Update: Mr. Pellicano received a 15-year sentence.
Private eye faces sentencing in wiretapping case
Victims tell judge Pellicano's actions affected their lives
December 15, 2008
LOS ANGELES – Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano isn't the only person imprisoned as a result of his wiretaps of the rich and famous. His victims say they have never been able to free themselves from the emotional and financial fallout caused by his crimes.
A former reporter says she has nightmares about being hunted and raped. A mother copes with her daughter being mocked by other kids and their parents. An actress who once appeared in a popular television series says she has found little work since.
They are among the victims who submitted letters to the federal judge who is scheduled to sentence Pellicano today. The former private investigator is in custody after being convicted of a total of 78 counts, including wiretapping, racketeering and wire fraud, in two separate trials this year.
Federal prosecutors have recommended in court documents that Pellicano, 64, serve nearly 16 years in prison for running a criminal enterprise and becoming a “high-priced thief who fraudulently obtained prominence through the harm that he wantonly inflicted on others.”
Their letters give a glimpse into the anger, disgust and hardship his victims say they have endured since Pellicano combed through their lives.
Former Los Angeles Times reporter Anita Busch says she no longer is a journalist and has nightmares about being hunted because of the harassment she faced from Pellicano. Busch found a dead fish with a rose in its mouth on her car, along with a sign reading “stop,” in June 2002 after she wrote a series of unflattering articles about one-time superagent Michael Ovitz, a Pellicano client.
Lisa Bonder Kerkorian, the former wife of billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, said her privacy has been destroyed. Prosecutors said Pellicano and Kerkorian's attorney, Terry Christensen, bugged her phone conversations to disprove her claims that the MGM mogul was the father of her young daughter. DNA tests later showed movie producer Steve Bing was the biological father.
Christensen was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit wiretapping and sentenced to three years in prison.
Bonder Kerkorian said her daughter “has faced cruel comments, sly whispers and been openly ridiculed by students and parents at her school.”
Linda Doucett, who was a regular on “The Larry Sanders Show,” also chimed in, saying in her letter she has been unable to work as an actress and support herself and her son since taking part in a lawsuit filed by her former boyfriend, comedian Garry Shandling, against his former talent manager Brad Grey, now the head of the Paramount studio. Pellicano worked for Grey on the suit.
In late 2003, she said she received a call threatening her son's safety from someone she presumed to be Pellicano. Prosecutors never proved Pellicano or someone at his direction was the caller.
[But cops would never snoop illegally for private reasons, would they? They would. For four years Santa Barbara Sheriff Commander Sam Gross has been protecting deputy Michael Carlson for very similar activities to those of Anthony Pellicano.]