Hollywood Private Eye Anthony Pellicano Set Free From Prison – NBC Southern California

Hollywood Private Eye Anthony Pellicano Set Free From Prison - NBC Southern California

Notorious Hollywood fixer Anthony Pellicano released from prison on 75th birthday

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Gene Maddaus Senior Media Writer @GeneMaddaus FOLLOW Gene's Most Recent Stories Hollywood Fixer Anthony Pellicano Released From Federal Prison ‘Leaving Neverland’ Lawsuit Proves to Be a Judicial Hot Potato Florida Man Pleads Guilty in CNN Pipe Bomb Case View All Facebook Twitter Reddit Email Show more sharing options LinkedIn WhatsApp Print Pin It Tumblr CREDIT: Nick Ut/AP/REX/Shutterstock Anthony Pellicano, the Hollywood private eye whose wiretapping case riveted the industry a decade ago, was released from a federal prison on Friday, a prison spokeswoman confirmed.

At the height of his dealings in Tinseltown, Pellicano was hired by Michael Jackson (through lawyers) after the late pop superstar was first accused of child molestation in 1993. And with renewed interest in the Jackson scandal thanks to the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, the former private eye may get yet another offer for a hefty payday. Why? He seems to know a lot; far more disturbing details than what has been reported, which is why he "fired" Jackson, he told The Hollywood Reporter in a jailhouse interview last year. 

Pellicano was sentenced in 2008 to 15 years, following his conviction on 78 charges of wiretapping, racketeering, conspiracy and wire fraud. He had been in custody since 2003, and was most recently serving his sentence at Terminal Island Federal Correctional Institution in San Pedro, a low security facility.

Pellicano worked for some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Michael Ovitz, Brad Grey and Michael Jackson. In 2002, federal agents raided his office and discovered practice grenades and C-4 explosives. Pellicano was arrested and served 30 months for possession of dangerous materials.

In 2006, he was indicted on 110 counts, which alleged a widespread scheme of wiretapping and conducting illegal background checks. His 2008 trial featured testimony from Ovitz, Grey, attorney Bert Fields, producer Charles Roven and comedians Chris Rock and Garry Shandling. Pellicano represented himself at trial. After 10 days of deliberation, he was convicted on 76 of 77 counts.

"I got convicted of committing crimes I did not commit," he told THR then. "I had to listen to testimony of those who got up on the stand and lied. I changed a lot of lives for the better, helped a whole lot of people who were all grateful at the time. That's what I kept in mind as I took all the heat — alone. As things got troublesome for me, they all took off for the hills."

He was later convicted of wiretapping Lisa Bonder Kerkorian during her child-support battle with billionaire mogul Kirk Kerkorian.

Despite his vast knowledge of Hollywood elite's darkest secrets, Pellicano refused in 2018 to spill any information ("omerta" is the vow of loyalty he took to clients), which even included who was the owner of the C-4 and two grenades found his in office when the FBI raided the Sunset Boulevard location in November 2002. 

Pellicano bribed phone company employees and LAPD and Beverly Hills police officers in order to access confidential information. The government alleged that Pellicano’s enterprise went far beyond the charges presented in court, and that he made millions of dollars by illegally violating his targets’ privacy.

“On the contrary, the recordings seized from defendant’s computers reflect the utter enjoyment that he experienced as he invaded every facet of his investigative target’s lawfully protected privacy, speaking derisively about his victims and cackling about how he intended to destroy them,” the prosecutors wrote.

Pellicano’s defense argued that the 15-year sentence was excessive. “Illegal wiretapping and invasions of privacy have been an unfortunate part of life for decades,” Pellicano’s attorney wrote.

In his heyday, the ruthless former private eye (prison No. 21568-112) was a tremendous asset to the rich and famous. His clientele included the likes of the late Elizabeth Taylor, Tom Cruise, Sylvester Stallone, Roseanne Barr, Courtney Love, CAA co-founder Michael Ovitz and many more.

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