A Hollywood private investigator was convicted Thursday on charges that he schemed to dig up dirt for his well-heeled clients to use in lawsuits, divorces and contract disputes against the rich and famous.
Anthony Pellicano, 64, was accused of wiretapping stars such as Sylvester Stallone, and running the names of others, such as Gary Shandling and Kevin Nealon, through law enforcement databases to help clients in legal and other disputes.
Pellicano was convicted of racketeering and racketeering conspiracy counts.
Verdicts on dozens of other counts were still being announced in court.
The indictment charging Pellicano and his supporting cast in February 2006 had Hollywood buzzing with speculation about who might be ensnared in the investigation and what secrets might be revealed.
Fourteen people were charged and seven, including film director John McTiernan and former Hollywood Records president Robert Pfeifer, have pleaded guilty to charges including perjury and
The biggest power brokers with links to Pellicano, such as famed entertainment attorney Bert Fields, Paramount studio head Brad Grey and one-time superagent Michael Ovitz, insisted they didn’t know about his methods and weren’t charged.
Pellicano starred in the real-time court drama as a tough-talking gumshoe who valued loyalty and secrecy as necessary virtues in his profession. He also acted as his own attorney but
called only one witness and rarely raised objections.