SBC staffer, Hughes' ex-wife take the stand
It was a tearful day of testimony at the Anthony Pellicano trial Friday, as witnesses related how they aided or hired the private eye charged with illegal wiretapping and racketeering.
First up on the stand was Teresa Wright, the former SBC staffer who accessed the telephone company’s databases to provide former colleague Rayford Earl Turner and Pellicano with phone numbers and other personal information on individuals in order to conduct wiretaps.
She began her testimony Thursday admitting that she’d looked up journalist Anita Busch, scribe Vincent “Bo” Zenga, Johnny Friendly (who many close to the trial believe is an alias for Sylvester Stallone) and Mark Hughes, the billionaire founder of Herbalife, among others.
In return, she received $250 per person she researched, Wright testified between sobs. Pellicano charged $25,000 as an initial retainer to take on a new case.
Next to reach for the tissues was Hughes’ ex-wife Susan, who hired Pellicano in 1997 to look into whether her then-husband was cheating on her.
Hughes said she paid Pellicano $125,000 for his services, although she testified that she didn’t know it would include recording her husband’s phone calls.
She denied ever having approved wiretapping his lines. “He (Pellicano) wanted me to listen to something,” she said before being played a call between her brother-in-law and husband in the private eye’s Sunset Boulevard offices.
Yet Hughes never stopped the wiretaps once she found out about them. Her reason: “shock.”
Three weeks into the trial, prosecutors continue to plug away at proving just how Pellicano conducted his illegal wiretaps and database searches, for whom, as well as the victims of such searches.
One of those victims included actor Keith Carradine, who took the stand at the end of the week, to detail how his ex-wife, Sandra Carradine, had hired Pellicano during their contentious divorce.
Carradine was allegedly wiretapped by the private eye in 2000.
On cross-examination, Pellicano questioned Carradine whether his ex-wife was a “vindictive person,” curious considering Pellicano dated Sandra Carradine after her divorce from Keith. She takes the stand Tuesday.
Friday also logged testimony from Richard Campau, a former Pellicano staffer, who listened to wiretapped calls and identified Turner as having been in Pellicano’s offices on numerous occasions. “Ray was not hiding at all,” he said.
Trial resumes Tuesday with Campau and Carradine, along with billionaire Alex Gores’ ex-wife Lisa, former Pellicano employee Denise Ward, and former SBC employee Michele Malkin.