Monday, March 17, 2008

The Pellicano Brief - A to G

Do you know who this man is?


Neither did I till recently.  He's Anthony Pellicano and his name is gaining press as The Celebrities' Thug by all accounts.

The man is an infamous PI in Los Angeles who is currently indicted with 110 counts of felony and under investigation by the FBI for racketeering, conspiracy, wiretapping, witness tampering, identity theft and destruction of evidence.  I'm sure some others will come up like delivering pizza without a license at some point.

The case against him has been gathering momentum since February 2006 and the list of witnesses and clients, as well as victims, reads like a Whos-who list of Hollywood.

Let's start from the very beginning ... a very good place to start.

A is for Anthony
When he's born, he begins as Anthony.  Anthony Joseph Pellican Junior, born 1944 in Chicago to Sicilian second-generation immigrants.  He grew up on the streets, was kicked out of high school for not-so-latent thuggery and landed in the Army where they equipped him with the skills necessary to work for Spiegel as a "skip tracer".

B is for Big Man in Chicago
After setting up his PI business in Chicago in 1969, he locates a few well-known persons and becomes well-known himself.  He gained some fame, worked for the government and acquired some affectations like having wax monograms sealing all his correspondences and collecting Samurai swords.

C is for Crying Brokeman
He declares bankruptcy in 1974, and in one of his filings, states that he had borrowed $30,000 from the son of a known mobster, whom he claimed was his daughter's godfather.  Yes, you can play the theme song now ...

This development resulted in his resignation from the Illinois  Law Enforcement Commission.

D is for Dishonesty
He allegedly staged the discovery of Mike Todd's, Elizabeth Taylor's third husband, remains after they are found missing from his cemetery in 1977.  He claimed to have discovered them and made a big show and tell of it, with police and camera crews abound, the day after the police had searched the same location and had discovered nothing.

He also called himself Tony Fortune during his Chicago run.  

E is for Exodus
After his "miraculous find", Taylor introduces him to her Hollywood gang and this sets him thinking that Chicago just was not big enough for him anymore.  He relocates to Los Angeles where the market was rich with potential for his brand of private investigation.

His first notable LA client was John Delorean, carmaker and playboy, whom he help acquit of cocaine charges.

F is for Fred Otash
The man who trained Pellicano to be the "utlimate problem solver" in LA.  According to the author of Dish, Jeannette Walls, being an ultimate problem solver meant -

"Pellicano didn't tackle the problem, he went after the accuser. He has, foes say, 
boasted of his underworld contacts and threatened people with violence."

Nice ...  

G is for Getting the Goods
By wiretapping.  The man had invented a way of wiretapping that was virtually undetectable and use his new-found prowess to terrorise LA.  

He is accused of the following in the 90s alone:

  • Allegedly silencing the former secretary of OJ Simpson pre-Brown/Goldman homicides.  No details of what methods were used.
  • Digging dirt on the Patricia Goldman who accused William Kennedy Smith of rape
  • Digging dirt on the receptionist who accused Don Simpson of rape.  Am seeing a pattern form here.
  • Was involved in the murky death from drug overdose of the doctor who was treating Don Simpson for drug addiction.
  • Threatening a Los Angeles magazine reporter, Rod Lurie, to get him to drop stories detrimental to his client, the National Enquirer.  This included bribing the hack's research  assistant to steal his notes, harassing his female editor and even an unsolved hit-and-run.
  • Allegedly shadowing Nicole Brown when she was murdered.  As in actually being there at the scene of the crime and allegedly doing nothing about it.
  • Was apparently the fink who sold Roseanne Arnold out to the National Enquirer about giving up her daughter for adoption.

And this is just in the 90s and we have not even gone on to this millennium where he's even more prolific.

Let's skip that for now and  add another chorus for G.

As in G is for Gary Shandling
Who was a victim for the Pellican.  It all start when the comedienne decided to fire his manager for ripping him off.  Back then Paramount Pictures executive, Brad Grey, had undertaken the management of Gary Shandling's success and was lining his own pockets quite successfully at the same time.

No fool, although he likes to play the fool, Shandling called him on it and decided to sue.  And that's when the trouble started.

There were threats, not just to Shandling but to his friends, family and associates.  There was a smear campaign nasty enough that one would have mistaken Shandling to be running for office.

Shandling was the first of a huge list of A-listers in Hollywood who was questioned in court about Pellicano's felonious  ways.  In typical deadpan humour, Shandling addressed what was obviously a rather serious and painful stage of his life.

Shandling's 45 minutes of serious testimony began light-heartedly when Assistant U.S. Atty. Kevin Lally asked the television star a standard question to get the proceedings underway.

"What do you do for a living?" Lally asked.

"That's a bad sign," Shandling deadpanned, drawing laughs. The implication was that he was not as well-known as he had hoped. "I'm a comedian," he said.

Hilarious but the case is very serious indeed and Pellicano's flight of terror is cooked if this continues.

Alright, more to follow as I grill through the thousands of articles about this private incinerator.