Exec VP caught on tape talking to mobster
Producer-turned-Paramount executive Pam Abdy finds herself embroiled in a situation straight out of a “Sopranos” episode.The exec veep of production and “Garden State” producer was caught on wiretap with New Jersey mobster Joseph Perna discussing the multibillion-dollar illegal gambling ring that he helped run. Perna was arrested Tuesday and was one of 32 people charged in connection with the massive gambling operation, which reportedly has ties to the Bloods gang. Abdy, a New Jersey native, became tainted by the scandal Thursday when news broke in the New York press that her conversations with Perna were part of a 195-page affidavit filed by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office in the case. “When I first saw this, I thought it was a horrible mistake,” said Abdy’s lawyer Marc Agnifilo. “Normally, people who are not part of an investigation are not named in an affidavit.” But Abdy’s name made its way into the documents because she is the niece of another man charged in the case, Martin Taccetta. Agnifilo said Abdy once dated Perna but is no longer romantically involved with him. “There were a number of phone calls between Pam and Joseph that were purely social in nature,” he said. “It would be a horrible thing if everyone you talked to ended up in an affidavit.” Agnifilo said Abdy has no plans to step down from her post. Paramount declined comment. Abdy, an ascending star at the studio who reports to production prexy Brad Weston, is not charged with a crime and was not the subject of the investigation. Still, Paramount was busy behind the scenes doing damage control over the Brad Grey acolyte’s association with an organized crime figure. The New York Post reported that Abdy spoke to Perna about her job — referring to some of her Hollywood brethren as “made men.” The former prexy of production at Jersey Films was upped to exec veep at Paramount last year and in recent weeks was rumored as a possible successor to soon-to-be-promoted Paramount Vantage topper John Lesher. Ironically, Paramount has benefited from its fictitious Mafia ties as the studio behind the “Godfather” trilogy. Studio topper Grey also was executive producer of long-running series “The Sopranos.”
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