The Pellicano Trial: Back From Easter, the Hollywood Witnesses Keep on Coming

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The Pellicano Trial: Back From Easter, the Hollywood Witnesses Keep on Coming

Mon Mar 24, 2008 @ 10:11PM PST

Posted by Leslie Simmons

RovenBack from a four-day Easter break, the Anthony Pellicano wiretapping and racketeering trial resumes tomorrow with testimony from an eclectic group of prospective witnesses. Among the names the U.S. Attorney’s Office plans to call Tuesday:

  • Chuck Roven: A producer and partner in Mosaic Media, Roven's (left) credits include the upcoming “The Dark Knight,” as well as “Scooby-Doo,” “Three Kings” and “Rollerball.” Roven and director John McTiernan got into a legal tussle during which McTiernan allegedly hired Pellicano, who is accused of wiretapping Roven's phone. (McTiernan, by the way, was charged with lying to federal agents about knowing Pellicano. He later admitted he hired him, pleaded guilty in April 2006 and was sentenced last September to four months in the federal pen and a $100,000 fine. Despite that guilty plea, McTiernan is now appealing and blaming his former attorney, John Carlton, for not advising him of possible defenses.)

  • Peter Knecht: What do Peter Fonda, Dan “Grizzly Adams” Haggerty and Robert Downey Jr. have in common? Apparently, it’s Knecht. The old-school criminal defense attorney also represented Sandra Carradine, the ex-wife of actor David Carradine and Pellicano’s former girlfriend. Carradine pleaded guilty to perjury for lying to a grand jury about whether she knew about Pellicano tapping her former husband’s phone during their messy divorce. It will be interesting to see what federal prosecutors expect to get from Knecht, since he’s not mentioned in the trial memo outlining the charges against the former P.I. in connection with the Carradine case. Considering Knecht repped Sandra Carradine when she pleaded guilty, he could pull the attorney-client privilege card and refuse to answer questions related to Pellicano.
  • Robert Pfeifer: The former Hollywood Records president would be the first witness who has pleaded guilty to charges related to Pellicano’s web. (The PI's former employees who testified previously were granted immunity in exchange for their testimony.) Pfeifer paid Pellicano $100,000 to investigate his ex-girlfriend Erin Finn, who had given a deposition about him in a pending sexual harassment lawsuit. In April 2006 he pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the illegal wiretapping and has yet to be sentenced. He was also ordered to stay at least 500 yards away from Finn, which could be tricky in the corridors outside the courtroom.

  • Erin Finn: According to the Enterprise Report blog, Finn is the government’s "key witness." But who is she? “Finn’s resume runs the gamut from model, to escort, housesitter and Internet tech geek with  her own Web presence; with a site for guys who like their Web woman techno savvy and attractive.” She tells ERS that the feds used her to get information from Pellicano by meeting him for dinner and even setting him up on a double date to the opera. During those outings, Pellicano would try to persuade her to recant her deposition testimony against Pfeifer. Finn also runs her own Web site, Her most recent posting is from March 18, in which she writes, “As some of you might know I’ve been dealing with the press lately with a very exciting matter. I’m not able to ‘talk’ yet but promise in the weeks to come I will be ;) Just hang in there, Mizz Blonde.”
  • Suzan Hughes: The ex-wife of the late Mark Hughes, who built the Herbalife empire. She is a former Pellicano client and, according to the private eye’s former employee Lily LeMasters, she hired him to get more money after her divorce. (The Hugheses were married for a decade and have one son, the sole Herbalife heir). The feds claim Pellicano tapped Mark Hughes’ phone as part of Suzan’s quest for more money. By then, the Herbalife founder had remarried, tying the knot with Darcy LaPier, the ex-wife of Jean Claude VanDamme. Hughes died suddenly in 2000 of an accidental overdose of alcohol and the prescription anti-depresant Doxepin. His estate has since filed suit against Pellicano and others over the alleged wiretapping.

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