Hollywood Agog Over Names to be Named in Private Investigator’s Trial
Posted Mar 4, 2008 12:57 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
As a so-called private investigator to the stars is about to go to trial tomorrow for allegedly using illegal tactics to gain evidence for his clients, Hollywood is reportedly agog over the names that are being named as possible witnesses. The trial is also expected to provide further details of the dirty litigation tactics apparently being used in some high-profile cases.
Although no final witness list has yet been provided, a preliminary list of 244 "individuals related to" the Los Angeles federal court case is attached to a jury questionnaire, Bloomberg reports. Among those on it: actors Keith Carradine and Sylvester Stallone; Michael Ovitz, the former president of Walt Disney Co.; and Paramount Pictures Corp. CEO Brad Grey.
The primary defendant in the case, private investigator Anthony Pellicano, is to be tried on racketeering, fraud and conspiracy charges related to the wiretapping and bribes he allegedly used to gain access to confidential information, recounts the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.).
Four other defendants will be tried along with Pellicano, but a lawyer accused in the case, Terry Christensen, who represents billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, will be tried separately, Bloomberg notes. He is accused of paying $100,000 to Pellicano for a 2002 telephone wiretap of Kerkorian's ex-wife, to gain evidence in a child-custody case. All of the defendants have pleaded not guilty.
"This trial has the potential to give a rare glimpse of the dark underbelly of Hollywood,'' entertainment lawyer Pierce O'Donnell tells the news agency. "It can reveal some of the bare-knuckled, no-holds-barred litigation that goes on.''