The Pellicano Trial: Bert Fields Responds to Shandling, LA Times

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The Pellicano Trial: Bert Fields Responds to Shandling, LA Times

Mon Mar 17, 2008 @ 05:16PM PST

Posted by Leslie Simmons

Fieldsb_lit_20070131 Garry Shandling's testimony Thursday at the Anthony Pellicano wiretapping trial included as many swipes at his former manager (and current Paramount CEO) Brad Grey as it did Grey's lawyer, Bert Fields.

Now Fields, usually one to take calls personally from reporters, has instead responded via spokesman to Shandling's claims that Grey forged documents, kept contracts hidden, made threats and conducted a smear campaign against the comedian. The superlawyer also takes aim at an LA Times analysis of the testimony that Fields didn't particularly care for.

Of the forgery allegations against Grey, the LAT's Rachel Abramowitz writes:

“Shandling's statement brings back the specter of David Begelman, the onetime agent turned Columbia studio chief who was caught forging checks in the late '70s. It illuminates the vulnerability of talent; in a town run on handshakes, some movie stars and directors don't bother to read the fine print of their contracts but simply trust their management to take care of them. But caveat emptor.”

Fields responded by sending us this statement saying he’s "appalled" by Shandling’s testimony and pointing out that the comedian’s $100 million lawsuit against Grey -- which was settled for a paltry $4 million, Fields says -- did not include allegations of forgery.

"A check of the Court file would have shown this. So would a call to me. Without making any such check, the Times article reported that Shandling claimed forgery and even compared Brad to David Begelman, a convicted forger. Let me be clear. There was no forgery, and no forgery was claimed. Similarly, Shandling’s claim that Brad wouldn’t let him see his own contracts is absurd. It never happened. Shandling’s basic claim in his lawsuit was that Brad sold his own interest in certain television shows and in Brad’s own company. He did not sell Shandling’s interest in anything; but Shandling claimed he should have. To me, that claim made no legal sense. Yet it was the fundamental basis of his lawsuit.”

Fields goes on to describe Grey as a “straight shooter” who is “scrupulously honest and fair.”

Shandling, on the other hand, has apparently conjured up some bad juju with his “bitter, self-serving and grossly inaccurate rant,” says Fields, who suggests “maybe there’s something to karma after all.”

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