The Pellicano Trial: Tarita Virtue Breaks Down In Tears

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The Pellicano Trial: Tarita Virtue Breaks Down In Tears

Thu Mar 13, 2008 @ 11:05AM PST

Posted by Eriq Gardner

Virtuetarita The third and final day of testimony from former Anthony Pellicano associate and semi-nude model Tarita Virtue (pictured left, although not in the outfit she wore to court) took an emotional turn yesterday as she broke down in tears under cross-examination by Pellicano, who is acting as his own attorney.

Virtue recalled how the Hollywood sleuth considered her "like a daughter." She added that "I wanted you to think I would always be loyal to you, because I was in fear for my safety."

Pellicano mentioned friendly e-mails she sent him after leaving his agency in 2002. She then started crying.

The accused private eye then referred to a recent article in which Virtue was quoted as saying she wished Pellicano had died in prison. "Do you wish me dead?" Pellicano asked.

"I did," Virtue said. "When you threatened my life, I certainly did."

Virtue claimed that in 2003 Pellicano made a jailhouse phone call to Virtue's parents, which she took as threatening.

According to news accounts, the courtroom was emotional and tense. Perhaps today's testimony will be on the lighter side. Comedian Garry Shandling is scheduled to take the witness stand. He's expected to recount how he became a Pellicano target after he sued his then-manager Brad Grey (who is now Paramount chief) over profits from "The Larry Sanders Show."

We'll be watching to see if Shandling brings the star lawyer who represented in in that battle, David Boies. Grey was repped by Bert Fields. The lawsuit was settled, but the scars from that heavyweight legal battle could be reopened with today's testimony.

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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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