In a twist that could have many in Hollywood on edge, federal prosecutors revealed Thursday that they have taped conversations between indicted sleuth-to-the-stars Anthony Pellicano and clients who hired him to dig up dirt on rivals.
Pellicano, who has worked for some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, was charged earlier this month with wiretapping people he was hired to investigate.
“What they have here is dynamite,” said Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor and professor at Loyola Law School. “This is very important evidence because you don’t have the question of credibility. Tapes don’t lie.”
The revelation came as federal authorities announced the indictment of prominent attorney Terry Christensen on conspiracy and wiretapping charges.
Lawyers for Christensen denied the allegations.
The indictment quoted alleged conversations between Pellicano and Christensen about a child support battle between a Christensen client, billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, and his ex-wife.
“There is no way, except with my unique techniques, that you would know this,” Pellicano is quoted telling Christensen.
On another occasion, Christensen, 65, said he was thinking about sending “a little more expense money” to cover the wiretap costs, according to the indictment.
The document did not say how the recordings were obtained or detail other conversations Pellicano may have had with clients. Authorities said their investigation is continuing.
An indictment unsealed earlier against Pellicano and others alleged the phones of actors Sylvester Stallone and Keith Carradine were tapped, and the names of more than 60 people, including comedians Garry Shandling and Kevin Nealon, were run through police and government databases in search of information.
Thus far, 11 people, including Christensen, have been charged in the case.