Christensen sentences in wiretapping case

A prominent Hollywood attorney was sentenced Monday to three years in prison in a wiretapping scheme that targeted the former wife of MGM mogul Kirk Kerkorian.

Terry Christensen declined to make a statement in federal court, saying only that he couldn’t express things any better than he had in a letter about his remorse over working with private eye Anthony Pellicano.

Pellicano and Christensen were accused of recording phone conversations of Lisa Bonder Kerkorian in her child support dispute with Kirk Kerkorian.

Bonder Kerkorian, a former tennis pro, was married to Kerkorian, now 91, for 28 days in 1999. Christensen paid Pellicano $25,000 upfront and promised $100,000 more if he could identify the true father of the girl, prosecutors said. DNA tests later showed movie producer Steve Bing was the biological father.

Christensen, 64, was sentenced for conspiracy to commit wiretapping and aiding and abetting a wiretap. He will remain free on $100,000 bond pending an appeal.

“In a real sense, the legal community and justice are victims of this crime,” U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer said before imposing the sentence.

Christensen was also given three years’ probation and fined $250,000.

Pellicano, 64, was convicted of wiretapping and conspiracy to commit wiretapping and is scheduled to be sentenced next month. He could also face time for a separate illegal wiretapping and racketeering conviction earlier this year that involved tapping the phones of such stars as Sylvester Stallone on behalf of his clients and paying police officers to access protected government databases.

The case against Christensen was built on recorded conversations he had with Pellicano in which prosecutors said they discussed Bonder Kerkorian’s private phone calls.

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