Pellicano Returns (Briefly)

Former Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano pleaded not guilty June 17 to threatening a reporter in 2002.

The plea marks the first time this particular charge against Pellicano has seen activity since he was found guilty of federal wiretapping and racketeering charges.

Pellicano and his alleged employee Alexander Proctor pleaded not guilty in Los Angeles to charges of threatening Los Angeles Times reporter Anita Busch, attempting to scare her off a story by placing a rose and dead fish on the windshield of her car alongside a placard that said “Stop.” The windshield was also punctured to look like a gunshot.

Pellicano is serving 15 years in prison after being found guilty in December of the previous charges. The current case was put on hold while the last one moved through the courts. The former private eye, who acted as his own attorney during the federal case, appeared in court acting on his own behalf while wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, according to the Times.

Proctor, himself serving 10 years on an unrelated federal drug conviction, prompted the current situation by telling an FBI informant that he was hired by Pellicano to threaten Busch. The FBI raided Pellicano’s office and discovered computer files that led to the wiretapping and racketeering convictions.

Busch, who at the time was reporting on powerful Hollywood agent Michael Ovitz, has a civil case pending against Ovitz, Pellicano and others.