Pellicano Case Heats Up

As Los Angeles prosecutors unsealed their 110-count indictment of celebrity gumshoe Anthony Pellicano, one thing became clear: there wasn’t much new juice, at least not yet.

The Pellicano case has been fermenting for years, titillating observers with the promise that one day every dirty little secret of Hollywood would be revealed, either through court documents or illegally obtained recordings. Private investigator Pellicano kept tabs on several celebrities and entertainment moguls – including 2 billion pages of notes and transcripts of wiretaps, according to The New York Times.

Pellicano pleaded innocent to racketeering, interception of electronic communications and other offenses February 6th. The indictment named names, but they were mostly names that had been known for years.

One surprise was Robert Pfeifer, the former chief of Hollywood Records, who was accused in the indictment of hiring Pellicano to investigate and wiretap a former girlfriend. Also, Creative Artists Agency execs Bryan Lourd and Kevin Huvane, groomed by CAA founder Michael Ovitz, had background checks performed on them by, allegedly, Pellicano and his accomplices. The two men had a bitter falling out with the once-powerful agent.

Ovitz moved on to form his own company, Artists Management Group, and two reporters who wrote of troubles there had background checks performed on them, prosecutors said. An employee of AMG also had a background check performed.

Kevin Nealon, a “Saturday Night Live” alum and no less than a host of a Pollstar Concert Industry Awards show, was a target. Prosecutors cited nearly 100 instances where Pellicano and an ex-Los Angeles policeman allegedly accessed confidential law enforcement records, including the FBI’s National Crime Information Center database, the Los Angeles Times said. The targets included Nealon and comedian Garry Shandling, among others.

Shandling’s old news. It was already well known that he was allegedly checked out by Pellicano et al during a bitter breakup with former manager Brad Grey of Brillstein-Grey fame. Sylvester Stallone was also mentioned, but it was no secret that he was allegedly wiretapped during a lawsuit involving his ill-fated investment in Planet Hollywood.

Despite Pellicano having clients from Michael Jackson to Elizabeth Taylor, there were less shocks last week than in Truman Capote’s disappointing tell-all book, “Answered Prayers.”

But the case continues. And so far, the names of the victims have a familiar ring: Many are tied to entertainment lawyer Bertram Fields, especially as enemies of his clients. Fields has said he is a subject of the investigation, but denies knowledge of illegal activity.