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Fields responds to Shandling claims

Trial fallout continues in Pellicano case

Garry Shandling’s testimony in the Anthony Pellicano wiretapping trial continues to reverberate around town.

Attorney Bert Fields issued a stinging statement Monday afternoon rebutting a Los Angeles Times story recapping Shandling’s testimony last week and his earlier lawsuit against former manager Brad Grey. Fields excoriated the Times for suggesting that Grey’s management firm had forged Shandling’s signature, noting that no claims of forgery had been made, and for misreporting the settlement figure as $10 million instead of $4 million.

Nor was Fields amused by the reporter’s comparison of Grey’s activities to those of David Begelman, the onetime Columbia Pictures topper who was brought down by an embezzlement scandal in the late 1970s.

“I was appalled at the report on Garry Shandling’s testimony in the Los Angeles Times of March 17th,” Fields’ statement began, before ticking off a list of his problems with the story.

He noted the paper could have easily checked on the forgery claim in the court file or by calling him. “Without making any such check, the Times article reported that Shandling claimed forgery and even compared Brad to David Begelman, a convicted forger,” Fields stated.

“Similarly, Shandling’s claim that Brad wouldn’t let him see his own contracts is absurd,” Fields said. “It never happened.”

The attorney further noted that Shandling sued Grey for $100 million and settled for a fraction of that amount.

Fields’ statement is the second, and far more stinging, response by Grey’s camp to Shandling’s testimony last week. Thursday afternoon, after reports of the comedian’s testimony were published online, Grey said he was “extremely saddened by Garry’s recollection of events,” noting that they were “very different than what I remember and what I know to be true.”

He concluded that statement on a conciliatory note, however. “Even though we haven’t spoken since that time, he remains one of the most talented people I have known and I wish him only the best,” he said.

Grey may find that wish further tested the longer the trial goes on. Among the witnesses in the wings: former Shandling g.f. Linda Doucett, who sued Shandling and Grey after she was fired from the comedian’s HBO show.

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