Hollywood wiretaps trial

March 4, 2008 5:42:44 PM PST
Anthony Pellicano spent decades building his reputation in Hollywood as a crafty, bare-knuckled private eye who worked for a long roster of A-list clients that included Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson.

So it figured that his indictment two years ago in a federal wiretapping case would make entertainment power players nervous about who else might be charged and what secrets might be exposed.

The cliffhanger dropped with a thud, however, when Pellicano refused to flip on his rich and famous clients.

But there will be at least one plot twist during the trial of Pellicano and four co-defendants: The private eye will act as his own attorney, meaning he'll likely have the goods on any former clients who testify against him.

"I'm not going to willfully hurt anyone," he told The Associated Press during a recent telephone interview from federal prison. "But I might ask questions ... that might make people uncomfortable."

Jury selection is set to begin Wednesday.

Federal prosecutors laid out much of their trial strategy in court documents filed Friday.

They portrayed Pellicano, 63, as an ambitious investigator-to-the-stars who ran a criminal enterprise that wiretapped phones and bribed police and telephone workers to get the "gold standard" of confidential informat vow, even to the people I don't like," he said.

"If I was going to say something, I would have said something a long time ago."


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