Dirty Tricks in Hollywood Lawsuits? Paramount Chair Testifies at PI’s Trial
Posted Mar 20, 2008 3:30 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
Updated: In much-awaited testimony in the wiretapping and racketeering trial of a so-called private investigator to the stars, the chairman of Paramount Pictures told a federal jury today that he had no knowledge of Anthony Pellicano's alleged illegal surveillance tactics. The case has been closely watched because of the window it offers into alleged dirty litigation tactics in disputes concerning well-known Hollywood personalities.
However, it was not he, says chairman Brad Grey, but a lawyer representing his former entertainment management company who decided to hire Pellicano. Grey says attorney Bert Fields and his law firm retained Pellicano on his behalf, at a fee of $25,000, to perform an investigation concerning a lawsuit filed by comedian Garry Shandling, recounts the Los Angeles Times.
"In previous testimony in this two-week trial, authorities have paraded a number of star witnesses, including Shandling, his former girlfriend and other individuals who say their phones were tapped or their confidential records accessed during business or legal disputes with Pellicano's clients," the newspaper writes.
It says Shandling testified last week that an onslaught of negative media coverage began after he sued Grey, his then-manager, for getting allegedly excessive payments from his popular HBO comedy series, The Larry Sanders Show. After he hired a lawyer to investigate Grey's financial dealings with him, Shandling testified, Grey called him at home late one night and threatened to make Shandling's life "miserable."
As discussed in an earlier ABAJournal.com post, a star-studded potential witness list in the case against Pellicano included numerous names of well-known Hollywood figures, both on-screen and behind the scenes in corporate offices.
New York Times: "Paramount’s Grey Denies Knowing of Any Wiretapping"
Associated Press: "Studio Exec Testifies in Pellicano Trial"
Updated at 8:15 p.m., central time, to include additional coverage.