Wiretap probe enthralls Hollywood

first_imgAs Hollywood awaits the next chapter in a federal wiretapping investigation, legal maneuverings suggest there will be no shortage of challenges to related cases that may have involved illegal practices. Some who believe they were victims of private investigator Anthony Pellicano have already taken complaints to court. “It’s a hornet’s nest,” Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor and professor at Loyola Law School, said Thursday. “There are many types of lawsuits that can be brought against many different people. There will be plenty of work to go around.” Thirteen people have been charged so far in the criminal case, including the 61-year-old Pellicano, who has worked for some of the biggest names in Hollywood, such as Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson. “It was such a pervasive plan that we just don’t believe it’s credible for a phone company to say they have a rogue employee,” said attorney Brian Kabateck, who represents Finn. Kabateck said his firm has been contacted by about 50 people who suspect their phones were tapped or their names illegally run through databases. Of those, at least six were named as victims in the indictment, he said. A call and e-mail to SBC seeking comment was not immediately returned. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant Pellicano is accused of illegally wiretapping the phones of celebrities such as Sylvester Stallone and paying police officers to run background checks through government databases. Pellicano has denied wrongdoing. Another person charged is attorney Terry Christensen, who represented billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian in a high-profile child-support battle in 2002, when his ex-wife, Lisa Bonder Kerkorian, initially sought $320,000 a month for her daughter. Christensen pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy and intercepting wire communications. Prosecutors claim he paid Pellicano at least $100,000 to illegally wiretap the phones of Lisa Bonder Kerkorian. On Wednesday, she asked a judge to dismiss Christensen as Kirk Kerkorian’s lawyer in the support case. She also requested that child support payments be boosted from $50,000 to $75,000 a month. A March 15 hearing was set on her requests. A separate federal lawsuit was filed Feb. 17 by Erin Finn. Her attorneys are seeking class-action status for the lawsuit claiming SBC Communications was responsible for the actions of two employees accused of helping Pellicano acquire confidential information. last_img read more