Judge orders convicted P.I. to pay $2 million
Anthony Pellicano will spend the next 15 years in prison.The former Hollywood private eye was sentenced Monday after being convicted earlier this year of 78 counts of wiretapping, racketeering, conspiracy and wire fraud in two separate trials. Sentencing, by U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer, which also requires Pellicano, 64, and two other defendants to forfeit $2 million, ends months of courtroom drama that had the potential of embarrassing many high-profile figures in Hollywood but ultimately wound up disappointing in its exposure of the town’s shadier practices. Trial put heavyhitters like Paramount topper Brad Grey, lawyer Bert Fields, former power broker Michael Ovitz, director John McTiernan, producer Charles Roven and comedian Chris Rock on the stand to discuss their ties to Pellicano, who repped himself during the proceedings. Garry Shandling and Kevin Nealon also testified, for having been investigated by the private eye via illegal methods like wiretapping and police database searches. In addition to the two-month trial in May involving the Hollywood figures, Pellicano also was convicted in August for wiretapping billionaire Kirk Kerkorian’s former wife Lisa Bonder Kerkorian during a child-support battle between the two. Pellicano’s victims were given the chance to make one final statement before the sentencing, and former journalist Anita Busch took the opportunity to thank the FBI for its role in taking down the private eye and to admonish Pellicano for his illegal practices. “You have yet to take responsibility for your actions,” said Busch to Pellicano, who was dressed in a green jailhouse jumpsuit. “You and your employers not only used fear and intimidation, but you made sure people — your targets — were smeared in the press. And you and your clients used any means at your disposal to destroy people’s employment. And you guys did it many times over many years.” Busch played a key role in bringing Pellicano to trial: The former Los Angeles Times staffer believed Pellicano was the individual who threatened her with a dead fish and rose on her car along with a sign that said, “Stop,” in 2002 after she wrote a series of negative articles about Ovitz, a Pellicano client. The Pellicano saga isn’t over, however. Pellicano’s wife and three daughters are shopping a reality show that centers around the family’s efforts to revive his detective agency and collect bills that are still owed to the old company.