LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A federal court on Thursday ruled that
prosecutors can comb through transcripts of wiretaps found in the
office of celebrity sleuth Anthony Pellicano, in a case that could
involve some of Hollywood biggest stars.
The ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected
Pellicano's argument that the November 2002 search of his Hollywood
office was illegal, and that evidence seized there could not be used to
The court also confirmed Pellicano's conviction on charges that
he had unregistered firearms, grenades and enough plastic explosives to
bring down an airliner in a safe in the office.
Pellicano, a private eye for more than two decades, called
himself a "sin eater" for Hollywood stars and was often called on to
keep his clients' names out of the press.
His client list included Elizabeth Taylor, Tom Cruise, Michael
Jackson, Kevin Costner, Farrah Fawcett and some of Hollywood's biggest
The federal probe was originally triggered by reports that
Pellicano had engineered threats against Los Angeles Times reporter
Anita Busch to stop her from writing a story about his client, action
star Steven Seagal.
FBI agents found the explosives and the equivalent of two
billion pages of wiretap transcripts while searching Pellicano's office
Thursday's appellate opinion gives prosecutors free rein to use
the evidence to support more charges against Pellicano or others
involved in the wiretapping, which could touch some of Hollywood's
Busch said she received threatening telephone messages, was
nearly run down by two men in a car, that her computer hard drive was
destroyed, and that someone placed a dead fish, a rose and a note that
said "Stop" on her car windshield.
At the time, Busch was working on a story about an alleged Mafia extortion plot against Seagal.
At least two other reporters have accused Pellicano of trying to
intimidate them into killing negative stories about his celebrity
Pellicano is scheduled to be released from prison next February.
also from drudge.