Sylvester Stallone proved the marquee name Thursday as the government wrapped up its wiretapping and racketeering case against Anthony Pellicano and four co-defendants.
Well, at least the thesp was name-dropped.
Central to testimony involving Stallone was the thesp’s 2002 lawsuit against former business manager Kenneth Starr, involving investments made in the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain.
Kevin Templeton, an employee of Stallone’s, testified that he’d had numerous telephone conversations with Stallone and the actor’s attorney Lawrence Nagler, with much of the confidential information discussed winding up in the hands of Starr, suggesting that Pellicano had been hired to wiretap Stallone’s phones.
Pellicano allegedly was referred to Starr by attorney Bert Fields.
Nagler also took the stand to confirm that privileged legal strategy between him and his client also ended up being used against the two by Pellicano and Starr. Proof of that info was presented in the form of audio recordings of calls between Pellicano and Starr.
During one, Pellicano strongly advises Starr, “You have to keep these conversations between you and I.”
Pellicano also can be heard essentially bragging about his relationships with Hollywood honchos, saying that William Morris topper Jim Wiatt “is a personal friend of mine.” As for Fields, the P.I. said, “Bert is like my blood.”
The private eye also went so far as to threaten Stallone, Nagler testified.
“My client called saying that Anthony Pellicano had contacted his business lawyer, Jake Bloom, and threatened that if things were not dropped, bad things would happen to Mr. Stallone,” Nagler said.
The defense begins calling witnesses today, and Fields may be called, according to Chad Hummel, who represents former Los Angeles Police Dept. officer Mark Arneson, accused of conducting hundreds of illegal background checks on individuals Pellicano was investigating.
Pellicano, who is representing himself, plans only to call one witness on his behalf, he said.
He is facing fewer charges than when the trial began.
Thursday, prosecutors requested to dismiss 28 charges against the P.I. because some of the victims involved in their case weren’t available to testify and other counts were considered redundant.
More than 35 charges remain against Pellicano and Arneson.