into the wiretapping of prominent Hollywood figures of which Mr. Pellicano is suspected. His current and former employees have been questioned. And Bert Fields, one of the most powerful entertainment lawyers in Los Angeles, has acknowledged that he is a subject of the investigation.
So far, it is unclear how much information, if any, the government has about Mr. Pellicano's actions, and whether the lawyers and clients who retained him knew of any wiretapping. But the investigation highlights the longstanding relationships Mr. Pellicano had with many prominent lawyers.
Legal questions aside, the biggest issue for many lawyers may not be how much they knew about how Mr. Pellicano obtained his information, but how little they may have wanted to know.
Mr. Pellicano's aggressive and abrasive style is well-known throughout Hollywood, chronicled in his interviews in magazines and newspapers over the years. He has worked not only for Mr. Fields, but also for other partners at his firm, including Bonnie Eskenazi, who works closely with Mr. Fields, and James Hornstein, who has represented Twentieth Century Fox. Other lawyers who have retained Mr. Pellicano include Martin Singer and Howard Weitzman.
Mr. Fields has said he has no knowledge of any wiretapping. He initially agreed to be interviewed but withdrew the offer on the advice of his lawyer, John W. Keker, a spokesman for Mr. Fields said. Donald Re, Mr. Pellicano's lawyer, did not return a phone call.
It is for his relationship with Mr. Fields that Mr. Pellicano is best known, colleagues say. Before last year's bail hearing on weapons charges, Mr. Fields vouched for Mr. Pellicano's character, saying in a letter, "I cannot imagine that he represents the slightest `danger to the community' should he be released on bail."
Mr. Pellicano and Mr. Fields worked together in the early 1990's on the lawsuit accusing Michael Jackson of sexually abusing a minor. Mr. Fields was one of Mr. Jackson's lawyers and Mr. Pellicano was Mr. Jackson's spokesman.
Diane Dimond, an anchor on Court TV, said Thursday that while she was a senior correspondent on "Hard Copy" in 1993, she was harassed when she was broadcasting accounts about the accusations involving Mr. Jackson.
Ms. Dimond told Vanity Fair recently that her home was broken into and that documents were stolen regarding the case. Mr. Pellicano has denied that he sought to intimidate her.
Another reporter, Anita M. Busch of The Los Angeles Times, complained of being threatened while reporting on the actor Steven Seagal. Ms. Busch said she found a dead fish and a rose on her car in 2002 with a piece of cardboard attached that said, "Stop." She said she had been researching articles on Mr. Seagal and his relationship with a suspected organized crime associate.
According to court documents, the man who placed the sign on the car implicated himself in the threat against Ms. Busch in a tape-recorded conversation with an F.B.I. informant and said he was offered $10,000 by Mr. Pellicano, who the man said was hired by Mr. Seagal to set Ms. Busch's car on fire. That resulted in a raid on Mr. Pellicano's offices last year that uncovered hand grenades and plastic explosives along with transcripts of phone conversations involving Hollywood figures.
Mr. Pellicano is expected to serve 27 to 33 months in prison. He and Mr. Seagal have said they were not involved in any threat against Ms. Busch.
Mr. Pellicano has said he began his investigative career in Chicago as a debt collector for the Spiegel Catalog Company. After moving to Los Angeles in 1983, Mr. Pellicano quickly made a name for himself, even becoming an expert witness for the federal government.
Paul Barresi, a private investigator, said in an interview on Friday that he worked for Mr. Pellicano and that he was questioned late last year by two F.B.I. agents. A spokeswoman for the F.B.I. would not comment on the investigation. But Mr. Barresi said that he was asked by Mr. Pellicano to find "derogatory information" on Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Wasn't Pelicano suspected to be behind the Clinton's efforts to silence her ?
Lewis stated that once when leaving work and alone in an elevator, this man suddenly appeared. Either Lewis recognized him at that time or pointed him out later from photos but the Clinton Administration definitely has connections to him.
"In 1992, when "the Pelican" hired on to do damage control for Bill Clinton's presidential campaign, Mary Matalin, then the political director for President Bush 41's reelection campaign, found herself in the unenviable position of being sought out by women who were linked to Clinton - and threatened into silence by Mr. Pellicano."
Thanks for the post and the link, Maria S.
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