The Pellicano Trial: Diamondbacks Slugger Is First Witness

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The Pellicano Trial: Diamondbacks Slugger Is First Witness

Thu Mar 06, 2008 @ 08:25PM PST

Posted by Matthew Belloni

Williamsmatt_2 And the first government witness in the Anthony Pellicano Federal wiretapping and racketeering trial is....former Arizona Diamondbacks slugger Matt Williams?

Huh? That one came out of left field. With all the bold-faced Hollywood names associated with the case, it strikes us as a bit odd that the Feds would go with a retired baseball player whose name barely registered when it was included with the 127 individuals on the witness list.

Then again, as THR's Leslie Simmons reports from the courtroom, Williams testified that he once hired Pellicano to investigate his ex-wife, her husband and brother-in-law. Then in 2002, Williams asked Pellicano to look at his then-wife, an actress named Michelle Johnson (“Blame it on Rio”), and the duo allegedly discussed tapping Johnson's phone.

Williams says he never ended up hiring Pellicano to investigate Johnson, but Pellicano taped that phone conversation without the slugger's knowledge. Prosecutors helpfully played the tape for jurors today.

All the details are in the story. Our favorite: On the tape, Pellicano reminds Williams that whatever happens, it stays between them. “Nobody else in the fucking world, just you and I,” Pellicano says.

FBI agents who searched Pellicano’s Sunset Blvd offices are expected to testify over the next few days.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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